Kilter Street Profiles: Michiko

Michiko, who lives in Apartment 2d with her family, is a high school history teacher. She’s a slender, dark-haired woman who seems often preoccupied in thought. She wears round glasses and carries herself with a slightly defensive hunch. Her voice is firm, her enunciation precise. She knows Latin and reads avidly.

Family

Her maternal grandparents moved to the US from Japan, and her mother was born in the US. Her father was born in Japan and emigrated to the US as a young adult, where he met her mother. She has a few older brothers and is the only girl and the youngest in her birth family.

She’s married to Mario, the Kilter Street Apartments maintenance worker. They have two kids: Max and Mika. Michiko is sometimes bewildered by her marriage. She feels like she fell into it, without much planning, and that amazingly it’s mostly good. She’s glad she met her husband, who’s a decent man and like a steady, warm furnace that doesn’t swelter or go cold. She sometimes can’t believe that this is her life. And that she’s a mother. Even though she isn’t always a demonstrative person, she can honestly say that her kids take her breath away – in a good way.

Kilter Street Profiles: Eben

Eben owns an ice cream shop. That’s what he’s known for around Kilter Street Manor Apartments.

He’s in his 50s. Two things stand out about him at a first glance: he’s broad-shouldered, and his hair is completely white.

He’s a veteran, and from a family that’s served in the military for generations. He can also trace his lineage to some of the earliest colonists who came from England to the US.

His son, Lewis, lives with him and works for him at the shop.

Kilter Street Profiles: Hubby

Elana Elisa’s husband is known around these parts as “Hubby.” I’ve never heard him referred to by a name. She calls him Hubby; other people usually call him “Elana’s husband” or “The Hubs.” When they speak to him face-to-face, I don’t know what they say. “Hey, you?” Never heard a name.

He doesn’t talk a lot or show up much in any of the building’s common areas. Not that he seems unfriendly. He has a gentle, polite air, a small but genuine smile. He’s middle-aged and balding. His bald spot is pink-white. It reminds me in a weird way of an atmospheric storm on a planet, like the Great Red Spot of Jupiter.

He likes to wear socks with sandals, and knee-length shorts and untucked button-down shirts. He has a brown and gray chevron mustache. I don’t know what he does for a living, or if he’s retired or unemployed.

Kilter Street Profiles: John

John, from Apartment 3c, can always get the elevator at Kilter Street Manor Apartments to work for him. It’s reluctant or uncooperative for everyone else, but not for him. Maybe because he has a sunny disposition. He’s always smiling, but somehow without seeming creepy.

He’s an event planner who specializes in themed parties. Zeb also regularly consults with him about the apartment building’s communal get-togethers; he’s good at stretching a limited budget.

Some people doubt that he can be a good event planner, because he is legally blind. But he does well.

As for his appearance: he’s got a medium build and medium height, pale skin and thick brown hair. Nothing about his looks is really remarkable, except for his smile. Which again, isn’t creepy, though it does sometimes make people wonder what there is to smile about so much. Whatever it is, he knows the secret.

Kilter Street Profiles: G.S. Frisch

Gilbert Sullivan Frisch, who lives in Apartment 2a, doesn’t like Gilbert & Sullivan’s music, though his adopted parents do, very much. He turned up in their living room, as a baby, no one knows from where. A recording of The Pirates of Penzance was playing at the time.

He likes to go by G.S. Frisch. Or Gil, call him Gil. Not Gilbert, or Sully.

Gil is a tall, balding man with a pleasant, good-looking face and a peaches and cream complexion. He’s in his mid to late 30s. The first impression he gives is of a man who’s nice but not particularly confident.

He currently works as a security guard at the City Folk Art Museum. He used to be a social worker.

13 Songs to Help you Power Through Hard Times

If you’re in a dark place or up against some challenges that are proving tougher than you expected, maybe some of these songs can help you power through. (Because of their lyrics or just the way they feel.)

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1) Everybody Hurts (R.E.M.)

When your day is night alone (Hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go (Hold on)

2) Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel)

When darkness comes
And pain is all around,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.

3) Love Reign Supreme (Alison Moyet)

We are more in the sum
Of the numbers we’ve been done
And it’s right to be kind
Even as your chest is bleeding

4) You Gotta Be (Des’ree)

Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky

5) Shake It Out (Florence + The Machine)

And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope
It’s a shot in the dark aimed right at my throat

6) Level Up (Vienna Teng)

If you are afraid, come forth.
If you are alone, come forth now.

7) Afterlife (Ingrid Michaelson)

Living like you’re dying isn’t living at all
Give me your cold hands put them on my heart

8) 8 Good Reasons (Sinéad O’ Connor)

But I got 8 good reasons to stick around
8 good reasons, well maybe nine now

9) I See a Darkness (Johnny Cash)

But can you see this opposition comes rising up sometimes?
That it’s dreadful imposition, comes blacking in my mind.

10) By Myself (Judy Garland)

I’ll face the unknown, I’ll build a world of my own
No one knows better than I myself, I’m by myself alone

11) Innuendo (Queen)

Through the sorrow all through our splendor
Don’t take offence at my innuendo

12) Non, je ne regrette rien (Edith Piaf)

Avec mes souvenirs
J’ai allumé le feu

13) I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free (Nina Simone)

I wish I could do
All the things that I can do
Though I’m way overdue
I’d be starting anew.