Salisbury Stakes

Okay, yes. I am in a mood — true story! But I am frustrated! It’s all encapsulated in my lunchtime adventures. See, I went to look at an apartment during my lunch hour. It’s in my price range, and there was a balcony. A balcony! I loved that. And skylights! So there was this part of me that got all — well I can’t think of a fitting analogy right now because I am lightheaded (more on that later), but I’ve been so poor for so long. You know, working hard, two jobs every day, just like Thea, but at least she had a house! I live in the hatch! Which is fine, but now I have to move out by August.

So yay, more moving. U-Haul, how I missed you so. But did you know that it’s next to impossible to find an apartment for $900? That’s how much I am paying now, and struggling to do so!

Anyway, I found an ad for this apartment, and though it was in Salisbury, which I had no idea was a town, and though it was not on my beloved Babylon train line, it was supposedly close to my job and also, see above, re: skylights and balconies! I used my lunch hour to see it, and first of all, it took a LONG TIME to get there; it was not close to my job at all!

Strike one.

But I got there with no real problems aside from the fact that everything on the radio sucked the whole way, and driving at lunchtime in the sun with some good music is one of my timeless pleasures in life. I know, CD player. But, a) I don’t have one, and b) I’m driving my mom’s minivan this week (more on that later).

Once at the house, I see that the landlords have a big, huge, barking dog!

Strike two.

Sorry, I do love dogs, but I am afraid of big ones, due to my nightmares. I have nightmares about airplanes and dogs, mainly, with the occasional whale thrown in for good measure, and while I have yet to experience any whale catastrophes (knock on wood), my plane dreams are eerily prescient, and I have no desire to tempt fate by shacking up with a big scary dog who has no loyalty to me.

Where was I? Oh okay, so then the lady led me upstairs. Very cute, wooden stairs. Very windy (as in wine-dy, not breezy) and narrow.

Strike three.

Don’t get me wrong, I was quite charmed by this. I love wood (yeah yeah, ha ha, stay with me here!) but I’ve experienced enough couch drama to last a lifetime without actually MOCKING fate by acting like I’m getting my big-ass couch up this Statue of Liberty staircase!

But hey. Maybe I could give my parents my couch and get something from Babz’s church, also known as IKEA. Especially after seeing the balcony, which was adorable and lovely! I don’t really do the morning thing, but I was having Taster’s Choice-esque visions of coffee with my mother on the weekends.

What’s the opposite of strike? Oh, a hit! Hit one!

We went inside, and there was a ton of sun! And it was very pretty and homey, with slanted ceilings — not for everyone, but I love them!

Hit two!

Unfortunately, the stove was very little. It reminded me of my magnet of a stove. Oh, have I ever mentioned that my beloved magnet collection was a casualty of The Non-Storage Incident Of 2004? This seems like the place to do it. RIP, “Wake up little sushi” magnet of awesomeness. But I do have a tiny tiny stove on my refrigerator, and this looked like it.

Strike four!

I really love to cook and bake. I don’t do it super often (see above, re: my Thea existence), but this was just too small.

But still…maybe things would balance out. The bathroom was also small, with no tub. No strike, no hit, because that’s what I’m used to.

There was mad storage everywhere. I think the guy was preparing for Y2K or something. There was a stunning amount of shelves, drawers, you name it, built into every single wall!

Hit three!

You can’t underestimate storage space in an apartment. Especially for a packrat like myself.

Then there was the bedroom. VERY big, very beautiful. Yay!

Hit four!

Wait.

Wait!

There was no living room. Oh no!

Strike five!

It was so weird! I mean, I’ve done the whole living room/kitchen combo thing. That’s fine. But there was no combo to the kitchen. It was just…a kitchen. And yes, the bedroom was big. Big enough for my couch even, assuming my telekinetic powers finally kicked in over the next few weeks, and I could get it up the wooden stairs.

But no. Maybe for a hundred less a month. Though, man — the skylights…that balcony…okay, maybe.

“We need a tenant in the next two weeks, June 1st at the very latest.”

Strike six!

I actually knew this ahead of time. But now that I was going to have to get rid of and/or levitate my couch, as well as figure out where in the world to put my computer, this felt overwhelming to me.

Still…MAD storage space

There remained one final, deciding, make-or-break factor. I had to feel out the “Will you be a warden” situation. I very gingerly approached the subject of having people over, using the words “now and then” and “not big parties.” She (I say “she” because she never told me her name) —

— Oops! Strike seven!

I mean, she knew my name.

But so anyway, she started talking about how she and her husband were old (they weren’t), and they didn’t want loud music, that they “didn’t tolerate it from their kids, so (they) definitely wouldn’t now.”

Strike eight!

Dude, I don’t even look like the loud music type! But I’ll be damned if I can’t bust out some Carrie Underwood et al. while doing my Sing CD in the shower on a Saturday afternoon!

Then she made mention of her current tenant. “Her boyfriend comes up from Georgia now and then…”

“Georgia”?

“…and he stays over, so we don’t mind the occasional visitor in moderation, but of course, nothing –”

— Okay, I honestly don’t remember the word she used here, but it carried with it the strong implications of “9 ½ Weeks” being reenacted above her head, but like, “9 ½ Weeks” with, I don’t even know. Chain mail or something.

And while I don’t actually own any chain mail (though I still really would like a sword and also some fencing equipment), I don’t need to feel like I’m sneaking boys into my room if I have people over.

So, yeah. It was all over. Two many strikes. Eight, in fact. Nine, if you include the fact that the directions were not great, and I of course had to get back to work in the most ridiculous way imaginable, due to my previously discussed directional disability. Like, the Meadowbrook Parkway was involved. You may not know all the logistics of this, but trust me, the Meadowbrook Parkway should not have been involved.

Ten strikes, if you count the fact that my mother called on my way back to tell me my car inspection bills totaled $778.00. (This was why I had her minivan. She took my car in for me, God bless her soul.) Okay, that has nothing to do with the apartment. But I was late getting back to work. So that can be ten.

Eleven, if you include that I still haven’t eaten today, since I’m low carbing it to sexify (TM Peter Griffin) myself for the cruise and could not stop for salad.

So now I’m hungry, sad, and docked a half hour’s pay. And homeless! Not literally, but still. I really, really don’t want to move back to my parents’ house again. Not because of my family at all, just out of principle and also because the idea of having a POD in my yard freaks me out a little.

And really, all this stopping and starting is taking a bit of a toll. I know, such is life, and I am blessed in so many ways…but still. The idea of spending two Christmases in a row at the same place is nice. I’d like to feel like I have a home. And even though my apartment is currently a basement, it was starting to feel a bit like one, what with rounding the corner to my year anniversary there. Oh, well. Maybe my parents can build a balcony outside the computer room.

© May 3, 2006

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