Notice in supermarket

Furnished basement apt. Clean. Newly renovated, Private entrance.
Near transit & shopping.
Phone Connie (416) 123-4567, after 6 p.m.


I knew from the minute I posted the ad that it was a mistake. My desperation made me do it. I need more money. Joe the Shmo left me years ago. The kids have grown up and moved away. I’m living on a pittance from my work. Renting out the basement apartment seemed like the thing to do. I don’t want to eat cat food in my dotty old age. Not that cat food is cheap or that I’ll be dotty. But old age will come for sure.

When I bought the house, I knew it would be a struggle to keep up the mortgage payments. But I couldn’t see myself living in that old apartment on Bathurst Street for the rest of my life. Every time a bus passed by, I’d have to turn the volume up on the TV. It was sweltering hot in the summer; freezing cold in the winter. It was so cold I had to call the Health Department. Twice.

This little house on a quiet street is just right for me—a little beyond my budget, but otherwise fine. It has a lovely garden with fruit trees. I had fantasies of plucking ripe plums and pears and cherries from heavily-laden branches. I didn’t realize the greedy squirrels and quarrelling birds would get all the fruit first. The reality of my life often collides with my fantasies.