Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mental Properties: The hits keep coming.

I have a tenant who hates me. She hates me because I am The Man. I don't pretend I'm not.

I am The Man because I made her pay her rent after three months of not paying it and because I get to have this day:

7:45 PM Monday: I receive the following text from my tenant, for who I am, said Man:
"The basement is full of water."

7:48 PM respond: What?! How much water?

8:09PM: "Can't walk down the stairs."

I respond by taking a sleeping pill and shedding one single tear onto my pillow.

6:05 AM Tuesday: Alarm goes off.

6:30-7:30 AM: Get the kids out of bed, make their lunches, wait for the bus, send them off. This process takes one hour of standard-issue hysteria and chaos.

7:45AM: I arrive at The Upholstery Shop. I call the flood disaster clean up team. It takes them the entire day and four phone calls to get to the property to give me an price.

8-3:30: I spend the day at the shop working on a chair whose owners have insisted on covering in crepey thin silk . If you fart on a silk chair, it will leave a stain. I work this cheap-feeling, taffetta-esque, snag-magnet onto the seat. The material moves across the underlayment like Saran Wrap floating on the surface of a puddle. It will not hold a shape, it wants to suck the sweat from my fingers and leave water marks so badly I feel like I need finger- tip coasters. It takes me a full day to decide that what I'm doing will not work. Not ever. I need to rip off the day's work and start over.

3:45 PM: Flood disaster relief guy calls to give me his estimate of $2500.
3:46 PM: Thanks anyway.

5:25PM: Call from nice tenant who informs me the basement is full of water.

5:30PM Make dinner. Drink two big glasses of wine.
6:00PM: Do homework with kids as they cry.
8:00PM:Read chapters with kids as they fall asleep.
9:00PM: Battlestar Gallactica
9:07PM: Wake up to the sounds of Battlestar Gallactica ringing tinnily in my headphones, which are now around my neck.

6:05 AM Wednesday: wake to alarm.
6:30-7:30AM: snack complaints, silly walks, singing operatically in the kitchen about homework folders and pick-up notes, onto medley of show tunes about boots, library books and recorder sung to the melodies of Sweeney Todd, Oklahoma, A little Night Music. Kids laughing in eye-rolling, patient sort of way.

7:37: Play messages from machine from previous day : THIS IS NOT A SALES CALL.
7:37.5: Delete all messages.

7:57: Open shop. Work for two hours. Customer comes in and asks me, seriously, if I, and my 34 year old colleague, are a "mother-daughter operation." I play the part of the mother in this scenario.

10-1PM: Drive to/Call every rental agency in greater metropolitan area looking for basement drying fans. They're all out drying the mold out of other thaw victims' basements. Say fuck it, and try to buy a bunch of regular house fans. There are no house fans in all of creation, only clearance shelves of heaters. Curse on demand retail philosophy. Curse retail louder, because I don't feel like I've been heard. Leave 5th depressing establishment, sans fans.

1:00PM Drive 35 minutes to soggy rental property to assess.
1:35: On the way, receive call from fan rental place that they've been availed of three industrial strength fans.
1:36: Turn car around and drive to west side of what-the-hell-is-this-place to pick up fans.
2:15: Pay $250 for rental of said fans.
3:00 return to soggy rental property. Water has receded. Install cyclone of fans. Bleach entire basement. Call hauling service. Pay $300 for hauling service so I don't have to touch anyone's wet cardboard.
4:00 race back to get to MD appointment so I can have a finger shoved up my ass, literally, because the metaphorical ass-rape of the day wasn't nearly enough.
5:00 - get home so I can relieve in-laws who have met the bus (so that I might have the pointer finger inserted in my rectum).
6PM - make dinner rejected by kids, more homework, more chapters.
7:30PM- Declare that mommy is now closed for the evening.

8PM: text from hating tenant who informs me that the pilot lights are out and they have no hot water.

9PM: Discover that Vild has delayed return to this country by another four days.

I am the man.


  1. An almost perfectly shitty day except for the one highlight you left out:

    1:37 Call sister en route to fan rental place
    for consolation and a few mordant yuks.

  2. Its true. I left that part out. Thank God for that moment, or all would have been lost.

  3. Good times!

    wait...took you three days to get out there? ;^)

  4. I've had the water in the basement event 3 times and it's never any fun.