Monday, February 28, 2022

A tale of two cities

 Annamaria on Monday

I have stolen this title from Charles Dickens, as I'm sure you all know. But I think I have the right. This is a story about highly improbable coincidences. But every word of it is true.

Dickens, as I have written about before in these precincts, was a master unparalleled at making outrageous coincidences believable in his fiction. No one but he could have gotten away, for instance, with the number of times David Copperfield accidentally encounters Mister Micawber. 

As you've probably noticed, I have nothing approaching Dickinsons's skill. Well, whether you believe it or not, what I am going to tell you today is the truth, every word of it.  It won't be as weird a tale as the one Caro told last week, and very likely not as entertaining, but I can't help but recount it because, on some level, my strange story also feels paranormal.

Ultra-fortunate person that I am, I live in two apartments, each in one of the most wondrous cities on our sacred planet.  Over the past few months, the buildings that house my two apartments have been living uncannily parallel lives.

Both Florence and New York have, this past year, required apartment buildings to inspect their façades and to correct any faults.  Consequently, in both cities the building managers and owners scrambled to get this work done and avoid hefty fines. In both Florence and New York, the buildings where I own apartments have found that work needed to be done.  During the work, both buildings required scaffolding to protect pedestrians from any accidents.  Both buildings also had roofs that needed repair, and it was decided that, since scaffolding would be in place, it would be a good time to repair the neglected roofs as well.

As plans went ahead in both cities, it became clear that there were not enough materials available to erect scaffolding in so many places in order to have the repairs completed before the end of 2021. In both cities, the government extended the deadline because of the lack of available scaffolding. In both cities the management and the residents of the buildings decided they would postpone beginning the work until the end of March.

I had been laughing at the fact that these buildings were leading parallel lives, and chalked it up to an unlikely but possible coincidence. I do know for sure that I am the only person who owns an apartment in both these buildings.

Then something really weird happened. About a week ago, I came into my building here in Florence and found the elevator was out of order. Some nitwit had opened the doors before the elevator came to a halt, managed to get out, but left the elevator out of service. I called the number posted to ask for assistance and walked up to the seventh floor. When I got to my place, I checked my email only to find that my neighbors in New York were emailing each other, including me, that the elevator was broken.  These two buildings, six time zones apart, both had a broken elevator at the same moment                                                                                               

The next thing that happened put the icing on the paranormal cake. At 3 o'clock in the afternoon in Florence, my doorbell rang.  It was the elevator technician, asking me to let him in so that he could make the repair. As I was pressing the button to open the front door, I received a message on my phone.  It was from the building manager in New York, where it was 9 AM, asking if I could buzz in the elevator technician who was waiting at the front door.



  1. Have you, by any chance, been buying lottery tickets in both cities...???

    1. Not a bad idea at all, EvKa. I am not sure there is a lottery here. I’ll have to look into that. I’ll give you commission if I win.

  2. That is sort of amazing as well as deeply creepy!

  3. Right you are, Marmee. For me, though, there is also a wondrous, other-worldly aspect to it.


  4. Suggestion from a friend:

  5. Let's look at it this way, Sis, you don't have to worry about getting your stories confused about the two apartments, as they're all the same!