Bungal was one of the first residents on the block. He saw many people in his time and watched the neighbourhood grow. Perhaps, the most important thing Bungal had were the memories of the people he had the pleasure of living with over the years.
For the first twenty years, he could remember a new couple moved in with him when he was very young. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson were newlyweds. They moved in with Bungal in the early twenties and, in their early years, they were party animals. Every weekend they had a big group of friends over and had loud music, dancing, drinking, and smoking. In those times, alcohol was harder to come by because of the ban, but they had connections. Some speculated Mr. Patterson was part of the mob, but I didn't see any evidence to support that theory. With the crash of Wall Street in 1929, the couple fell upon some hard times. They had one baby, Barbara, and a second on the way. During the thirties, Mr. Patterson lost his job and they went bankrupt and had to move out. They could no longer afford to stay with me. It was quiet for a few months, and I was beginning to feel alone. That is, until Patty Deets moved in.
Patty Deets was seeing Johnny Pollo at the time. They were going to get married, but World War 2 started, and they were unsure if Johnny was going to have to go to war or not. Although he wasn't technically in the army, he wanted to support his country and would join, if necessary. A couple of years passed and, just as he was going to propose, the government declared they were going to war and Johnny left. He told Patty when he got back they would be married. At first, she was fine. She would write letters to Johnny and she would receive one back every week. As the months went by, and the War carried on, she received less and less. One month, she received no letters at all, and she would cry every night. I wished there was something I could do, but I couldn't help her. She needed Johnny. Not even her relatives could console her. Finally, she received a letter in the mail, but it wasn't good news. Johnny was shot in the line of duty, trying to defend a Jewish family from the Nazis. They sent her his things, along with a medal of honour for his bravery. She moved out shortly afterwards. She could not bear to live in a house with all the memories her and Johnny shared.
After the war, a Veteran moved in, along with a few of his war buddies. Tommy, Dustin, and Dave were all in the same battalion together and had each other's backs throughout the entire war. Bungal thought he would get to see more days of partying and drinking and music like he did in the twenties, but that would not happen. What ever happened in the War, the three former soldiers had a hard time forgetting. Bungal remembers times when all three men would be yelling in their sleep, crying out in pain. Whatever they were dreaming about, Bungal knew it must have been painful. The sad thing is, none of them ever talked about it. He was sure they could hear one another in the night, but they carried on during the day like nothing happened. Eventually, one by one, they found a girl and moved out. Dave was the last one to leave with Susie. Bungal thought they would stay with him, but once again, he was alone.
The next people to move in were Bobby and Tina Walton. They moved in mid fifties and stayed for many years. The sixties brought transformation for Bungal. His world suddenly became more colourful with neon greens and oranges. Bobby and Tina where new age people. They had parties every weekend and Bungal could always smell something funny in the air. Whatever it was, it sure made all the guests happy. Throughout the sixties and seventies, Bungal went through many transformations. Perhaps the weirdest, in his mind, was the carpet that looked like hair. Shag, was what Bobby and Tina called it. He did not appreciate the nasty brown colour, but there was not much he could do about that. They were in control, and Bungal had to deal with it.
The eighties weren't very eventful for Bungal. The highlight was when Tina and Bobby finally switched the carpets to something a little more practical. Bungal got tired of the loud noise from the vacuum every couple of days. They changed to a light blue carpet that made Bungal a lot happier. Bobby and Tina also changed. They had a few kids and the parties ceased and guests stopped coming over so often. Once the kids grew up a bit, they moved out and Bungal was alone yet again. He didn't mind the time to himself. The last couple of decades were a blur and he needed time to relax.
Late eighties, Bungal’s favourite, and last, tenant moved in. In her sixties at the time, Miss Appleton was a perfect tenant. Her kids had to install ramps and aides to help her live with me, but once those were done, she was perfect. The sweet scent of fresh baked goodies flowed through the air on a daily basis. Pies, cookies, and cakes are just a few of the things she made. Her grandkids, Alyssa and Jarod, came over weekly and she spoiled them greatly. I sometimes felt sorry for the parents when the kids went back to them. They would be like bulls in a china shop from all the sugar. The neighbourhood kids all called her Granny and she always shared her treats with permission from the parents. Her decor was a little tacky and old fashioned, but Bungal didn't mind. The years made him appreciate the old things.
Miss Appleton died in the 2000s. Her son said she had a massive heart attack and was dead before she even hit the floor. They always worried about her having so many sweets, but she loved them, literally, to death. After that, her kids emptied all her things and Bungal was left alone for many years.
Rumours began to spread that Bungal’s place was haunted and nobody wanted to live with him. By 2010, Bungal became so run down and tired of being alone. A man came by and pounded a sign into the lot.
"It's a shame that this old house has to go," the man commented. "It’s been in this neighbourhood since the beginning."
"The new owners want a modern two story house, not this old bungalow. Besides, it has been around since the twenties!" another man said.
Bungal realized his time was coming to an end. Well, he thought, I guess this old house has lived long enough and seen many things. I am falling apart anyways. I had a good run.
After a few more sunrises and sunsets, more men came with giant machines. Bungal knew this was the day he would die.
Good bye, neighbourhood, Bungal thought. Hopefully, some of you other houses can live as long as I have.
One man started up the biggest machine and swung the giant ball. Bungal closed his eyes and accepted his fate.
All writing (c) Mike Deregowski - no reproduction in whole or in part unless written permission is received from the author.