BK in tha Hizzouse, Fool
Later for Coney Island, suckas! Hang with me, and you too can spend your Labor Day hauling a bunch of crap that you didn’t pack in time for the moving van from your old apartment in Astoria to your new place in Flatbush, spending two and a half hours in a car driven by an ill-tempered asshat who doesn’t know his dick from his armpit and ten blames you for giving him “bad directions” (BQE to Atlantic to Flatbush to Ocean--pretty straightforward) because you end up all the way across Brooklyn in fucking Brownsville, and all the southbound streets are blocked off because of the West Indian Day Parade, and then starts in with the “bad directions” bullshit again and claims that if you just followed HIS directions (which were what, again? I didn’t hear you mention those until we were about halfway to JFK, dick splint), we wouldn’t have had this trouble until your large, mean-looking friend tells him to let up. That’s a FINE bookend to the lazy, crazy days of summer in the city, and even though he does not read personal blogs, I must again extend my thanks and appreciation to the Pirate for helping me lug my remaining possessions and keeping his cool throughout. After all, he has a real job, and there are plenty of things he could have done with his day off, like clean his ears or de-flea his cat, assuming the little hellion is thus infested, which I don’t believe she is. (Just for the record, for those of you who have never met the Pirate or seen a picture of him, he’s not “mean-looking”, so to speak—just tall, barrel-chested, and hairy. I mean, I don’t call him the Pirate ‘cause he looks like Woody Allen, you know?)
Sorry. I suppose I should have proceeded as though all five or so of you readers had absolutely no idea that my cheap cunt ex-landlady finally made good on her ill-veiled threat to sell the Astoria homestead, but I’ve been awake for only two hours and am still not equipped to milk conceits that have no business being milked in the first place, because it takes me until about 6 pm or so to get to that level of wordsmithery. Anyway, long story short, five days before I left for my trip to Flagstaff to visit DJP, a messenger acting on behalf of the new owners (who are about as decent, honest, and principled as you’d expect and still manage to look like Cardinal Cooke next to Cheap Cunt) showed up at 8 pm with eviction notices. This was not a complete surprise to any of us, as my now-former neighbor Feline Bill discovered that the folks CC had told him were there to appraise the house for a new mortgage were, in fact, realtors and potential tenants when they asked him where the property line was and, when he asked them what bank they were from, froze up, turned tail, ran a couple hundred feet down the block, and started screaming at each other in Greek. But denial is a powerful river in Egypt, and FB’s wife Mrs. Rosewater and I managed to convince ourselves that there was no way in hell CC was going to be able to get anyone to buy a rickety old frame house with roach nests and holes in the wall except to tear it down, and what the hell could they possibly put there, given that the property is not that big and the house leans up against the one next door? Add to that the fact that CC was “supposed to” give us some kind of official notice (although, since none of us had leases, she was not legally required to do so) that she was selling the house, and…well, assuming there is such a thing as a benevolent cosmic force field (there isn’t), the frantic confabulations of two overeducated, underemployed slacker artist types with no place else to go ain’t gonna shake it into action on your behalf. Moral: If your Cheap Cunt landlord/lady starts making noise about refinancing the house for a mortgage, log onto Craig’s List without a moment’s thought and look for a new place tout de suite. Simply asking if the bastard/bitch is fixing to sell the house is naught but a quaint idea, as Feline Bill discovered when, about two weeks before we got notice, he did just that and CC looked him straight in the eye and lied her sleazy ass off. Bitch. It’s too bad none of us will be there to see the look on her face when the IRS shows up at her door and discovers we’ve turned her in for tax fraud. Va funcullo, stronta! *
Another word of advice: If you’re fixing to get a place in Astoria and have no roommate, money, or steady employment, nab one of the three posthaste. I started pounding the pavement about twelve hours after the news came down and quickly discovered that the chances of my finding a one-bedroom with more than just, say, a holding cell-sized living room/dining/kitchen area for under $1200 were about as good as the possibility that there is, in fact, a benevolent cosmic force field. There were a good many three-bedrooms for only $2100, which would work out splendidly if the two other entities sharing your apartment were not of the species Felis cattus, or if said beings were able to keep you solvent by starring in Fancy Feast ads. My beasts are gorgeous little critters, to be sure, but I consider myself lucky when they ootch out from under the futon and butt me with their pretty little heads. (Actually, that’s somewhat of an exaggeration. They’re totally cool with me these days and Fitz has even progressed to the point that she’ll let my dad touch her nose, but they’re still way too schizy to go into show business. Pity, that.)
I figured Astoria was done when I called yet another realtor the day I left for Arizona and he rudely informed me that I must be dreaming if I thought I could get a one-bedroom that would take cats for under $1200 in Little Athens, and why didn’t I just get a roommate, for chrissakes? (Fuckhead. Oh, and by the way, I do realize that Queens is a large place, and I need not have limited my search there to Astoria/Long Island City. It’s just…well, it’s Queens. I hate to be an obnoxious git, but I’m not much of a fan. Too suburban for me, ultimately.) DJP seemed keen on my getting a pad in Sunset Park, which is a still-reasonably affordable, if somewhat hip enclave in southwest Brooklyn that did present a few worthwhile opportunities, including a couple for under $1000, but those were, predictably, snatched up by the time I got back to the city. I did look at a place on Third Avenue, but it was the size of a walk-in closet and the building was right under the BQE, and it was $1250 a month. The dude who showed it to me tried the “Well, I see tons of apartments, and let me tell you, you’re not going to get much better than this” line that almost got me when I was an idiot grad student looking for my first real place, and I was thrilled to be able to inform him that I had just visited a huge railroad flat in Bushwick that was going for $150 less than that shoebox, and nearly catatonic with glee when he didn’t know what the fuck to say to that. (Man! That Bushwick apartment was the shit. HUGE eat-in kitchen, two big bedrooms, and a good-sized living room with a fucking fireplace at the front. If only my credit weren’t so diseased and/or the landlord didn’t put so much stock in a person’s credit rating. I realize they need some sort of yardstick to weed out potential deadbeats, but I do think that credit rating is fundamentally inaccurate, because if an indigent person has to choose which bills to pay, she’s going to let the credit card and doctor bills go before the rent and utilities. You know, because you need a place to live, and it needs to be inhabitable. Comprende? That’s the way I do it, anyway, but I do have quite the track record of doing things exactly opposite of Everyone Else, so why should bill paying be any different?)
So I wasn’t too hopeful when, almost as an afterthought, I stumbled on this $1050 a month place on Ocean Avenue in what the immensely kind realtor told me was Flatbush, but appears on most maps as a no-man’s-land between Lefferts Gardens, South Park Slope, and the aforementioned. (Park Slope Southeast? South Lefferts Gardens? Northwest Flatbush? It’s all a bunch of bullshit, really, when all is said and done.) I was even less optimistic when he showed me the place, which was gawjiss, with a renovated kitchen and bathroom and a big long hallway and a living room the size of my first apartment on East 62nd Street, which was renting for $1425 by the time I moved out in 2001, and I had to fill out yet another credit check form. Figuring I was pretty well fucked, I priced out a couple more places in Bushwick, but I kept putting off actually viewing them because it’s kind of a right pain in the ass to get to Bushwick from Astoria, and besides, I didn’t get the best vibes when I went to check out that lost, lamented railroad flat. It’s not that the neighborhood seemed dangerous—there were tons of people hanging out on the street, listening to salsa music and running in and out of spraying fire hydrants—it just seemed…I guess “desolate” is the word for it, as though here was this safe, if slightly seedy neighborhood with tons of people hanging out, but it was, literally, on the moon, or the apocalypse had come and gone and yet people were still there. (Maybe there’s some truth to the latter, given the place basically went up in flames during the ’77 blackout. Those were the days…)
Anyway. Long story short, the new landlords decided my credit rating wasn’t too much of a liability, and they let me have the place, which they would not have done if my dad weren’t my guarantor, but whatever, who cares. And so, here we are. I’ve been here exactly one month now, and it was just yesterday that I got the last remaining crap out of old place to dump it unceremoniously in that big bowling alley of a hallway. Mind you, there’s still a lot of crap remaining at the old place, most of it belonging to Cheap Cunt, who figured that anyone paying $950 a month including utilities for a two-bedroom in Astoria hadn’t the right to complain about sharing her living space with volumes of ancient Greek tomes and computer equipment from 1985, but since that place has a date with the wrecking ball sometime in the not too distant future, I figure the new owners can just suck it up and deal. No point in making it easy for them—it’s not like they’re a bunch of stand-up guys trying to make an honest living. Hey, Eichmann was just doing his job, too, motherfuckers.
I actually have to run up to Astoria today and give the new owners my keys so I don’t have to show up in court tomorrow and do it there, so I’m going to have to wrap this up shortly. Today was the first time I actually took a look at the summons, which I found slipped under my door at the old place about a week ago, and in particular its component known as the Affirmation of Service, which is basically just a page stating that at such-and-such a time on such-and-such a date, the attorney or a representative served papers kicking me to the curb. What shocked me was the physical description—first of all, that they require one (I suppose so they can hunt me down if I fail to appear in court), and that this ass monkey who served me listed my weight as two hundred and eighty pounds. I’m sorry, but…who in the what now? I realize I’m the size of a truck these days, relatively speaking, but ain’t no way, no HOW I weigh TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FUCKING POUNDS, YOU MENTAL MIDGET! Hell, my DAD doesn’t even weigh 280, and I think if you saw the two of us standing next to each other you could pretty safely say that, even figuring in height, the padre is packing significantly more tonnage than his deadbeat daughter. Unless this is some idea of a joke, or perhaps an attempt to goad me into calling them up and returning my keys (as if the prospect of appearing in court in Jamaica weren’t incentive enough), there are no words.
Signing off for now, but tune in tomorrow or Friday (I swear!) for part two of What I Did On My Summer Vacation: The Interdimensional Fourth of July Adventures of DJP and the Alexandrian K-Whales. It will make a lot more nonsensical sense when you read about it, I promise.
PS. Just to make sure I was right and that livery driver was, indeed, an utter asshat who was lucky if he could even figure out how to get to Brooklyn, period, I checked my map and lo and behold, Atlantic Avenue runs smack into Flatbush Avenue at the Atlantic Center Mall (there’s a Target!). Took a cab home last night and Atlantic was still running smack into Flatbush. Bad directions, my ass. All you gotta do is turn right, fucker. Yeah, you’re welcome.
*Cheap Cunt is actually Greek, but I don't know how to say "go fuck yourself, whore" in her native tongue.