The minute my boyfriend passed away, my landlady decided that even though I only rent 1/3rd the square footage (and now presumably would be using much less electricity), I should now pay 2/3rds of the electric bill. When I said that this was unfair, she told me that maybe someday I’d grow up (I’m 49) and realize that luxuries had to be paid for. Luxury, in this instance, is apparently setting one’s thermostat anything below 79 degrees. I was also informed that because I did not socialize with her, I led a hermit lifestyle. I was asked to leave.
Then, at 4 o’clock in the morning, I got a text message from her unemployed, ex-convict son who at the age of 50 lives with his mother, and delights in leaving cigarette butts on my doorstep. He informed me that I was “born to be miserable,” and that he couldn’t wait for me to leave. You haven’t lived until someone of that high quality weighs you, measures you, and finds you wanting.
Then the rental search began, and as has always been the case in this town, the only affordable places were one step up from a cardboard box and/or right next door to a crack den. I was really starting to panic. Images of having to give up my dogs and sleep in my car. But eventually I found a place and will be moving in at the first of the month. I can’t wait, as things are now understandably tense around here.
Setting aside the fact that now that I’ve paid an application fee, a pet fee, and a security deposit, I haven’t a clue where I’m going to come up with the first month’s rent, let’s now focus on the stress of packing my stuff for the fourth time in as many years, and since this, too, will be a rental, there will be another move in my future.
Ugh. I long to be a homeowner one last time. I’d move all my crap in and never, ever, ever leave again. Ever. Gone are the days when I could move everything in one or two carloads. Now I require trailers and long-suffering friends. Why, oh why do I always move during the hottest month of the year? And why do I have all this junk? Most of it never got unpacked from the last few moves. These things are nothing but a packing box shaped albatross around my neck. I ought to just pile all this stuff up and set it afire. Preferably in my old apartment as I drive away for the last time. It’s not like she’s going to give me back my security deposit anyway, right?
On a lighter note, I’m actually excited about this new place. It has a bathtub. When I saw that, I nearly burst into tears. It’s been so long since I’ve rented a place with a bathtub that my body cannot remember what it’s like to be submerged in water. And it’s much closer to one of the bridges where I work. Also, unlike my current residence, it doesn’t have wall to wall dark green shag carpet that is nothing but a dog hair magnet, and the owner won’t be hoarding rusting piles of debris in the back yard. And best of all, I won’t share a wall with anyone, with or without a prison record. When you work graveyard shifts, you appreciate that quality above all others.
Having a better place to look forward to kind of takes the sting off of the weeks of packing in my future. It will also take me out of the neighborhood that is full of nothing but painful memories of my late boyfriend. And heaven knows the utility bill will be lower.
At times, even when you realize deep down that change is needed, it takes a little bit of a push to get you started. Sometimes it takes a hostile shove. But who cares, as long as you land in a soft place? So if you want me to get out, dear lady, out I shall most definitely get.