bunt sign

Tuesday, August 15, 2000

For about four hours today, I thought we had the place rented. Landlord Fred rapped on my door around three this afternoon, to be sure I'd be here at six. That's when an "elderly couple" was coming to do the walk-through.

Prospective tenants came and went all day. I went through the motions of showing them around, even though I knew they weren't in the running. One couple brought along a daughter about the same age as the oldest Noisy kid. That could have been interesting.

With classes starting next week at Santa Rosa JC, the parade of Very Young Adults continued. These are people who are fun to be around, and probably (but not necessarily) responsible, since they're going to school and not living at home. But anyone who was seen as a potential threat to serenity was given the overly polite bum's rush. (Not by me — let's make that clear.)

Not that there's any peace and/or quiet here now. The Noisies were especially boisterous today; I wonder if they don't want Fred to rent the place. I know that they'd asked if some cousins of theirs, a couple with two teenagers, could take it.

They didn't fit Fred's profile, especially after he learned that they wanted to create some kind of access between the two units. I pictured them knocking out the common wall, but maybe they just wanted to put a gate in the back fence. Either way, no go.

About five o'clock, a soft-spoken bear of a man looked the place over. He has a daughter who stays with him every other weekend. Since he looked to be around thirty, she is unlikely to be of driving age yet.

One of the considerations is apparently the maximum vehicular capacity of the driveway, which includes a parking area for all three units. (When I move, I'll have my own dedicated driveway. All mine, just me and the water guy every two weeks. Plus all of my many visitors, of course.)

From five until seven tonight, I paced. I couldn't relax, couldn't let my guard down, couldn't even sit without jumping up at any sound that might be car wheels in the drive or a knock on the door. I wanted to make a good impression. I wanted Fred to get his "elderly couple."

At seven I finally heard something stirring outside. I peeked through the half-drawn blinds in time to see Fred's car leaving. It would have been nice to know if the "elderly couple" had called to cancel, so that I could take my shoes off and start thinking about dinner. Whatever. They never showed.

It's not up to me to rent the place out for the landlords, but I feel responsible to keep it as clean and presentable as possible during the walk-through period. I've been as accommodating as I know how to be.

It was hot today, and I had a lot going on at work, besides picking my car up from the mechanic's this afternoon. I'm anxious about this move, and eager to have it over. I need to look at the new place again before I can make arrangements with the phone company. At first I just hinted, but today I came out and told Fred I wanted to get in there. He never gave me a straight answer, but at least he's aware of the situation.

The problem is that the landlords are trying to move me to their other unit and get a new tenant in this one, all without any down time. They don't want to lose a month's rent from either place, or even a week's. This puts a real strain on my limited capacity to cope with sudden massive upheaval.

At best, it takes me a long time to get used to major changes in my life. That's why I lived at the last place for thirteen years, and why I've been at the same job for fourteen years. I stayed at the job before this one for eight years, and the one prior to that for four. I left each of those jobs for reasons that were initiated by someone else. Otherwise, I might still be selling shoes on Main Street in Sebastopol.

To be moving again, after only four months, isn't just unusual for me. It's improbable, and I would have guessed impossible. I didn't know what I was getting into here, and I didn't know how badly I would react to the noise level.

Maybe I'm spoiled. I haven't had to deal with a neighbor this close for maybe 25 years. Twice when I was in my twenties I moved out of apartments because I couldn't stand the noise, but that was half my life ago. I wouldn't want to be the person I was in those days. I wouldn't even want to know that person, yet here I am, testy and touchy, ready to growl and bark (and bite?) at the first sound.

At least I haven't put my fist through any walls since I've been here. But I'm not getting out any too soon.

The sad joke is that I would still be resigned to putting up with the Noisies and making the best of a bad situation, if the new place hadn't been offered to me out of the blue. I'd already said I didn't want to move again, even after I knew how bad it was going to be here.

Somehow fate took a hand, to save me from myself. I don't know if I deserved this kind of luck, but I couldn't afford to pass it up. Even when you work hard at it, chances to improve your life don't come up all that often. This time, I missed the rainbow but still found the pot of gold.

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