5/21/07

Housin’ Thangs

It’s not easy being one of those birds whose songs are too beautiful to survive a cage. My life is the instant it takes a snowflake to melt on an eyelash. I'm the fleeting smell of fennel in a speeding country car; a bonnie stranger's quick-evaporating breath on a cold neck in a crowded room; a soon forgot pad of fresh-cut grass underfoot.

I'm a total fucking spaz. Just a great big spaz.

I mean, I tend to freak the fuck out about not that much and melt into a puddle of anxious ooze, eventually internalizing so much angst that I overreact something fierce and make totally inappropriate gestures of one kind or another. Some of you have been on the receiving-end of some of these gestures.

It doesn’t have to be a life-altering circumstance that puts me on edge this way. It took me ‘til about age 18 to be able to feel confident – or at least not terrified – when I picked up the phone to order a pizza, let alone to call the Chlamydia doctor, or to complain that I had been overcharged at the DMV. I tend to let all people, at all times, walk all over me. OK. KO.

This is part of why so many of my late-model friendships fall apart as soon as they get airborne and swallow up the landing gear. (The other part is that I don’t like very many people very much, which is perhaps better articulated as, "I'm a prick").

It’s also why it was a mixed blessing to have such an iron-clad support staff throughout college. I imagine that if you could compare my undergraduate lifestyle to all the lifestyles of history, it would most closely resemble an 18th Century European prince. Not a good, important prince. A shitty prince that wasn’t due to inherit anything. Or, like, the 7th child of a minor duke. Total luxury, insofar as luxury connotes inactivity. I was like Hamlet if he'd been kind of a stupid douche, and had never been the scandalous crux of any international intrigue. My activities can be summed up thusly: 1) learning bullshit, 2) reclining, 3) pining.

I didn’t have to pay for shit because my Great-Grandma married an heir to the Amana Refrigerator fortune (or whatever), and she set up a trust fund that covered every dollar I spent in those four years (and not a penny more). I had tenacious friends who loved to scout places to live, and didn’t trust anybody else to handle the bills. Of the three houses I lived in during college, I only saw one before I moved in. I wrote them checks, and never saw what happend to the checks. I uttered the phrase “you pick” more than any other.

And now, somehow, I have to reach down my throat and pull up the guts to find an apartment in Baltimore, a city I’ve been to once since I was 12.

I think DMX said it best when he said, “I would tell you to suck my dick, but you might suck it.”

So you log into the U veryspecial website for incoming students with listings, and you get a half-paragraph about a one-bedroom (“CLEAN! SPACIOUS! DISGUSTING! NO DISHWASHER! AN ABSOLUTE MUST-SEE!”) with a non-negotiable June 1st lease.

Or you log onto Craigslist and try to make a decision based on pictures like this.
kitchen
MUST-SEE! Only $1,250 / day. Water, electricity, heat, gas, garbage, parking, and various peripheral taxes not included (apartment complex is technically its own sovereign nation wherein you must Render Under Caesar, Caesar being in this case the name of the landlord, a 5'3" bald Greek dude who likes to take his aggression out on poor, unwitting tenants).

My undergraduate animus, a guy who is perhaps as talented than I am, but who is a much much much much harder worker and a vastly more qualified candidate, just flew back from North Carolina, where, I gather, he just locked up his housing arrangements at Duke. Already.

WTF?!

As far as I know, places with August leases haven’t even been released yet.

But I don’t know, because I’ve never had to do this shit. Or anything like it. Because I had awesome roommates. Roommates who will be terrible parents, because they’ll never let their children learn any lessons for themselves. Bloody busybodies!

It’s always been one of the strangest laws of nature – the more recently something died, the better it tastes. So while I’m reveling in this cosmic injustice of agency, I’m trying to figure out how the FUCK I’m going to find an apartment halfway across the country. No, check that, I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to find a BUNCH of apartments that I can set up appointments to view, and then how I’m going to drive to Chicago to fly to Baltimore to view said apartments. I’m too young to rent a car, and too broke to take a bunch of cabs. And this is so ludicrously arbitrary to me, because I’m completely bereft of the ability to distinguish between interchangeable two-room shitholes. Either I have loud neighbors or I don’t, and I won't know 'til I get there, and I’ll suffer in silence either way. So I just sit there, every day, staring at 27 open tabs from craigslist, knowing I’ll never live in any of the apartments they suggest.

My friend J hit it right on the head when he said, “it’ll be as hard or as easy as you want it to be.” I’m the type of person who wants this shit to be as hard as possible. I’m a martyr, without any of the positives the term implies (like being dead). This is hard stuff for somebody as neurotic as I am to deal with. How neurotic, you ask? I’ve been knighted as an honorary Jew by Jews, and I was once affectionately referred to as a “faggot” by Lee the lesbian bartender in Chicago. Ahhh, that was a good day. Even if it's all internal (isn't that a seedy porn website? yeah it is!), I am one persecuted motherfucker. This ought to be a fun month.

Also: The wikipedia trivia for Lil Flip:
• Lil' Flip has his own soda called 'Gangsta Lean'.
• Lil' Flip is 6'2".
• He calls his car "The Lexus From Texas".

PS, I'm still more charming than any of you cretins. (Just trying to save some face.)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know a guy who grew up in Baltimore. Let me know if you think he might be useful (at least for neighborhood info).

Budget (behind Flowerama on Riverside) will rent to people over 18 if you talk to the owner first.

-A

nick said...

Yeah homes I be mad stressin bout that. I'm going down there the first week of June to figure it all out. I'll let you know the exact dates as soon as I know, and maybe we can freak out together if we're there at the same time (I'll be with my girlfriend, since she's moving with me, but she freaks out too).

Ryan Martin said...

I'll see if Joe'd be willing to help.

D said...

This just proves that Flowerama is the center of something big. Like the key on some ABC Lost-type show.

Nick - let me know them dates. I'll probably be later, but who knows.

Ryan - that would be cool, but I don't want to be no trouble.

Thanks fellers.