Over the past few months, I’ve received a lot of praise for my career accomplishments. For someone who is less than two years out of college, I feel I’ve done some fairly impressive work, but the instant I leave the office and begin my journey home, I regress about fifteen years. I cannot and will not cook, have yet to order a dresser for my clothes (who said post-grads can’t buy the bright colored cubes and containers from Bed, Bath, & Beyond’s college dorm section?), and don’t even own a microwave anymore. My living situation is somewhat awful (you’ll learn why below, but before we get into that, I need you to know it has nothing to do with my roommates. They’re actually the easiest people with whom I’ve ever lived), but I’m not grown-up enough to find a new place to reside and all that, so I’m stuck in Hell. Really. My room actually reminds me of that horror film 1408, and I’ll explain why shortly. Nevertheless, I’m so ready to leave that I am actually getting my act together and searching for another place to live, and here is why:
1. My apartment building entrance door doesn’t always open
There’s no easy way of putting this: My apartment building does not guarantee entrance for residents. You need a key to enter the building, and the lock is old, taut, and impossible to open. Every night, I find myself standing outside the building entrance door for several minutes trying to get inside, frustrated that accessing my home has to be a challenge. Of course I always win the battle, but walk away with a sore hand (especially during winter) and heightened blood pressure. I mean, imagine if you had to struggle every single time you wanted to enter your house. You’d be livid, unsatisfied, and distraught. Though I reside in Bed Stuy, which is breaking away from its image of being the most dangerous neighborhood in Brooklyn, I’m safe. That doesn’t make it any easier to fight with the lock whenever I want to get inside the building. If I’m lucky, someone will be leaving just as I’m attempting to enter, and more often than not we will briefly exchange gripes over the insufferable lock that separates us from our sanctuary. A few weeks ago, someone left a note on the door that read, “Please fix the God damn lock before we’re all locked out for good.” But until someone gets sexually assaulted or killed as a result of not being able to get inside the building at 2 a.m., the building manager won’t do anything to provide residents with basic security needs. As my friend Scott said the other day, I’m screwed if some lunatic decides to chase me down the block. Considering the amount of awkward encounters I have with strangers and creepers, I’m lucky this has happened yet, and I’m going to get out of here before it can.
2. The apartment is haunted
Laugh all you want, but there is definitely something supernatural going on in this apartment. I don’t think it’s an evil spirit or anything like that, just someone who wants my roommates and I to know he/she is around. My roommate agrees something weird is up because random items we’ve never seen before will appear on her desk. What do you expect from an old apartment? My friend Christy says her apartment is haunted as well, only she suspects the place is inhabited by a friendly deceased gay man, as her stuff is often rearranged neatly. “Whoever the ghost is, he has a better eye for design than I do and really improves the way my room looks,” she said. That’s even better than freakin’ Casper! Why can’t I have the stylish gay man ghost instead of a self-involved attention whore entity who desperately wants to make his/her presence known? So over his/her drama.
3. I am not crazy about cats
Though I love my roommate’s cats, Frankie and Olive, I’m not a fan of cat litter, which somehow always manages to wind up in my bed. I guess this means the apartment floor is covered in cat litter, and that cannot be beneficial to my health. I’m also of the belief that cats are the creepiest beings on earth, so it would probably be best if I limit my interactions with these creatures as much as possible. Frankie and Olive are sweet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have nightmares about felines.
4. I don’t live near any of my friends
This is just too isolating an existence for me. I’d be happy to stay in Brooklyn if I could be closer in location to my friends, but right now, I’m far from everyone and everything, and what could be worse than that?
5. I’m by the G train
My friend Will, a lifelong New Yorker, laughed when I told him I’d be moving to an apartment by the G train. “The G train, the subway New Yorkers love to hate.” There’s a reason for that. It’s the worst subway line in the entire MTA system. Trains come every fifteen minutes, and you’ll feel that inexcusably long wait whether you’re late to work or in no rush at all. The cars are too small and don’t even have electronic indicators on where the train is headed next. I need to reside by a reliable train. Even the L would be a major improvement.
6. The view from my bedroom window is a junkyard
As a child, I never envisioned having a roommate who would say, “Did you see all the snow this morning? The junkyard looked SO GOOD” and follow up with “now that the snow has melted, the junkyard is back to being ugly.” The 12-year-old Suburbanite deep inside me cannot believe this is the life I have chosen for myself.
7. I live right beside an abandoned building
It’s only a matter of time before a pack of hoodlums turns this into an opium den or shooting range.