Sunday, October 26, 2008

Moving to the Country

As many people know--mainly because they were forced to listen to me when I called them to cry--I did not take the news about my landlord's properties being foreclosed upon in a manner that could be described as "good" or "reasonable" or "in stride." I kicked around for a few days, feeling snarly and mean, feeling like I wasn't quite up to apartment hunting and, eventually, moving.

Even though just the thought of it made me tired, I started apartment hunting almost immediately after hearing I was a short time from being ousted. The hunting was a vaguely terrifying experience. It's important to realize there are interesting social and economic factors that weigh heavily on this area--one of the most profound being this area of Maine is home to a large population of Somali immigrants--and there are plenty of slumlords in the area who delight in taking advantage of very poor applicants who can barely speak English. I got to meet some of those slumlords during my apartment hunting. I got to see some of the apartments they try to pass off as livable. One night, after having been shown a dark and molding apartment, I came straight home and stood in the shower for twenty minutes.

It seemed hopeless. It seemed dire. It seemed like I would never find a spot to make my new home.

Of course, it wasn't all bad--I did see a beautiful apartment with turrets and balconies and a giant stone fireplace--but the whole process wore on me. I was sick of the constant stream of dialogue in my head. Could I ever move into this disgusting place? No way in hell. How about the beautiful place--can I afford it? Yes, but then I won't be able to travel as much. Will this last place be decent enough to take? No, it smells like dead body and cat urine. Will I ever love any place as much as I love this apartment? Doubtful.

I would wander my apartment at night, staring at the view out my kitchen window, looking down into the giant lilac bushes that bloomed in the spring, filling my entire apartment with the smell of purple. I started saying goodbyes to my hardwood floors, my built-in drawers, to my fireplaces, to my hideaway ironing board that folded out of the wall near the fridge. I said goodbye to everything I loved best.

But then there came a day--a single, beautiful day--where it appeared as though I wouldn't have to move anymore. Our landlord had struck some kind of deal with the bank, and the bank was going to now let all the renters stay. The next day, however, it was revealed that no substantial repairs were going to be made on the house, which meant that I--the only renter whose apartment was plagued with bizarre leaks in the bathroom and spare bedroom--still needed to leave, unless I wanted to continue to live with water pouring from my ceilings.

I did not.

At the end of this all I was exhausted. I was tired of the up-down-up-down-up-down cycle that insisted on following me around day to day. So I signed with an apartment complex out in the country. The apartment is a nice apartment, but I will lose a lot of space. Still, the apartment does have some nice things going for it. I will no longer have to deal with a private owner who does not answer his phone when I call to tell him, well, the bathroom ceiling has collapsed and I don't have a place to go to the bathroom anymore. I will have a dishwasher now, and my own washer and dryer. I will have a deck that overlooks woods, which will, in fall, be just as lovely as anything you could ever hope to see. Even Abbey will get to enjoy the outdoors from that porch.

Maybe I will paint. Maybe I will hang these. Maybe the whole moving process won't be as bad as I think it could be. In fact, on a morning like today's, when I walk into the kitchen to find the floor slick with water because there's a new leak, a leak that lets in rain over my sink and counters, I'm beginning to realize this move is probably way, way, way overdue.

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