At Your Mercy

It's taken me four years to fully come to terms with the repercussions of apartment living. You are essentially sharing a giant house with lots of rooms with hundreds of people and therefore, you are at their mercy. Whether it's loud music, strange neighbors that you spy on through your kitchen window with the binoculars your roommate got you for Christmas, fires, smokers, drug dealers, bed bugs, mice, odors, the parrot next door that squawks "mommy" every morning for three hours, or a leak in your bathroom ceiling coming from the unit upstairs (I'll get to that in a minute), there is always something that you have to deal with in a shared living space. I've explained my mouse problem before and I haven't, God help me, experienced bed bugs, I am knocking on wood so hard right now, and luckily there have been no fires, but one day in my last apartment the NYPD came knocking to inquire if I had seen my neighbor in the past week.

New York's finest waiting for the A.

When I told them I had they replied with a hardy, "Good, he's not dead. Thanks." To which I, dumbfounded, answered, "Yeah. Um. Okay." I never really figured out what that was about but I will share that about once a month my entire building REEKED of weed, like, there must have been pounds of it my. building. That neighbor was pretty shady and sometimes I do wonder if he's still alive.

Anyway, cut to now. We have moved to a beautiful, pre-war building uptown and it is huge and we love it, but with it's 100 year birthday on the way, comes some wear and tear.

Here we are in our living room.

A few nights ago, our bathroom ceiling started leaking, just a gentle drip. Within three hours, however, the ceiling was bubbling and leaking in four places and a day later water was coming out of our light fixtures and brown streaks were dripping down my wall AND I was woken up by two firemen at my door here to check out what was going on...although I'm still not sure why they were here.

Our poor ceiling and my sad wall.

It's now four days later, our super has assured us that it's only a broken pipe which has now been fixed and that these things are to be expected in old buildings, but the ceiling is still dripping and my wall is still brown and, yeah, I'm stressing about the mold that is bound to form. But, you know what, I'm just going to go with it, deal with the problems as they come, take lots of pictures and imagine myself laughing about it all in months to come. Besides, there's something kind of nice about sharing your space with others. I've learned to trust, go with the flow, use 311 regularly, and to keep the lights off in my room when looking out my window at night.


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