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March 29, 2014

Well then.

As two dryers churn their loads beneath me and the soapy air seeps through my heater and into my sinuses and the usual Saturday night nonsense gets underway in neighbouring suites and Dr. McThumperson upstairs celebrates the recent completion of his doctoral studies in the manner to which he is accustomed, I could not be more thrilled to report that this is my last night in this place and tomorrow morning some professional men are coming with a truck and will be loading all my emboxificated possessions into it and driving them to a different and much quieter and homier place with six times more windows, at which point they will take the things out of the truck in burly fashion and put them inside the place and as they drive away I will stand in one of the six streams of sunlight that are now mine and heave a relieved sigh that will echo across the land.

Q: Shouldn’t you be packing instead of writing a blog post?

A: You don’t have even the start of a clue how organized I am, and don’t interrupt me again.

Long long ago, someone whose purpose in my life apparently was to get the ball rolling on the complete annihilation of my identity that was about to go down tried to talk me out of my shameless fatalism using a combination of logical arguments and embarrassment attempts–like, “You have a Master’s in philosophy and yet you actually believe in fate?” kind of thing. “It’s just a literary device” and whatever. Yawn. I don’t even know what to say to someone who can’t easily see that fatalism is my destiny. I was a believer by the third week of my first undergraduate mythology course. I only did that damned philosophy degree because I was 23 and I didn’t want to commit to a PhD, plus I had friends for the first time since early childhood and I couldn’t leave them because there was so much more I wanted to learn about pleasant human social interactions, plus I’d spent the past six years wanting to work with the professor I wrote my thesis with. Other than cats, fatalism is the only thing in my life that has ever made any damn sense and please have that carved on my headstone when I die, including the cat part.

I spent January 10th through March 19th–minus the time I spent being in Mexico and then having the ear infection [eye roll] I brought home–trolling Craigslist like it was my third job. (If anyone has any questions about what’s currently available for rent in any area of Vancouver and how long it’s been on the market and what it costs and how that price compares to the price of every other rental suite in the city, by all means get in touch.) Along the way, I applied for two places, one of which I was promised and then lost in a dumbassed series of miscommunications, another of which I was rejected for and don’t know why but fortunately something even sadder happened that day so I didn’t have a lot of energy to invest in thinking about why that building manager picked someone else. It was much more expensive than my current place but I’d resigned myself to paying at least $100 more, and probably more, if I wanted something quiet and decent that would make the expense and stress of moving worthwhile.

So last Wednesday I saw a posting for an absolutely lovely, abnormally reasonably priced suite in a heritage house, and I told myself that if it was still posted when I got home from work the next day then fuck it, I was going to scrape together some hope and try for a viewing. Sure enough, there it still was, now with even more even lovelier photos added. I called the owner/landlord immediately and by coincidence he happened to be at the place and encouraged me to come down right away because a bunch of people had scheduled viewings for the evening and it would be snapped up by one of them for sure. Well I get there and it’s friggin’ fantastic and the landlord is so freakin’ kind and the current tenant is awesome and both of them love cats (can’t go wrong with cat people), and in response to my timid request for an application form (knowing how many people apply for places, in particular comparatively inexpensive and attractive ones, I was trying to keep from making it obvious to him or to myself how much I wanted this one) he said, “No no. You want it, it’s yours. I’ve been doing this a long time and I can tell you’re a good person.”

Thus and so. A new lease. (*cough*FATE*cough*)

My landlord then gave me a ride home (!) from the house since he had a meeting nearby, and we had a great conversation on the way, and I couldn’t help but compare him very favourably to certain douchebags I’ve rented from in the past, with their early morning “How did you sleep?” phone calls and willingness to take me out for lunch but not to fix drafty windows in the dead of winter or address major plumbing problems.

Since then I’ve been communicating with the current tenant, who has done everything possible to help me out with things and happens to have moved out today, which means I can move in tomorrow and didn’t have to try to weasel out of work on Monday morning. I thought having to organize and pull off a move in a week and a half would launch my life into chaos, but no. Everything’s worked out perfectly and I’m ready to go and here I am writing a damn blog post 13 hours before the muscular gentlemen arrive. Painless. The only legitimately terrible part has been cleaning the stove, which was not dissimilar to that bathtub scene in Season 1 of Breaking Bad. PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: If  it says “CORROSIVE” on the bottle, it probably is corrosive.

I didn’t realize until I got home from that viewing last Thursday how fucking badly I needed to get out of here, how fucking much I needed something good to happen, and, overarching all that, how fucking necessary it was that I quit accepting whatever bullshit was being handed to me and instead go forth and harvest some well-earned respect from the universe.

It’s not just the sweet new suite; everything is going unusually well. A few weeks ago I was approved for some useful stuff at the bank and, with the help of an account manager who was patient enough to sit there and explain basic financial shit to me for an entire hour (Her, pointing at a not unsubstantial dollar amount on a computer screen: “Look how much you would have saved on your taxes if you’d done this before the end of last year.” Me: “CINNAMON COCKS!!”), have put my very small amount of money to work. Every day I look at my balance and it’s like Tiny Christmas. I ordered some personal finance books (Millionaire Teacher, eh? [tents fingers like Monty Burns]) and am looking forward (?!) to reading them and devising some schemes. I have a teaching practicum student for this month and she’s given me some kickass compliments that appear to be genuine. My students are totally picking up what I’m putting down lately, and the head teacher has informed me without provocation that I’m doing a quote unquote great job.

What’s behind all the reasonably priced sunshine and rainbow-cocked unicorns? The same thing that’s responsible for almost all the dramatic/life-changing/important stuff that happens to human beings: heartbreak. I don’t know you at all, probably, so here’s the short, impersonal version: I’m way-above-averagely prone to undefinable hybrid friendlationships that start off really soft and comforting, plus come with an undertow of secrecy and exclusivity that’s dangerously easy for a person with my temperament and history to choose to get sucked into. I tell myself that this time it’s going to be nothing like last time because I’m older and smarter and more self-aware than I was back then, and also this is a totally different person, blah blah blah, naive this and irrelevant that–but as quickly and inevitably as always, I end up right back in Shit Lake. Months (years, even) of treating each other unfairly while pretending everything is fine pass before I realize the full crappy extent of the situation and how badly it’s fucking with me, and by then it’s a sad ridiculous exhausting challenge to get out of it.

Until recently, that’s where I was, putting a crap ton of my energy into staying afloat, miserable yet either unable to figure out or unwilling to admit why life stunk. As if there could be any bigger effort-waste and energy-suck than trying not to lose someone you’ve already lost and/or never had. I guess finally I got to a point where I just had to let shit go. Add another platonic breakup to my resume, cry an undisclosed number of times, and, in between acute regret attacks and periods of sudden onset guiltitis, go find a better place to be.

So then. If you could grab a box as you leave, that would be great.


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