Thursday, September 23, 2010

Someone Left the Treehouse in the Rain

If you don’t remember the move from separation to singledom, let me remind you that the three-week cleanup of the Treehouse was complicated by a leaking roof.  Perhaps it’s appropriate that on the way from singledom to cohabiting, the leak has returned.

Before going to Orlando to celebrate Dylan’s birthday, I called the landlord’s son to let him know the closet was leaking again.  At that point, it was a small drip, avoidable by scrunching my clothes to the side and putting a bucket down.  After ten days of back and forth, the roof became about as effective as swiss cheese.
My clothes, shoes, and spare linens have been removed from the closet, where mold grows luxuriantly in the back corner and water trickles from several spots.  The closet fixtures I purchased and installed are now rife with mold.

The kitchen ceiling also leaks from several spots.  The sound of dripping water is so loud, it wakes me at night.  Of course it keeps me up, but that’s not what I mean.  I’m saying I finally manage to drop off despite the wet stench of the place and the frustration of having everything I own piled into half of a tiny studio, and the sound of rain inside the house is loud enough to wake me.

If you’ll remember, the water damage in the kitchen is not new.  Clearly, the prior tenant experienced similar problems, as the new wall panels and rusted drip pans on the oven can attest.  And their realtor has the nerve to call me and ask what the landlord can do to keep me from moving out.

The house was built in 1925; it needs a new roof, not more handyman patch jobs.  That’s the minimum which needs to happen to make the place livable, and my landlord could pay for it with by selling the Escalade he drives in Miami (he lives in San Bernardino, CA) or the chunk of gold around his wrist.  Meanwhile, I no longer feel safe in my own home.  I’m sleeping with a bat near my bed.  I know that makes no sense – what am I going to do, beat the water to death? – but it helps me get a few fitful hours of rest.

1200 Wallace Street in Coral Gables, FL, 33134, reeks of mold and festering water damage.  It’s August in Miami, but I’ve opened the windows to let the stench escape.  Since it’s rainy season, the ceiling never stops dripping.  The water went from brown to white, laced with glue from the tar paper the well-meaning, ineffective handyman keeps layering up there.

There’s no Becky.  I can barely stand the conditions here myself, and I’m not about to subject her to them.  We’re getting through this because we know we’ll share a home soon, and we’ll be able to discover each-other all over.

I can’t masturbate, even though I’ve got all the makings of a first-rate prison fantasy.  You know the one, where I’m a guard at a women’s prison?  That’s caged heat, baby.  The dripping water, the smell, it’s like special effects.  When it rains, I can imagine Becky and I getting hot and heavy on the front porch of some tropical hut during a rainstorm.  But there’s no way to reconcile disgust and self-lust, so even that momentary peace is lost to me.

Now I’m run down and feverish just when I need to be packing up.  Ever cleaned your dishes in the bathroom sink, rinsed them in the shower, and dried them in your living room, while running a fever, as roofing glue drips down your neck?  It’s exactly as fun as it sounds.

Mr. Rojas, the keys to your Escalade wouldn’t get me to stay in this dank hole another day.  If you have an ounce of humanity, you will replace the roof before you give the key to the Treehouse to some other poor sap.

Oh, and stop charging the poor woman who just moved in below me rent.  All that water flows downward, you know.

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