Tina asked whose the carpet had been on the balcony wall between us, knowing it was Leslie’s, who should’ve used his own facing wall for cleaning it. The ensuing marks from his cleaning were on the floor of the balcony opposite my shed to the drain other side of the stairwell door on Tina’s bit. At that juncture Leslie came out of his door he keeps open and questioned a retreating Tina who had to turn round and complain directly instead of sounding off to me. I left them to it.
Next day I heard a stramash outside my door which sounded like Diana. She was having a go at Leslie who beat a retreat on my opening the door to her. I don’t know what that was about. She was in tears, inveighing against Adrian Glover, her bete noire, “I know you don’t believe me,” she wailed. “Well,” I considered, “he didn’t tell you to go out with a knife in your hand.” She couldn’t remember doing what was the cause of all her recent misfortunes; she’d had a blackout. “Bob said I was a foul-mouthed woman.” “When?” “Just now,” downstairs, before she’d come up. “Were you?” “Yes.” “He should talk! He was swearing at the police!” “He’s not interested in sex, only in making money.” “Do you mean Adrian Glover or Bob?” “Adrian Glover,” but the idea that it was Bob made her laugh. I started laughing. Leslie, back to us, bending over his cleaning of the carpet over the balcony facing his own door, was chuckling at the very idea. The buzzer went. I couldn’t hear what was being said for the laughter so ducked my head into the kitchen. It was a delivery for me, who hadn’t ordered anything, but, curious, let the man in. He met me and Diana at the stairwell door. “Is this from you?” I asked Diana who claimed it was, a present of a slow cooker.
“Tina’s going to tell you the difference between cleaning and mopping,” I told Leslie who cleaned his carpet where he’d cleaned it to avoid dripping on Diana below him. “You should’ve said that,” I said, “that’s a perfectly good explanation.” He cleaned the balcony floor up to and overlapping the bit Tina had cleaned to get rid of the tide marks from his cleaning the carpet. He looked in my kitchen window to have me come to the door to see he’d also done my bit up to the overlapping scrap outside my shed. “Oh,” I teased, “should you have done that?”