30 Days’ Notice

Something very awful just happened. The man I’m renting a room from gave me 30 days’ notice. We weren’t fighting or anything, he just wants the room back. It’s kind of hard for me to wrap my head around. Up until then, he’d been just about as friendly and considerate as could be. Then when he asked about my travel plans for the holidays, I told him that I was going back to California in mid-December and returning in mid-January. He asked if I could email that information to him. I did, and he responded that he’d need me gone by January 1. Wouldn’t it have made sense to bring that up after asking about my plans in person? Oh, I know why he did it. See, for this little shit, it’s all about convenience. He was nice to me in the beginning (even offering to let me stay on his couch instead of hostel-surfing before my official move-in date!) and now that he has no more use for me, he discards me like a used napkin. It’s nothing personal, he just doesn’t care about me. God, I want to punch him. How do people like that look at themselves in the mirror? Technically, he is within his rights, as my name is not on the lease, and the unofficial agreement that we signed said that I could stay through May, but that if either of us wanted to terminate the agreement, we would just have to give 30 days’ notice. So it’s not like he did anything illegal, just extremely unethical and inconsiderate bordering on sociopathic. My hope is just that I’ll be able to get this straightened out before my flight so that I don’t have to cancel my plans back home to see family and friends. I would never do this to another human being.

So with all of the moping and whining out of the way for now, I’m going to focus on things that I don’t hate. Little things, because that’s all I can work up the energy to care about right now.

5. Good Customer Service

Even when I was a teenager, I got a strangle little buzz out of hearing somebody call me “sir”. I think it was because some employees are curt and unfriendly with the younger customers because we didn’t tip as well and made more noise. But I always appreciated somebody who took the time to do their job no matter what. I had a very bad day yesterday. Then I went out to eat, and the waiter was very friendly, almost as if he actually gave a shit about whether or not I was enjoying my meal. It helped. A little.

4. Non-Pushy Christians

I was browsing in a bookstore when a Korean evangelical approached me and started proselytizing about Jesus and stuff. I hinted that I wasn’t interested, but he just kept going. He even tried to get my phone number at one point. Seriously, he must have talked to me for 20 minutes or more. This entry isn’t about him. It’s about the people who come to my door, hand out their literature, and fuck off. I respect their beliefs (no, really.) But I think they need to learn that “Why wouldn’t you accept this wonderful offer of eternal life and salvation?” isn’t a legitimate question so much as passive-aggressive bullying. Most of the evangelicals I meet are polite. A handful understand that that’s not enough. I sometimes learn things from them. The dude who accosted me yesterday started with an interesting lecture about the Bible’s many references to God as a mother, laying to waste the strictly paternalistic view of Him. If he had stopped there, we would have parted peacefully. Instead, he kept pushing me. And I grew antsy. Moving on…

3. Central Park

After getting the news at 5 or so yesterday morning (I’d been having trouble sleeping), I set out walking and wandered all the way from the Upper West Side to Columbia. Then I took the subway back up, packed up a few things, and left. My roommate was going on about his business as if he hadn’t just upended my life, and I didn’t want to look at his face lest I break every bone in his body. So after getting breakfast, I went down to Central Park to see Bethesda Fountain, which I’ve wanted to see ever since I saw Angels in America. For those who aren’t familiar with that play/miniseries, I’ll just quote the final lines, in which an AIDS survivor visits the fountain and monologues:

The fountain is not flowing now. They turn it off in the winter, ice in the pipes. But in the summer, it’s a sight to see. I want to be around to see it. I plan to be, I hope to be. This disease will be the end of us, but not nearly all, and the dead will be commemorated, and we’ll struggle on with the living. And we are not going away. We won’t die secret deaths anymore. The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come. Bye now. You are fabulous, each and every one, and I bless you: more life. The great work begins.

My roommate thinks I’m one of the little people. He is wrong.

2. A Good Night’s Sleep

I almost never get this, so I’ll talk about something else: nostalgia. My childhood kind of sucked. I’m fucking sick of people talking about it like it’s blissful and magical, as mine was no such thing. I started developing neuroses at a remarkably young age. I was a hypochondriac before my age was in the double digits and before I was in high school, I had OCD so bad that my parents sent me to a shrink. (The shrink sucked. All she did was talk about meds. I told her I didn’t want to take any, so she kept pressing me. My mother sat there the whole time and let her badger me. I’m still a little bitter that my parents made me go through with that.) My point is that my life sucks and basically always has, so if it seems like I’m letting what others might see as a relatively minor setback get me down, it’s only because I have nothing to compare it to. I haven’t stayed at one place for more than three months since mid-2011, and I was really looking forward to breaking that streak with my current place. The part I hate the most is packing things up into boxes, then getting a taxi to take me to my new place. Anyone with a car feel like helping me out?

I am very tired.

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