Man working those 11:30 PM to 11:30AM shifts this weekend nearly killed me. I wanted to get some work done on the saturday night/morning one but that morning I was just trying to stay sane and reassuring myself that I could go to sleep the very second I got home. It wouldnt be bad if there was actually something to do but it's made worse by the fact that you're stuck sitting in a chair looking at 6 monitors on which nothing is happening and you're getting paid to stay in that small room "just in case" they might need to actually do something. and since that got my sleep schedule so messed up I spent the rest of the weekend attempting to sleep. Schools been crazy and there's a new stressor in my life: trying to find an apartment.
Yep, you read that right. I'm working on getting my own place. Of course finding a place where I can afford to live and not have to worry about being killed or raped is not so easy. Steph and T went over the apartment guides with me. I selected things in my price range and they eliminated the ghettos since I don't know Huntsville like they do. Then another mass of them was eliminated because they didn't have any open places or didn't allow pets (they're not taking my Jack away). This left me with 3. I made appointments and looked at them. Park Place looks alright -- not grand and I'm not sure about the location. Hunters Ridge was another story.
The lady in the office was extremely rude -- she wouldn't get off the phone to answer any of my questions and she acted like I was interrupting her (at my appointment) she shoved the key in my hand and wouldn't speak another word. So I drove off into the massive labyrinth of a neighborhood that is Hunters Ridge to check it out. Now keep in mind that I woke up early for this and made sure to present myself as a person who could afford to pay you rent. Keep that in mind. So I get lost trying to find it but eventually do. When I enter the apartment it reeks. It smelled like urine. I guess because the power is off, a small odor problem became a huge one. One wall is dark brown wood paneling -- nice. The carpet is dark brown and looks like it should have been replaced 20 years ago -- in fact large holes of it were just missing altogether. The closet doors were all horribly cheap plastic that was supposed to look like wood grain a few years ago -- but in their present state they were warped and flimsy and would be better off just not being there. I couldnt get the blinds open and when I finally forced open the "balcony" door, I found that it was more of an illusion of a balcony than a real one. It was only about 2 feet deep -- too small for a patio chair even.
And while I stood on this faux balcony, I looked around at the buildings around me and the men with tshirts tied on their heads and listened to the bass shaking the windows from the cars and buildings near by, a summer storm popped up.
Now I don't know how many of you are from the south so I don't know if you know what we mean when we say "summer storm." The humid air of the south that drifts over us from the gulf is very unstable. This means that pretty much when other fronts move in, we get a mess -- a sometimes unexpected mess. It was a fine day -- hot and steamy around 86 degrees. The sky wasn't clear but it wasn't bad either -- the sun was poking through. And while I stood on that balcony coming to terms with the fact that this apartment idea isn't as easy as it first seamed, a massive sound shook all my surroundings -- a thunder so loud and so instant that I thought about dunking for cover and immediately the rain was falling. And when I say immediately, I mean that I was on the beach during hurricane barry and in the worst of it this is how much it was raining. Buckets of rain. BUCKETS. And my car was far away.
After locking up the apartment and wrestling with the "balcony" door and blinds again, I hesitated in the breezeway. There was a lot of rain between me and the Beetle. The neighbors upstairs somehow sensed my presence, perhaps as a possible drug customer and called out "who be down there?" I didn't respond -- be it right or wrong, I chose to ignore the poorly formed question. This caused them to crane their head around to see who it was. Then they offered me alcohol. No, not beer or some specific form of alcohol -- they asked me if I wanted some "alcohol." Naturally, of all the options I had laid before me at that moment, I knew that all of them except for the rain would lead to illegal activities and possibly rape. So into the rain I went. By the time I got to the car, I literally couldn't have been any wetter had I jumped in a pool. But it was time for me to go or I'd miss my appointment to see the third apartment.
I dropped off my key at the front desk and headed to Briargreen. It was there that I found out that this neighborhood of identical apartment buildings that went on street after street after street was not all Hunters Ridge. In fact a small part of it was Briargreen. This didn't bode well for me but I fought the summer downpour to go to the office anyway. It was there that the woman looked at my pathetic form and was sorry to inform me that a man rented the apartment 10 minutes before I got there. Not that I'd have wanted to live there anyway. So I headed back to Park Place which at least seemed acceptable.
On the way, I found that the road had gone from a road to a river and I wasn't quite sure my little Beetle was gonna make it across that. Dude, tree branches were floating by me. So I said a prayer and slowly drove through the water while praying and encouraging my new prize the entire way. The beetle did well. Fucking germans know how to make a car right.
When the woman saw me, she was shocked. I had gone from a perfectly presentable appearance to that of a vagrant in the span of a little over and hour. She laughed and pointed out that she had told me to stay dry. Ha ha. I was a little late and she assured me that the apartment wouldn't be gone by tomorrow so I could come in Saturday after I had a night to think about it. Awesome.
I went back Saturday after I got off work and found that the office was not open. It should have been -- it was in it's hours and she told me that Betty was going to be there -- but Betty was not there. I was pissed.
So Monday. Tomorrow is Monday and if I want to get this apartment I need to act quickly before someone else snatches it up. But I'm scared. Why? Well there's a number of reasons. For one, the lease is for a year. I have to dedicate a year to it. What if I can't afford it in a few months? What if I do badly in school? What if I don't make as much money as I think I'll make? What if I hate it there? And Park Place is in view of Hunters Ridge which I was told last night by one of the police officers has had a reputation since the 70s as a very bad place. Granted, he knew nothing of Park Place which is right on Golf Road which is next to a golf course -- but they're close together so isn't one place just as bad as the other? He said it wasn't the location but the tenants -- well they're close together and in the same price range -- won't the tenants be the same? And Steph said it was a good place and T said it might possibly be sorta ghetto but alright but then both of them said Hunters Ridge was alright too. I'm freaking out here -- can you tell?
Everyone in my family is against it, naturally. Well, mom approves but only half-heartedly. She is admittedly afraid that me moving off campus and into an apartment will make me even more depressed and lonely than I already am. I honestly don't know if I'd love it or hate it. I mean I love the idea -- my OWN place. No chinese roommate making messes and leaving raw fish on the counter and cooking stinky shit and being loud. No roommates at all -- I could totally walk around naked if I want to. And I could watch TV or play my radio at any hour I chose and then I could turn it off and go to bed and have silence (well, reasonably -- I know I'll have neighbors). And i'd have a whole apartment -- not just a room. A whole apartment. My own living room, my own bathroom, my own kitchen, and a huge bedroom that's just a bedroom and not a everything room. And closets and windows to hang stained glass in -- and Jack would have a whole apartment to run around in without China spitting on him. And I could leave the bathroom door open when I take a shower so he could go in and out without meowing and whaling about how I've abandoned him because I've shut the door between us.
I mean I'm thinking it would be fucking awesome. And everyone I ask (besides my family) says that I'll love it and I only THINK I'll be scared and it will be a super liberating and awesome experience. But my family says otherwise. See, they think I'm as fragile as a cracked egg and any moment I'm going to break. Which I suppose is my fault since I stopped pretending to be happy for their sakes and let them know that I have a psychiatrist and depression and prescriptions for psych meds. And hey, they may be right -- perhaps I could break at any moment, but then again I've only broken like 10 times in the past 4 years and been completely and utterly broken so apparently its not going to KILL me now is it? And I don't know why they can't grasp that I'm actually much better than I WAS before I moved away and that I wasn't fine they only thought I was. And every time I find the bottom of the hole, I've managed to just keep trying to climb back out. This is life -- apparently life just sucks for me.
Also, my sister moved to her own place in Auburn and that was her downfall. Apparently she was already depressed and unhappy and she moved to her own shithole apartment where she was constantly lonely and terrified that someone was going to break in and she finally couldn't take it anymore and moved home for "one semester" where she still lives with my dad years later. Of course she also askes me all the fucking time why I won't move home and go to school there. As does my father and my sister-in-law. My brothers on the fence with the whole do your own thing -- but the rest of them want me home. They think I'm unhappy because I'm not home and that if I move back I'll miraculously start doing good in school again and I'll be happy. Um. yeah -- keep telling yourself that. In fact the other day my mom told me that dad called her to talk about me and said they should move me home and get me in therapy to which my mom replied (and wanted to laugh) that I'm already IN therapy. Yeah, I don't know how dad missed out on that one -- where does he think I get the meds?
Besides it doesn't matter what they think, I KNOW that it would not be healthy for me to move back home. Don't get me wrong -- I'm tired as fuck of school. I'm lonely. And I was already burnt the fuck out a few semesters ago. I'd love to "take a semester off" but everyone who is miserable and quit college was only "taking one semester off" and they just never went back. I don't want to be in school NOW -- who says I'm gonna miraculously want to do it after I spend the entire summer laying by moms pool and being fed homemade food and having my dirty laundry miraculously washed and folded on my bed all the time? No way man -- this is the point people call "senioritus" where you're burnt out and you stick it out anyway. I'll be dammed if I've taken all these classes and been though the rollercoasters I have for nothing. I'm getting a fucking degree if it kills me which it very well might. And I'm getting that degree from UAH unless they kick my ass out (which again, they very well might). Everyone who has a problem with that can suck it the fuck up. Maybe instead of lamenting how miserable I am and telling me to move back home because I'm lonely, they could actually give me a call on the phone some time or god-forbid they could come visit ME for a change. 90 miles away -- you'd think I moved across the US.
So yeah, I'm not moving HOME -- the question though is this: Do I stay where I am, or do I move off campus. And do I move to Park Place? If I stay where I am I have to move back to Bham at the beginning of may, move back to Huntsville at the end of May and then back to Bham at the beginning of August and back to Huntsville at the end of august. I'm also paying the equivalent to 427 dollars a month to live in this shithole apartment with up to 3 roommates. Rent for a 1 bedroom which is very big and spacious and has a DISHWASHER (oh how I've missed thee) is only 345 a month and the first month will be 99. Of course you have to add on electricity and the extra gas it would take to drive back and forth to campus plus internet and perhaps cable TV. Water is included. Basic cable (15 channels) plus cable internet would be 60. That's 405 plus electricity and gas. So it would be around what I'm paying here or a little bit more. But that's a little bit more for REAL highspeed internet -- not this fake whatever we have) and my OWN apartment -- not an apartment with 3 roommates most of which can't speak English. My OWN place. Just me and Jack. MINE.
But would I be even more lonely and removed? That can't really be known - it's up to me and what I do. Will I be scared living alone? Hell I'm still afraid of the dark but I've already found the nightlights I'm gonna order on Amazon. They're LED and they have light sensors -- and since theyre LED they won't burn out even if I leave them on all year and if I DID leave them on all year they'd only cost me 25 cents on my electric bill. I'm gonna get 4 -- one for the bedroom, one for the living room, one for the bathroom, and one for the kitchen. You see the byline of the blog -- yeah, I'm not kidding about that. And I'll get a chain & dead bolt to reinforce the locks that are already on the door. And I'll have a balcony too -- did I mention that? Well it over looks a main road but there's a tree in front of it and it's got lots of space for me to have tons of pots of flowers! I love gardening!
Yes, I'm totally rambling because I have to decide if I'm going to go sign this lease and lock myself into the year long obligation in 3 hours. I'm freaking out here.
Dad has forbade it. He even said hes "putting his foot down." And everyone is against it except for mom who says the decision is mine and she just doesn't want me to be any more unhappy than I already am. Dads foot down is almost like a triple-dog dare. If you'll recall, he also "forbade" me to move up here in the first place and to have gastric bypass surgery and I'm pretty sure hes forbade some other shit too. I mean whats he gonna do to me? He has no power over his daughter -- a GIRL -- and that infuriates him to no end which of course has started to amuse the fuck out of me. Then again now hes given me the Beetle and his name is on the car and he wouldnt be so absolutely cruel as to take away the Beetle he just gave me would he? Would he? I honestly can't say to the positive either way and thats actually very sad. And even though I defy him and my families wishes for me all the time, it still gives me stomach knots and mouth ulcers every time I do. I'm a pathetic codependant with no self esteem -- I want them to approve of me and all I'm getting is disapproval and the guilt of disappointing them.
And at the whole time I've been writing this with the left half of my brain, the right half has been designing a stained glass piece to hang in the main window of the apartment and debating where the cat window seat which I have should hang -- in the middle or on the side? I think it would look kinda stupid just out in the middle of course it's gonna look kinda stupid anyway but I like the cat and he likes to sit in the window so I'll let him. As for the glass piece, I'll be home lots in May so I'll have the time -- I'm thinking of just doing something in clear textured glass so that it would look gorgeous but not add darkness to the window or them room. Stained glass looks so dark at night, you know.
Shit I still don't know what to do. I'm very concerned as to the safety of the neighborhood but I've asked a million people and I called the police department to get crime statistics but they can't do that and the management of the apartments cant tell me anything because of fair housing laws and everyone I ask isn't sure -- they don't know the area. I've spoken briefly to 3 different people who live at Park Place and they tell me they have no problem -- the black guy who I thought would mug me actually had a VERY nice mustang and he says hes had no problem with anyone trying to break into it or vandalize it. The lady I spoke to walks her dogs there every night. The couple I spoke to is moving out because they have horrible bug problems. And I've been unable to find anything but one review on the internet by someone who sounds very bitter and says there IS a horrible crime problem and horrid bugs. But I'm told that south huntsville actually has a very great crimerate -- of course there's police there patrolling all the time to keep an eye out and keep it that way but being that I'm not a criminal I find this comforting rather than a sign of possible trouble.
And will I be able to afford it? I can always drop the internet and cable and that'll save me 60 a month if I HAVE to. And God's been super faithful and good to me in that every time I think there's no way I can afford something, the money just shows up. I don't see him copping out on me anytime soon.
I have no furniture -- That'll be a problem.
And I've asked EVERYONE to help me move and no one can. Everyones "busy." And apparently its not the kinda busy I was when I took off my new job to spend 30 dollars in gas and drive down to Birmingham to be the only person who showed up to help Tim and Heidi move and work my fucking ass off. They're the different kinda busy so they can't return the favor. Neither can either of my sisters of any of my friends. Which granted, I don't have any good old friends left and I can only marginally call them friends since I never see them or hang out but they can't help. Dad can help me move back to Bham but I think he will withdraw any help if I'm moving into an apartment explicitly against his wishes. Moms gonna help. I love mom. But me and mom are kinda weak and we are really able to do it without help. One of the officers at work said hed help :) But he can only help early in the morning and I'm not sure if mom will be up here by then. I'm gonna make him cookies and brownies as a thank you -- but I've only known him a week so I have no idea if hell flake out on me or not.
Any of you wanna help me move? I can't offer you any money even for gas because I simply don't have it but you know I'd be forever grateful and I'd owe you big time and I never flake out. I'll make you brownies. I could cook dinner or lunch or something. PLEASE.