Harvard Square Busker: "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eensy weensy spider went up the water spout. Down came global warming, and burned the spider up. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."
I walked to the next busker, who was doing some kickass keyboards to a song I knew but couldn't name, and gave him $5 while shaking my head in the direction of Global Warming Spider Guy.
There's a person in Harvard Square playing a muzak version of "The Day The Music Died". I think it's meta commentary on his own ability.
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.
Yesterday at 1 AM: sent out twenty e-mails to realtors and home owners in The Greater Boston Area.
Yesterday at 9AM: First e-mail response for house in Dorchester with laundry, recent renovations, and an affordable price. Wants to know more about me.
Yesterday at 9:30AM: Send response. Ask for viewing.
Yesterday at 10AM: Weird text from Dorchester house, making sure I know I would have to pay full rent. As though, somewhere in Boston is a landlord/realtor that takes partial rent, and the rest in M&Ms and lube stock. Casually mentions not having laundry.
Yesterday at 10:15AM: I mention that I'm disappointed that there's no laundry, since their ad mentions having laundry twice.
Yesterday at 10:17AM: Realtor asks for screenshots. I send them.
Yesterday at 10:30AM: Realtor sends me screenshots from their end, which is nearly identical, but specifically mentions No Laundry. I google laundromats near the house, am satisfied, request a time to look at the house.
Yesterday at 2:30PM: Realtor responds "Anyhoo" and suggests meeting at 11AM today. I accept.
This morning at 9AM: Realtor can't meet at 11AM. Can we reschedule for 11:30. I accept.
This morning at 9:30AM: Realtor can't meet at 11:30 but will send "someone" to meet me at the house "around 11:30". I agree, but only because they can't hear me grumbling at my phone.
This morning at 9:31AM: Realtor unsure anyone in our shared hemisphere can be at the house by 11:30. Maybe we can try this Sunday at 1pm?
This afternoon at 2PM: Realtor unsure house still exists. Posits that we may be in a pocket dimension where real estate doesn't exist. Is worried they've wasted their life. I agree.
This evening at 5:15PM: The house is back. It now has laundry but no bedrooms or gravity field, and is somehow in Winnepeg. Would that be too long a commute to Harvard Square?
This evening at 5:30PM: The house is gone again, but the laundry facilities are still there. In Winnepeg.
Tonight at 11:15PM: Realtor can't find their glasses. Is worried I didn't receive the last text. Sends a party of hedgehogs to track down my last known cell phone location. Realizes I am in a different pocket dimension. But also in Dorchester.
Tonight at 11:40PM: The hedgehogs massacre a troupe of Amway salespeople in Peabody Square. Lose all interest in hunting me down.
Tomorrow at 1:15AM: Realtor texts that gravity has returned to apartment, apartment has returned to Dorchester, laundry is still in Winnepeg, and now the bathrooms are in Tanzania. Is that inconvenient? And I have I seen their wallet? Or their toenail clippers?
Tomorrow at 1:17AM: I say that I am categorically uninterested in the apartment, and working with this particular realtor. This prompts seventeen unanswered texts asking what went wrong, escalating from apologies for the inaccurate ad, to using hate speech to point out that nobody will ever love any of my descendants, either.
Tomorrow at 7:30AM: I wake up in the apartment I did not want. There is partial gravity. seventeen roommates, one quarter bathroom (a bucket and a melting glacier), and an altar to Cthulu in the middle of the possibly-living room. I am shown a twelve year lease agreement with my signature in blood. No pets. And a crudely drawn map to Tanzania, but no mention of Winnipeg.
Person 1: You can't just go around breaking things in Heaven, you'll get kicked out.
Person 2: But I love breaking things, and Heaven is supposed to be the place where you get to be happy and shit.
P1: Then you better hope there's a wrecking crew or something up there because you can't break other peoples' stuff in Heaven. It probably just puts itself together anyway.
P2: That would be some shit. I would hate that.
P1: See. Like I said. You're a bad person. I'll probably see you in my Heaven, but probably because it would be your Hell.
Random Loiterer: "Are you new?"
Me: "No, I've worked here for almost a decade."
RL: "I haven't seen you before. Where's the woman who works here?"
RL: "And the other guy?"
Me: "There are a few other guys, but the other guy who worked on Tuesdays was just covering for me for a while."
RL: "A while? I've been coming here for months."
Me: "I was gone for January and February."
RL: "Two months vacation? Must be nice."
Me: "I was in a coma."
RL: "Oh. Uh. Sorry."
My favorite loiterer of the day to her insufferable friend, who was wandering around ranting about "his vampire novel":
"Maybe before you start worrying about the fan base for your series of vampire novels, you should, I don't know, actually sit down and write at least a few pages of your first vampire novel. Or, like, anything. It's tough to get an audience before you've produced the product."
There's this tiny clock in the guest room at my mother's that's been bugging me out. No matter what time of day I look at it, it's always somewhere between 715 and 900. Day, night, afternoon. I kept mentioning to ask about it. Because it reminded me of being in the hospital when I was still on a lot of drugs, and was convinced the analog clock was wrong because my brain wasn't up to processing big hand/little hand or Roman Numerals.
I just took a closer look at the clock in the guest room.
It's a digital thermometer.
All week long, my very southern nurses have been asking me about my "wife and/or kids". I chose only to talk about my cats.
Tonight, nursing student Tank Handsome came in to get updated on my case:
Me: I am sorry. I don't remember meeting you.
TH: You were pretty wasted.
Me: I hope I wasn't too embarrassing.
TH: You were fairly naked.
Me: That's usually second date material.
TH: You were very aggressive for an unconscious guy.
I still got moves, even when I'm immobile.
I woke up annoyed. I know there are those of you who imagine I wake up annoyed every day, but you're wrong. Every other Thursday, I wake up Filled With Rage. And Saturdays are usually reserved for Confused Ire.
Out in the kitchen, my roommate was listening to an audiobook. I have to assume the book is called Detective Filesearcher And The Files From The FIle Cabinet. Here's the excerpt that I woke up to.
<<He opened the file cabinet to search for the file that would help him clear the case but the fie cabinet had been tampered with and the files were out of order. Someone didn't want him to find the file.
His search was taking too long. Any minute now someone would walk into the office and find him searching for the file, and the gig would be up. He had to find the file fast.
When he finally found the file, it seemed light. He should have held the file under his arm as he exited the office but the file was awkward. He worried someone would see him carrying the file out of the office. But no one did.
He drove to Danny's house. She answered the door in her robe. The belt of the robe was askew just enough to reveal the outline of her nightgown. It reminded him of how the file was slightly falling out of the file folder.
"What's that file?" Danny asked, questioningly.
"Nevermind the file." He said. "I'm hungry."
"Fine. I'll make eggs for you and your file." She said file-ingly.
While Danny cooked eggs, he went into the garage with the file. Parts of the file were missing. There were spreadsheets and TL-9 reports, and pictures, and paperwork, and newspaper articles but still there was something not in the file.
"Who had tampered with the file," he wondered "and what had they taken from the file?"
Suddenly, the garage door opened. It was the FBI.
"I'm Detective Persons. FBI." The FBI agent said. "I'm here for the file."
"What file?" He asked, putting the file on the hood of the car.
Danny opened the garage door. "What are you doing in my garage?" Danny asked. "Is this about the file?"
"Keep your mouth shut, Danny." He said.
"I'm from the FBI." The FBI agent said. "Go back into the house ma'am."
"This is my garage." Danny said while standing in her garage.
"Ma'am. I'm from the FBI and I'm going to need you to leave your garage."
"But it's my garage." Danny said to the FBI agent.
"Ma'am. This doesn't concern you. This is FBI business. I'm an FBI agent. I need you to leave."
Danny covered her nightgown with her robe. "You need me to leave my garage so you can talk about the file?" Danny asked.
"Yes ma'am." The FBI agent said.
"It's about the file." he said.
Danny left the garage, clutching her robe around her nightgown.
"Looks like I'm never going to get those eggs." He said.
"Is that the file on the hood of the car?" The FBI agent asked.
"What file?" He asked. He had brushed the file to the garage floor while FBI Agent Persons talked to Danny.
"I'm afraid you're going to have to come with me." FBI Agent Persons said. "We have some questions about a missing file."
They walked out the garage door, the file still loose on the garage floor. He hoped Danny found it before the FBI agents got a search warrant. As he got into the car, he imagined Danny picking up the files in her bathrobe, the belt askew, revealing the outline of her nightgown. He filed that thought away.>>