Maybe it's just me, but I feel that lately I've been addressing the hate mail differently than usual. Or maybe I am still answering them all the same and it just feels different? I mention all of this because I'm not sure if it's as entertaining for the reader, but it's still of course coming from the heart for me, and I'm still responding to as many as is humanly possible for my own enjoyment.
Here's your freakin' hate mail!
Their letters are in yellow, whilst mine are in black & white.
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On September 30th, 2004, I moved. Noah and I started late. We were doing a midnight move out of my place and didn't get everything into the truck until 3:30 in the morning, Saturday the 1st of October. Completely worn from the move with no night's sleep we drove over to my new place in The Bronx, an old warehouse that's been converted into residential lofts. We got there with the truck full of all my stuff at 4:30 in the morning. We were both fuckin' beat.
So we went in, got the freight elevator down to the truck and started to unload everything onto the elevator. It was a great artist's loft at a great price. I couldn't wait to be settled in and working again. With more than half the stuff out of the truck and on the freight elevator, that's when the shit hit the fan. This old man came up to us both and asked us what the fuck we were doing. He started yelling "This is my building and I'm telling you to get all your shit off my elevator!"
This guy was one of the orneriest fucks I've ever encountered. He was like one of those sleazy manager characters on the WWF. Of course I was on the phone trying to call Eric, the guy I signed the lease with and wrote the check to, but Eric was not picking up the phone.
My initial reaction was that this old man was out of his mind. He was some miserable foreman in the building on a power trip. Noah and I were stunned. This old man shouted at us both, telling us to get off the fucking phone and move everything back into the truck or he was going to call the police. Oh yeah, and he called us squatters.
And so I was trying to call Eric on the phone and he wasn't answering. The guy I'd written a huge check to wasn't answering his phone. The guy who I got my new home from wasn't there. I couldn't believe what was happening. I'd ben to Eric's work and home! He'd have to be an idiot to invite me into his home if he was scamming me! But this horrible old kook was telling me I'd been scammed. In a panic I called my bank. The check I'd given eric had gone through the previous morning.
Confused, tired, delirious and angry, Noah and I moved everything back onto this truck while this guy called us all sorts of names (orons, squatters, dirtbags, suckers, etc). I said to him, "Don't worry. I know where Eric lives. We're going to his home and bringing him back here." With that, the old man picked up Noah's rolling tobacco off of a post and gave it to Noah saying "Don't forget your marijuana!"
Standing out front of Eric's home Noah called him on his phone and had no problem getting through. We told Eric the situation and that he'd better come sort this whole thing out with us right now. To my great joy Eric came out. He had no idea what was going on. Now it was about 6:30am and we took Eric back to the scene.
Eric explained that he had no idea what was going on, this old man was crazy, the guy had no authority to do what he was doing. When Noah, me, Eric and his girlfriend returned to the loft building, the old man came out and he started yelling at Eric the same way he yelled at me and Noah. This made me very happy. He was saying things like "You mother fucker! You scam this fellow out of his money!" But then he also yelled "You put these scumbags in my building!" all the while calling everyone of us all sorts of horrible things.
When they were through I wanted no part of this whole thing. Eric came to me dragging his hand across his face, asking me what I want to do now.
So Eric wrote me a check in full. Noah and I returned to the truck. I was homeless. Do you understand what I'm saying?? My whole life was in a rental truck with no place to go! No sleep. No energy. And in New York City- the hardest place in the world to find a place to rent. You have no idea how much up shit creek I felt.
We drove around in that goddamn rental, totally dead inside. I swear I never felt like I was in such a hopeless situation as I did that Saturday, the 1st of October. Every place was taken. It was the first of the month! Of course everything was taken! Landlords were already looking to fill places for November! NEXT month!
By 5pm Saturday evening we hadn't found anything. We even went to a storage facility to see about putting everything I owned into storage. Neither of us could fathom where the energy was going to come from to move everything again into a 10X10 lock box. That's when Noah said (and it seemed like a fucking revelation at the time), "Let's park the truck and find places to sleep tonight." And that we did. I parked the truck on Bedford and I stayed at a friends place that night. I slept from 6pm to 10 the next morning. Noah stayed with someone he knew.
The next morning we went and got a big breakfast and I had a tremendous smile put back on my face by a friend who just happened to be working at the restaurant that morning, Fiona. Then I went back to Craigs List and the telephone. And let me tell you this. Sunday, the 2nd of the month, in New York City is probably the worst possible scenario to try and find an apartment, anywhere. Fucking drag.
Then, out of the blue, I got a call. It was from a girl who'd I'd met a couple weeks earlier when I was apartment hunting, and she was still looking for a roomie! Not only that but it was a great loft space with a huge window looking over Brooklyn. So guess where I'm writing this now? Yes. I moved in and I feel very very lucky. I've been here two weeks and things are lookin' up again. The Xmas Magnets will be here this week, jobs are rollin' in (thank you TShirtHell.com), and I'm in a giant brownstone with it's own smokestack looking out over Brooklyn.
All opinions, writings, illustrations & designs are that of Normal Bob Smith (C) 2000 - 2012