Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
Ace And Mel
11:00 AM: A compatriot offers me a ride to The House Of No Gravity, which is being shown by The Realtor With No Memory (who, for brevity's sake, we will call Ace). Or, it would be, but they have double booked, so a different realtor is going to show me the house.
***a giant statue in front of a Buddhist temple mocks the trip to Clam Point, there are no clams on the street, no point to this journey***
11:20 AM: Ace's spouse/business partner shows up. The apartment doesn't match the photos. The "giant living room" is the size of a travel box of Ritz crackers. The carpet has pulled a great deal of its hair out. Every wall and cabinet face has started to peel away. If two people enter the dining "room" at the same time, the walls will burst and the window will shatter. There are no knobs or handles on the solitary closet door. The door to the murder basement is locked. The apartment is a five minute walk to the T, but it's only forty yards from the commuter rail track, which sounds like it coming through the bedroom. The back "porch" is missing a railing and a step. Someone was definitely murdered in that bathroom, and I wouldn't have taken the time to clean it up, either. I thank Ace's business partner, and text Ace that I'm not interested.
***I wish there hadn't been gravity there, so I wouldn't remember how that carpet felt Through My Shoes.***
11:30: I get a ride to Fields Corner. Y'all, someone needs to start a GoFundMe for Fields Corner. The stairs are, literally, crumbling. At least they match the walls? None of the people waiting for the T made me fear for my life, but I could absolutely see that entire station being swallowed in a sinkhole.
11:45: Ace has found a place near Shawmut, and I am on the train going the other way, but I get off at Andrew, and head back. I finally meet Ace, and we enter what is a one bedroom apartment that is more expensive than I'd pay for a two bedroom apartment. And it smells like someone peed on the wall. Not a cat or a dog. A person. Once again, Ace had told me a place was renovated when it clearly hadn't been murd---I'm sorry renovated, why would I think someone had been murdered, there, too? It clearly hadn't been renovated since the previous tenant/serial killer moved in in 1981.
***At least the bloodstained carpet matched the curtains?***
12:15: I eat lunch, and get a text from a different realtor who wants me to meet them on Dorchester Ave at 3. They seem nice.
***I hate nice people.***
12:45: Ace has a place in Everett. Everett is not a real place. There are no trains there. How does a city exist without trains?
1:00: Ace has a place by JFK, but only if I can get there soon. I grab a Lyft. I arrive on time. The place is not actually available. I consider banishing Ace to the dimension of Failed Realtors. But they're very nice.
***I hate nice people. Choo-choo.***
2:00: I am already in JFK, so I wander around the area checking out the bars, restaurants, convenience stores, laundromats, and various businesses. I decide the nice realtor who is not Ace will be called Mel.
***There is no house at the street address Mel gave me, but I hover in the space where the apartment should be, in hopes it will eventually appear.***
2:30: Ace messages me about a house in Quincy. The landlord sounds like a dick before I even meet him. I can hear him pounding his feeble chest and slinging poo through the way Ace asks me various questions about my job and income that were not a factor for any other apartment. He wants us to meet at 4:30. I am certain he will not be there.
***I will him to not be there.***
2:40: Ace messages me about meeting at another apartment near JFK. I tell them we can meet at 4. They will then give me a ride to the 4:30 appointment in Quincy.
***The Quincy apartment is a block away from where I lived with the Millerz family on-and-off between 1999 and 2010. I've missed the neighborhood, and wouldn't mind being back there.***
2:55: Ace calls me to let me know they will be late. It is 2:55. We are supposed to meet at 4. I tell them I will wait for them at 4. They sound disappointed.
2:58: Ace calls me to let me know that the 4:00 house is no longer available, but they'll meet me at 4:30 in Quincy. SHIT. The last call was not from Ace, it was from Mel, who I am supposed to meet at 3, but who I just told I couldn't meet until 4. I call Mel back, explain the error. Mel is already on their way back to the office but will U-turn to meet me at the address that I can't even find.
***Fucken Ace's scatterbrain is contagious. Choo-choo.***
3:15: Mel tells me that the apartment I can't find is above the liquor store I've been standing in front of for twenty minutes. They will be there soon.
***I don't need to live above a liquor store. I really don't need a roommate who will be excited to live above a liquor store. I am calling it a convenience store because it also has eggs, and juice, and soda, and candy. It's convenient that it contains nothing I currently need.***
3:20: My dad calls. My IRS refund came in. Our inheritance from my grandmother is still five months away. My passport is on the island. My social security card is on the island. A check from my last freelance job is on the island. Scotch is on the island, and my father is determined to drink all of it. We make plans to meet if I find an apartment I like.
3:40: Mel shows up. The apartment above the liquor store has been renovated Since the ad was placed. It's beautiful. It's two beds, a bath and a half (one shower and a toilet in one room, one toilet in another), the kitchen is modern and just tiled. Both bathrooms newly tiled. Hardwood floors gleaming. View...acceptable. Fire escape off the kitchen. Roof access. Closet space. Cats no problem. Landlord has already run background check. Credit check. Doesn't ask for references. I tell Mel I have at least once more apartment to see with Ace, but that I really like the apartment. Mel tells me that I am the first person to see that apartment, and there are no more appointments left for the rest of the day. The landlord is taking the keys. Won't be back until Monday.
***Sometimes I dance on the inside. Sometimes the outside, but this time just the inside.***
3:55: I order a Lyft to Quincy. The driver shows up. Back seat tarped over. Stench of vomit. Stain on the tarp. Cheap weed stink. Has GPS but asks me where Quincy is. Otherwise doesn't address me at any point. Becomes only the second ever Lyft driver I don't give five stars to.
4:15: I arrive in Quincy. I wander over to the formerly Millerz house. It is almost unrecognizable, apart from the location of the doors. The sun porch is now a room inside. The tree in the front yard is gone. The trash barrels are not pink.
**Ask me about the pink trash barrels next time I see you.***
4:25: Ace arrives. I am reading a book. Ace asks if I am Adam, even though we have seen each other twice today within five hours. They reinforce my negative opinion of the landlord. I say the price is pretty good for a 2 BR that allows cats so I'm still interested. Ace says "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck." This is not going to be a pet friendly apartment. It is not a pet friendly apartment. The landlord doesn't show but a maintenance man lets us in. There is an altar in the front window. The maintenance man tells me that if you put money in the dish at the altar's feet, it will bring you good luck. Ace asks about pets. The maintenaince man says "No cats, no dogs, no snakes, no hamsters, no rats, no lizards, no crickets, no rabbits, no rocks. No pets. If we let one in, we have to let 'em all in. Not on my watch. I rebuilt this place after the last property manager destroyed it, let me tell you" a bunch of racist shit about Asian people. I am definitely not moving here. Ace mentions my cats. The guy says "No way, Jose." like I knew he would. Ace apologizes profusely to me. I am very nice about it. I must hate myself. I take my quarter back from the altar on my way out.
6:15PM: Back at the place I'm staying, I e-mail Mel about the apartment. They e-mail me back immediately saying no one else has seen it, but that they are busy, and can't get back to me again until late tonight.
I believe them.
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