Get out of my (maybe) house
Everybody was there. A cluster of hyper-parents, their children brandished like banners before them, was extolling and declaiming the house’s suitability for the wet-chinned children hanging off their chests in imported Scandinavian harnesses.
A trio of uber-butch lesbians stomped from room to room in combat boots, glowering at my patriarchal heteronormative…face.
A pair of hipsters went to check the bathroom again, and paused for something longer than a glance in the mirror to monitor their ironic facial hair, their skinny jeans silent on the stairs. Experts in passive aggression, they effectively boxed everyone else out of the room while visualizing where to place their hat boxes and antique shaving kits.
Their cousins, the Silicon Valley tech upstarts, walked around with an Iphone3000 held up like a crucifix, giving a video tour to a member of their thinktank who couldn’t attend. The building’s solar potential was a topic of hot debate, “Did I mention that’s our field? A solar Start-Up in The City?” Yes, you mentioned that.
And Manny and me. He’s a great roommate and I’m madly in love with his dogs, so we sought two bedrooms, preferably no carpets (dogs!), and secretly/blatantly hoped to find space for his muay thai kickboxing equipment.
We’d just looked at a cupboard-sized two bedroom for $2500 (because rent in the Bay Area is between preposterous and tragicomic), but then this place showed up. Four bedrooms, giant kitchen, living room, dining room, large yard, towering ceilings, all brand new, and a little garage in the back where one could punch, kick, and elbow without dripping sweat in the house. All for $2600.
Sure, it was in The Hood a bit, freeway overpasses above run-down houses with Escalades, and a mural around the corner of local kids who have been shot, but not that bad (and better than the place with the torn ziploc of mostly-used heroin on the porch).
We could move in, have our gym, and find two more roommates to split the cost. But we weren’t the only ones who had ideas. It was Saturday, aka: Open House Day, and the crowds and claws were out.
The first time the techie swept his i-tour past me, he’d said “Yeah, it’s an open house, so there’s tons of people here.” I politely refrained from correcting his grammar. Now we coincided in the backyard, where he griped “The back yard’s not very big, yard sized.” As the phone swept past me I waved. He tossed his head in a silent scoff.
Behind him Manny looked at the garden shed. “Detached shed, that’ll be good for the sex dungeon.”
“I was just thinking that. We can add some insulation so the neighbors won’t hear the screams.” Our humor was lost on the other cadres. The techie tour moved back inside.
I considered asking the leasing agent if there was an additional fee to enter the gladiatorial combat phase of the selection process, but decided we’d already made enough friends. We filled out our applications, paid our fee, and went home.
It was bizarre, wandering through other people’s visions of the future, impolite interlopers in their soon-to-be-home, trampling on each other’s dreams. If my days at my current place weren’t ticking down so quickly, maybe I could have just enjoyed the peculiar insanity of it all. But instead, we’ll wait to hear if we are the lucky ones, moving into our new palace of muay thai doggishness.
Visions for the future are a dime a dozen, but apartments? Those cost a bit more.