The last week was god-awful, but I’m better now.
I met with my landlord on Sunday morning. I was so upset that I thought the intensity of my anxiety was going to kill me, but on the outside, I think that I held my shit together. I am a good actress. Gave the man half of July’s rent in cash and told him that I appreciated how patient he’s been with me the last few months. He’s a good landlord, I really like living in this building, I would like to stay if possible. Happy to give him two months’ security up front if he’s willing to renew my lease.
He was nice. Shook my hand and told me that he would get back to me.
Meanwhile, I’ve been running around the Tri-State area hustling my ass off. You know the old cartoons where Wile E. Coyote is chasing Road Runner, and their legs are moving so fast that they become a big blur? Well, that was little Miss Margo. I think that I slept about fifteen minutes in a week. My mind was chock-full of worst scenarios. My BOOKS! My BIRDS! Going back to my crappy redneck state IN DISGRACE! (in my nightmares, all roads lead back to my crappy redneck state)
Then I come home and find a letter from the landlord left under the door. I am proud to tell you that I immediately opened it without fortifications of scotch or martinis.
Get this: the man offered to extend the lease on the conditions of a ten percent increase in my rent and five (5!) months’ payment in advance.
FIVE MONTHS?! Hell, for that much, I might at well move! Spent a long night on Craigslist researching potential monthly rentals and apartments available for subletting.
I finally reached the end of my rope.
I couldn’t call my family. I just couldn’t. I would literally rather die. And yeah, I know it must look weird from the outside.
I called the Surgeon for advice. I told myself that it was reasonable. I was his quasi-girlfriend for years, after all.
He picked up on the first ring.
“What’s the matter? Tell me what’s happening.” The first words out of his mouth. Tell me he wasn’t waiting for this.
I told him. I think that I kept my composure. From the outside, I probably sounded okay.
He wanted to immediately call my landlord himself, but I refused. The Surgeon knows how to persuade people, but he can also get his way by intimidating them, and I didn’t want him flying off the handle at my landlord. Besides, I’m a grown-ass woman, I can talk to my landlord myself.
He told me what I needed to do. Adjusted my perspective, if you will.
It must be nice to live knowing that you have power in the world. It must be nice to think this way all the time.
You’re being naive! You’re vulnerable and he knows it and he’s trying to squeeze you for money. NOBODY asks for five months’ security up front. That is absurd. It’s insulting! He doesn’t want you to move. If you leave, he’ll have to clean the place and repaint it and show it to people and he’ll be out at least two months’ rent, and then his profit for the year will evaporate. Also, he has no idea what he’s gonna get when he gets a new tenant–he might get a flake who defaults and ties him up in court for six months when he tries to evict. You are reliable.
Then he gave me legal advice I can’t write here.
Call me back and read the letter to me before you send it to him. You are way too polite.
Well, I’m not going to do that, but I am going to take the day off and enjoy a nap. I’m very, very tired.