I can't believe I'm still alert.
I'm apartment-block-sitting for some acquaintance/employers who have gone on a four-week, daddy's-paying holiday. This morning was one of the week's two garbage pick-up mornings. So normally, if I sleep there, in an apartment with an air mattress, a table, two chairs, and two birds that used to never shut up but now actually improve the atmosphere with their chirpiness (instead of at home, in my shared apartment a twenty-minute walk up the mountain), I'm up for garbage at around 6:30am. But today was special.
A lot of capital-S Shit happened in the fall. (No deaths, and it feels a bit wrong to complain today -- II -- but some pretty trying times nonetheless.) Result: my entire fall and winter budgets for everything but tuition, books, and barebones life went to my nation's largest and most obscenely profitable financial institution. So rent became a problem. And that problem had a hearing this morning on the other side of the city.
My roommate and I had to be there for 9:30am. And I have a theory that it is preferable, when attending meetings that have a significant impact on your future, not to smell like 85 apartments worth of garbage. So, with showering timed for, I had to be up at 5am. After getting to sleep at 2:30am. After finishing late-night laundry. Under the similar apprehension that smelling like stinky boy clothes is a close second to smelling like garbage on the "things not to smell like if you want to make a decent impression on people" list. (Okay, maybe not second.)
My roommate and I, both being uncharacteristically stupid today (if I do say so myself), waited for each other in different places for forty minutes before figuring it out. Then, he got on the subway train, and, as I followed, the train's operator, MAY HE SUFFER, closed the doors on my outstretched right arm, which, you should be informed (if you haven't been to Montreal and had this happen to you), HURTS LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER. (No slight intended to either mothers or fuckers.) Coffee was spilled on coat, bruise was inflicted on arm, urge to hurl double espresso at train, upon extrication of arm, was somehow curtailed.
Anyway, we got there. And the meeting was only a few minutes late. And we finally met the owner of the building. And he was incredibly nice. Not overbearingly, but quietly, genuinely -- and, I think, a bit relieved and delighted to be dealing with tenants who talked to him like he was a human being. He wasn't a pushover or anything, but we were able to come to a satisfactory agreement regarding the payment of my back rent. In front of the judge, we said nice things about his patience and willingness to work with us, and he said nice things about our general desirability as tenants (other than this particular problem). The judge remarked "What do you need from me? You've pretty much taken care of the whole thing on your own."
My arm is still sore, but everything else today has been pretty good. And, at the age of 33, I just experienced my first good landlord story.
The moral of the story would seem to be:
Once in a while, if you just talk to people respectfully and be straight with them,
things work out pretty well.
I'm not gonna rely on that or anything, but a happy ending now and then makes life seem right, no?