Monday, June 05, 2006

Nothing Works, and My Apartment is Slowly Killing Me

My car has been in and out of the shop so many times in the past two weeks I can't even remember what I originally took it in for, and it still has a nail in one of the tires (the fifth or sixth since my return) and has developed a mysterious clunking noise it didn't have before. Everytime it goes in, it comes back worse.

Meanwhile, my computer is crashing in slow motion. I took it in for help and the guy told me he could recommend a few good places to buy a new one. It can't even handle routine maintenance anymore - any defrag attempts always end in seizure. I waste so much time everyday waiting for it to catch up with my typing, and don't even ask about trying to read everybody's blogs. Every day feels like Russian roulette - will today be the day of the Black Screen of Death?

Then this evening I stuffed my clothes in the only washer the apartment building has, fed it my quarters, poured in the detergent, closed the lid and got ... nada. No amount of turning switches, checking plugs, or switching fuses achieved anything. When I tried to call someone for advice or at least an ear to vent in, I got a "we can't place this call" recording and flipped.

I think I can at least partially blame my perhaps inproportionate fury on PTSD - that recording took me right back to the days immediately after when phones were useless, so naturally I flipped out. I did what I usually do when I'm angry and lacking anything or anyone to righteously take it out on - pace up and down the apartment muttering angrily about why the religious right are evil and unAmerican. A few minutes of that usually works the anger out of my system.

Also for the past couple of weeks, I haven't been able to shake this annoying phlegmy cough, which I finally figured must be allergies even though I have never had allergies before. I started paying attention to when and where it was at its worst so I would know what to avoid if possible, and discovered that it's worst at night and first thing in the morning. It always gets better when I go outside. The conclusion: I'm allergic to my apartment.

This isn't nearly as far-fetched a notion as it sounds. My apartment is in this old mansion that has been chopped up into oddly shaped little units, and it is slowly but surely disintegrating around us. The landlord takes exactly zero care of it, so I've always been plagued with leaks and other annoyances. One time I found a mushroom growing out of a crack in my wall. This was even before the storm, and I'm sure it has only gotten worse. No doubt there's some sort of horrid mold growing in the walls, giving me and my cat mutant black lung or something. My flooded-but-gutted house is probably healthier to live in, and it doesn't come with loud downstairs neighbors trying to drive me crazy, like in "The Tell-Tale Heart" except I didn't kill anyone, not yet at least.

Hmmm ... apparently I wasn't entirely done venting.

But hey - maybe this is a sign that I'm returning to something akin to normal. Even as I write all this, I can't help but realize how trivial it all is, but perhaps that's a good thing. Getting all worked up over this stuff is actually a nice change of pace. Maybe I've really turned a corner here - it's okay to hate the neighbors and the landlord and the mechanic again. Ah, sweet, sweet normalcy!

4 comments:

Sophmom said...

Dale, I hope you're doing better. I'm guessing that your quiet after the fabulous little flurry of posting is indication that your computer finally succumbed to the "black screen of death" or you have been arrested and are being held for wrathful revenge on either your landlord or your downstairs neighbors. OR, perhaps you're moving, escaping what must be deadly mold inside the collapsing walls of the aging mansion. OR perhaps you've decided to run off to the islands with a beautiful and gifted young writer (no, wait, that would be Brown Trout's blog).

Anyway, I'm just babbling, for the moment unsupervised at the KnockingS#*!DownCo., wishing I was in New Orleans, missing my boy, hating this particular city in the summer (not to mention what I'm thinking of this job).

I hope you're feeling better and that you don't have Katrina Cough or anything worse. I hope there's a nice new perfect computer in your future too. Try Craig's List. *sigh*

Dale said...

Hi Sophmom, Yeah, I'm doing better, and none of those terrible things have happened, nor did I run off to the islands (though I'll have to read about that). Just recuperated a little in Jersey - that, and a few other things I will be posting on shortly have made it a pretty good past couple of weeks. Thanks for thinking of me, and you hang in there.

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