#2 It sounded like someone was trying to break down the neighbor's door with a hammer.

Updated: Sep 8, 2020

And when we opened our door, that's precisely what we found. A young, slight man, well dressed, hammer in hand, making a concerted effort to knock the fragile metal handle off the splintered wooden door.

"What are you doing?" we asked, as if it weren't clear.

"Trying to open the door," he said apologetically.

A robber he was not. That much was clear. First because if you're going to break into an apartment, you aren't going to do it with a hammer in broad daylight. Second because even if you are, you're certainly not going to go for the abandoned apartment that hasn't seen the light of day since long before the invention of anything worth stealing. The landlord had sent him, he explained, because they needed paint samples from the shutters to start the renovations and this was the only apartment in the building that had the original shutters.

"Would you like something stronger?"

He nodded eagerly and we brought him a mallet.

The door swung open in one easy blow, revealing an old, clay-colored floor strewn with dead pigeons. We grabbed masks from our work room and wandered from room to room in the massive flat. The windows were taped up, there was nothing but some junk in the kitchen cabinets and old bottles of shampoo in the shower. But for all its emptiness, the apartment hummed. There was something in there that we couldn't see. Something had been forgotten.

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