Sunday, March 20, 2011

NYC: Part 2 - Journey to NYC - interrupted

Why haven't I been writing as much in 2011, you ask?

Have I been busy?

Well, yes, and no.

I am going to channel some of my more succinct friends and put this in what I hope, is a concise manner.

Prior to this, I couldn't write - I was too angry. I needed time to digest and process what had happened.

My apartment sublet was nothing short of a NIGHTMARE.

How's that?

I mentioned the fact that it was pretty dirty when I arrived in a post from December - I was still putting on a happy face, remaining optimistic, and thinking I will power through this. I will, I will, I will. After all, I was in the city! I was home.

The fact was, it wasn't dirty; it was vile. I was a tad upset. And it took me three days to clean. And, I am not a germaphobe by any stretch.

Now, I can see being a semi-germaphobe. I get it after experiencing that. I will never again make fun of another's obsession with cleanliness.


And there was a little situation living directly upstairs from me. A situation the person I subletted from was well aware of. But, chose to refrain from telling me.

The situation was a young-ish woman. An unbalanced young-ish woman.

The young-ish woman upstairs like to do a hybrid that I like to call the stomp-pace. Twenty minutes at a stretch. Up and down the length of the apartment. Wood floors. 11:30 PM, 2:30 AM, 4:30 AM, 5:30AM, 8:30 AM, and then maybe one around 4:00PM. 

Every night. Every morning. Sometimes she moved furniture back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. Usually the sliding of furniture occurred between the hours of midnight and 6:00AM.

I knew when her dog urinated in the apartment. Am I getting too graphic here? I'm going to stop. I haven't divulged the other details, and considering this is a family blog, I will refrain from revealing any other sordid details. 

Sometimes she had gentlemen callers. They usually arrived between the hours of 1:30 AM - 3:15 AM. 

Then there was the issue of being able to hear the tenants on both sides of my apartment, and the un-balanced woman upstairs. I could record conversations through the walls with my cell phone. The walls were that thin. I knew when they got up, where they walked to, and what they did when they got there. I knew when they went to bed. I knew when they woke up.

I had roommates and dogmates without the financial benefits.

All was not well.

I was sleeping on average 4 hours a night. Even with a sedative.

11 nights of not sleeping a full night through.

11 days of living there, I had spent three cleaning, 2 without heat and hot water, and 1 dealing with the police.  Twice.

Yes, police***.

Police were involved in the early hours of January 3. They had to be. Unbalanced neighbor upstairs, and all. She did some things to my apartment door. The police were not happy. They filed a report against her.

Apparently this wasn't the first time the police were called on her. I imagine it's not going to be the last, either.

I wanted out. Of course, I asked for my money back from the woman I subletted from; Of course she refused.

The person I subletted from turned out to be a bit of a hustler/con artist, as it later turned out.

I wasn't sleeping. I trudged through the month of January. I thought maybe I can get through this.

I went almost 40 nights of not sleeping a whole night through.

My hair was falling out. I broke out in hives, something I have never experienced.I was grinding my teeth. My shoulders were usually up at my ear lobe level. My breathing, needless to say, was shallow. My left eye stayed in a constant twitch.

I looked very cute.

Towards the end I started to sound like someone who has been on drugs. I couldn't follow a conversation.  My mind was leaping from place to place to place, never pausing long enough to, I don't know, breathe?

I suppose lack of sleep is similar to being on a drug bender.

I did discover I would be a horrid CIA Agent. If they ever used sleep deprivation as a torture on me to get me to talk, on day three, I would start flapping my gums like nobody's business.

Now don't get me wrong, I have worked many many long days and nights, have gone many weeks without sleep - but that is different. Usually there's some sort of compensation for the lack of sleep: food, satisfaction of a job well done, and I don't know -  that thing they call a paycheck. Yeah, that helps too.

I wasn't in my right mind to make any decisions. My friends urged me to come back to Southampton. 

So, at the end of January, I left.

I fled - yes, fled. I thought about staying until the very end of my sublet, but I just couldn't weather it.

Nor did I get my deposit back. Nor did she pay the landlord my rent money for Feb that I paid her in December.

And there's not a lot of recourse. She is gone, no forwarding address, nothing. 

And for the first week and a half in Southampton, I slept. I slept soundly through the night, and at times would still take a nap during the day.

I would still go into the city for meetings or to see a friend.

But it has taken me some time to get past this. I know I make light of it, but it wasn't. It was horrid. It's a horrid situation to be living underneath someone who is mentally unstable and has threatened you.

And that the person I subletted from was well aware of this. Had intimate knowledge of the situation. But that's another story for another time.

During that time, between these two women my compassion for human beings was tested. Severely tested.

Remember my earlier post about true New Yorkers? She was not one; she was a hustler by way of Brazil who was on her way to LA. She has no idea what she's in for in LA, and for that, there is satisfaction. She WILL be hustled so hard her head will be spinning. Right back to Rio. 

So, there's that.

Now, that that's out of the way, moving on.

I still love New York. Love it, love it, love it. Love the people. I still feel like I am home here, I still feel comfortable in my skin here, and love seeing my friends in the city when I am able to.

I love it when it snows, I love it when it rains, I love it when it's cold. Okay maybe not the cold when you're freezing, but you get the idea.

I love the food.

I love the conversations - whether it's with friends or someone in the park, or the cab driver. Love, love the conversations. Everyone's got an opinion and I love hearing all of them.

Southampton's not too shabby either. The people are lovely, the flowers are starting to bloom, and I have been biking around town.

Here I am the other day about to go biking with my dog:
Okay so it's not that warm, and you need five layers or so, and so what that you look a little heavier.  

The days have gotten longer, the sun is shining and the apartment debacle is becoming a faded memory. ***

*** NYPD rocked. They were lovely. Granted it probably has to do that I lived in the Mayor's precinct, but still. They even  gave me their cell number and email address if I needed anything.

*** Well, almost. I still can't stand to hear anything about Brazil or anything affiliated. I know this will pass in time.  I think. 

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