Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Commie Condo

Sunday, I was super productive. Like some a carpenter ant or a bee. Or some sort of insect that is known for its industry.

Anyhow, I was doing laundry, roasting some chicken breasts for soup, and feeling virtuous. I went to take out the garbage, grabbed my newfangled garbage gate key, and walked out the door in my sweatpants and short sleeves. I grabbed the door handle, locked the knob, closed the door behind me, and realized -- I just locked myself out of my own motherfucking house.

It was as if I were watching the door close in slow motion -- watching my own hand reach to undo the mistake I just made -- and the awful click of the door mirroring the awful click my mind made as it registered the fact that I was now underdressed and completely locked out. In thirty degree, windy weather. Wearing pseudo-pajamas and a crazy green headband.

With the oven on.

I walked around to the front of the building, got one of my neighbors to let me into the lobby, and found my front door securely deadbolted.

I saw that a neighbor was hosting an open house, so I went over to seek warmth and a phone. I walked in to a sparsely-furnished, unnervingly similar place to my own, and begged the Eastern European realtor to use her phone. She let me, even though it was clearly dying.

I called my condo association, because I couldn't remember Susan's number (she has my spare) and, um, she was out of town, so, like, I was fucked.

While I waited for them to call me back, I took a look around. The place belongs to a big, lurking dude named Doru, who is from somewhere unidentified -- Romania or Russia or Poland -- a guy with a huge smile and few words.

The Eastern European realtor took some time to show around a couple, explaining, "the man who lives here, he is an artist, he has added many touches."

As it turns out, the touches were as follows:
- he had painted the wall above the granite fireplace a slate grey color, which was alright in and of itself. However, upon further inspection, I noticed that this particular "touch" included copious random halfmoon pockmarks in the wall, as if he had pounded the entire surface with a hammer.
- the opposite wall was painted in broad, diagonal stripes of the same slate grey and a cream color.
- the hallway and bedroom featured squares of crown molding superglued to the walls, spraypainted silver, with silver marker scribbles on the inside. Sometimes going out of the lines.
This particular touch deeply offended my sensibilites -- I felt bad for whomever has to pry those fuckers off the wall.

I also noted a musky, organic smell. While the place appeared clean, it smelled like dirty boy. You know, the smell of a teen boy's room, one where the floor is padded with dirty clothes, where the sheets haven't been changed since he forbade his mom to come in months ago. At first I thought the smell might have been me. However, when I asked the realtor, "Does Doru still live here?" She said -- "Oh, yes. I can smell it."


Very few people came in, so the realtor sat down at the kitchen table and started telling me the story of her life -- how she studied law in Romania, how she identified the civil rights the communists were violating by preventing her from leaving the country, how she made herself a target by refusing to be quiet. She told me how her husband had brainwashed and abused her, and how she gained freedom by divorcing him.

She said, "Are you single?"

I said, "Yes."

She said, "Me too."

An hour passed. I called the answering service again, who said my condo assocaition contact wasn't answering his phone.

Finally I called a locksmith.

When he came, a total of two hours in my pajamas smelling boy later, he was a cranky bitch.

I've never been so happy to get back inside.

My chicken was totally burned.

My momentum was shot. My laundry still isn't all done. . .

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