Dances with apartments

There was the brown stain, kissing my inflatable bed's gray underbelly. I waged daily war with its presence in the hallways, playing hopscotch to avoid that biological matter.

This was life, at least temporarily. My boy Mike was allowing me to have a free room in his Bushwick apartment.

Course, I forgot his mom's chihuahuas had their run of the place, unlocking their bowels in whichever rooms they could access. 

Can't blame em' though, considering those two never left the apartment. Ever. There were no such things as leashes within that home.

But truth be told, Mike helped stabilize my living situation, months after I'd taken the independence plunge.

"I always have to get up at 5 am every day, and I'm tired of it," became my mom's commonplace cry last year, born of her job recently moving its base of operations to New Jersey from Manhattan, all while we still lived in Queens.

Thus her ultimatum late summer: either I move with her to Joisey, she extends her lease one final year, or I move out.

With roughly $2,000 in savings and a very unstable freelance job, I took the third option for $500 more.

I'd already planned on making the Great Escape anyways. Twenty plus years of living with the same person with no breaks will do that to ya. Mom only forced me to speed things up.

After using said speed to send out 30+ rapid fire emails to prospective Craigslist subletters, hoping a fat guy in his underwear with OpCrack skills was never on the other end, I scored a pre-war at 89 Seaman Avenue, less than two weeks before my mom's move.

Once the owner's lone male cat walked to my feet, looked me dead in the eye and lovingly sprang his claws into my shorts, I (technically) had my first Manhattan apartment.

"Cats seem to like you," the owner emailed me as soon as I got home. "If you want it, the sublet is yours."

The following three-and-a-half weeks of in-house stalking, bedroom door scratching and chest licking that comes with having four furry roommates were the best ever. Until the local marshal knocked on the door and handed me the guy's eviction notice.

Which I knew was coming, since the dude's landlord jacked up his rent in his lease negotiations soon after I moved in, and he told me I'd have to bounce earlier than expected.

And in a frenzied fit of desperation, I yanked that rabbit from the hat, and managed to get approval for the Jersey City apartment I currently reside in, based partially from my old freelance check stubs.

But that wasn't available until mid-October and I needed a transitional place. So enter Mike, the bro who helped me when I had nowhere else to go for that two week period.

For that, he'll always have my eternal appreciation. And this here smiling clown.

Cheers, folks

About the author: Hannington Dia is a freelance writer and a graduate of the City University of New York City College. 


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