Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2/1 Utilities Included

Our apartment is still what I’d call “new” to us. We only just moved in August from a house that we’d previously lived in for 19 months. Our old house in the country was the place I brought my baby home to. It was where we lived when I got pregnant and it was where we had a yard and had bon fires and raised pigs. It was “our” home. And I hated it! Yes, we are renters so I knew it was only temporary but for some reason we couldn’t ever leave there. We didn’t have a lease and we didn’t have anywhere else more pressing to be. We talked constantly about moving from there. I told people we were looking all the time. It got to the point where they would all just nod and smile at me like the little girl who cried wolf. It wasn’t until Hubby decided to join the Guard that we got serious. Our landlord hated us, of this I’m sure, and couldn’t have been more glad to receive our notice. We’d found the perfect apartment right up the road and were excited to move. Note: I did not say “pack”. When you are a packrat, that’s the part you dread. However, when our dream apartment fell through (read shit bag new landlords who decide to take other applicants before you give them money) we were how you say “up shits creek without a paddle”. I read the paper every day and called on millions of apartments. It would have been easy to find another place to move to if we didn’t have an obese dog and cat to try to explain, “No really he is a lap dog!” and had to stay in a specific area of town to stay close to our babysitter. Oh, and a budget of course.

So, as the days ticked down until we had to move, the stress went up. I was muddled in panic. The prospect of moving in with my mother in law or to a curbside box was near. Then one day I read an ad in the tiny town flier for an upstairs apartment downtown for rent. I went and looked at it the next day. She could have just told me about it over the phone for all I cared. I knew we had to have it, I knew it was our only option. Hubby did not go with me to the viewing. I was there for a total of 60 seconds before I handed her a wad of cash to be considered our security deposit and left with key in hand.

Now, as you are saying to yourself right now and as I should have thought, “This cannot be good”.

It’s not.

The other night; in the middle of the night; we heard the strangest noise. Like a recording of a train almost. It woke both of us up so Hubby got up to look out the window and check it out. It was some special dipshit with his hot rod on the street that had a car horn that sounded like a train and kept honking it. Wow. I love punks. This is almost as good as living directly across the road from a dairy processing plant. I have no idea what they do there, there are the size of a regular house and are located on a city block but there are always one or two semi trucks parked on the street that start up in the middle of the night just to let the engine idle. Or, you know, whatever it is that semi’s do when they just sit there and run and sound annoying as hell. I guess I don’t hang out around enough truck stops to know this one yet.

Our heat is controlled by the lady below us, the same lady (herein referred to as Looney Bin) who gets fall down drunk on a daily basis and listens to her TV at max volume as to cover up the yap of her pint sized shit machine that never shuts up. I’m surprised we have heat at all. I imagine it’s nice and toasty when you fall asleep fully dressed on your couch at 7:00pm. I can only tell when she’s awake by the plume of cigarette smoke that billows up the heat vent when she awakes at 4:00am. Yum.

There’s the neighbor across the street that holds a bi-weekly White Trash Of America meeting in his garage listening to 80’s metal while drinking beer all night (the same man who whistled and cooed and my mother in law one day when she came over). Also the same guy who woke my kid up at 2:30 am after having the cops called on him for a domestic dispute on the lawn with his wife.

There are feral neighbor cats that cry and fight at all hours of the night. In our yard.

Looney Bin shovels her snow behind our car!

Our screen door does not shut all the way. It slams and bangs in the wind every night. Our “front” (read: ONLY) door is downstairs. You must open it and immediately walk up another flight of stairs, through a baby gate to get in to the place.

The porch light is wired to the hallway light. Both must be on together. No either/or. Speaking of wiring! All outlets are on one circuit. If you want to have the air conditioner or the heater or the blow dryer or the microwave on you must first make sure every other light is off or they will pop and you will have to go outside, downstairs and around the house, pass the yapping dog to the circuit breaker to reset it.

What was I thinking?????????