I live on a fancy street in Melbourne’s inner north. Like, it’s so fancy it doesn’t even have a name, it’s simply called “The Avenue”.
It’s a long street, surrounded by parks and packed to the brim with slightly bourgeois inner-city types who share a penchant for succulents, passive aggressive notes and bureaucracy.
I’ve lived there for several years now, squished into a triangular apartment with three others.
Last night, I was quietly finishing off some work on my living room floor when a hand reached in, past the unlocked fly-wire screen door of our apartment.
I assumed it belonged to one of my housemate’s mums. It didn’t.
Attached to the hand was one of my neighbours, let’s call her “Rosemary” (okay, her name is Rosemary) and in its partner, as in, her other hand, she was holding a piece of paper.
Printed on it was the January 2017 edition — the only edition — of our “Residents Newsletter”.
At first I was delighted, I thanked her sincerely and immediately stuck it on the fridge.
Then I read it. I mean, it was suspiciously official looking for a document my neighbour clearly whipped up in Microsoft Word.
From rubbish collection to bicycle storage, the newsletter outlined all the rules for life in our block and, um, I didn't realise there were any?
But here they were. A set of seven-ish commandments set out in Arial font and handed down from the lofty heights of our newly-invented Owners Corporation Committee.