Readability

Life as a Renter

[cap­tion id=“attachment_92412” align=“alignright” width=“300”]apartmentla This is not my place.[/caption]

by baldilocks

I’ve lived in my apart­ment for four­teen months now. After hav­ing spent nine months in home­less hous­ing, I don’t like to com­plain about my present habi­ta­tion. And it is not that bad. Nice, rel­a­tively quiet neigh­bor­hood. Very racially mixed, as I said in my last post. The nois­i­est thing: car alarms and fast drivers.

I’ve talked before about my home­less sojourn; my first room­mate had four AM hal­lu­ci­na­tions fea­tur­ing me knock­ing on the walls and, as a result did things in “retal­i­a­tion” like threaten my life. And, after I proac­tively rid myself of her com­pany, my two new room­mates were very nice older ladies who liked to sleep with all win­dows closed. I usu­ally slept with a fan directly on my face and no covers.

Now, there­fore, I try to revel in the soli­tude, the cool, fresh air and the free­dom from the need to sleep with one eye open.

The only real prob­lem I have liv­ing here is a very slight one: my land­lords’ atti­tudes. Every time I tell them that there’s a prob­lem, they act as if I’ve sab­o­taged their property.

Exam­ple: my front win­dows were stuck in the closed posi­tion for months, begin­ning just two month after I moved in — in Sep­tem­ber of last year. I let it go for the win­ter but when it began to get warm again, I told the own­ers — a mar­ried cou­ple. The man came over and fixed them eas­ily — some­thing I was unable to do because I don’t have the upper body strength nec­es­sary. Then he men­tioned that the win­dows had never got­ten stuck before. When I said that they sim­ply just stopped mov­ing, he said: “sure they did.” I was silent. You don’t want to curse out your landlord.

There have been three other inci­dents like this.

I used to be a land­lady — owner of a duplex and I lived in one of the units — so I under­stand about how ten­ants are some­times. Heck, the teenaged son of my ten­ant bur­gled the bat­tery out of my tem­porar­ily out-​of-​service car while the car was in the garage! I found out when I went to take it to mechanic. (I told him that a func­tion­ing bat­tery had bet­ter mag­i­cally appear under my hood in 24 hours or the police would be informed. I assume that he lifted one from some­one else.) But to auto­mat­i­cally be assumed to be an unrea­son­able breaker-​of-​things doesn’t hap­pen to me often.

It kind of inter­est­ing to be looked down upon and have oth­ers expect the worst of you. Did I men­tion that these peo­ple were black? Los­ing almost every­thing I own has taught me that I am not my mate­r­ial pos­ses­sions. If my land­lords are lucky, they won’t have to dis­cover this in the same man­ner that I did.

No more complaining.

And I have a new video up.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2012. Her sec­ond novel will be done in 2016. Fol­low her on Twit­ter.

Please con­tribute to Juliette’s JOB: Her new novel, her blog, her Inter­net to keep the lat­ter going and COF­FEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Inde­pen­dent Jour­nal­ism — -»»>baldilocks

apartmentla
This is not my place.

by baldilocks

I’ve lived in my apartment for fourteen months now. After having spent nine months in homeless housing, I don’t like to complain about my present habitation. And it is not that bad. Nice, relatively quiet neighborhood. Very racially mixed, as I said in my last post. The noisiest thing: car alarms and fast drivers.

I’ve talked before about my homeless sojourn; my first roommate had four AM hallucinations featuring me knocking on the walls and, as a result did things in “retaliation” like threaten my life. And, after I proactively rid myself of her company, my two new roommates were very nice older ladies who liked to sleep with all windows closed. I usually slept with a fan directly on my face and no covers.

Now, therefore, I try to revel in the solitude, the cool, fresh air and the freedom from the need to sleep with one eye open.

The only real problem I have living here is a very slight one: my landlords’ attitudes. Every time I tell them that there’s a problem, they act as if I’ve sabotaged their property.

Example: my front windows were stuck in the closed position for months, beginning just two month after I moved in—in September of last year. I let it go for the winter but when it began to get warm again, I told the owners—a married couple. The man came over and fixed them easily—something I was unable to do because I don’t have the upper body strength necessary. Then he mentioned that the windows had never gotten stuck before. When I said that they simply just stopped moving, he said: “sure they did.” I was silent. You don’t want to curse out your landlord.

There have been three other incidents like this.

I used to be a landlady—owner of a duplex and I lived in one of the units—so I understand about how tenants are sometimes. Heck, the teenaged son of my tenant burgled the battery out of my temporarily out-of-service car while the car was in the garage! I found out when I went to take it to mechanic. (I told him that a functioning battery had better magically appear under my hood in 24 hours or the police would be informed. I assume that he lifted one from someone else.) But to automatically be assumed to be an unreasonable breaker-of-things doesn’t happen to me often.

It kind of interesting to be looked down upon and have others expect the worst of you. Did I mention that these people were black? Losing almost everything I own has taught me that I am not my material possessions. If my landlords are lucky, they won’t have to discover this in the same manner that I did.

No more complaining.

And I have a new video up.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>>baldilocks