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2003-08-15 @ 9:02 p.m.
the real cause of the power blackout

Yesterday I sort of got waylaid by the biggest blackout in U.S. history. But yesterday was significant for another reason. I had a major anger meltdown. In front of my Mom. Complete with the "F" word used as a verb, adverb, noun, pronoun, adjective and probably an Allomorph if I knew what that was.

It was probably the first time in my life my Mom was left speechless. She's a mega-mouth. A Gemini. An endless speaker of nothing. Its the real reason I grew up mute, or nearly mute. I could never get a word in edgewise. And after a while I kind of liked it like that. Just sit with the phone propped to my ear, as she jabbers. I've done the dishes, washed my tub, changed the catbox, made my bed, packed boxes, unpacked boxes, done my checkbook, peeled cucumbers, scrubbed gunk off the oven, watched the weather channel, parted the Red Sea, done virtually everything while she talked. You know when you hear staticians tell you that you watch TV 3 years of your life and you sleep seven years of your life. Well, I think I've listen to my Mom talk on the phone for at least 10 years of my life and I'm only 45.

But I digress. This isn't even about my Mom. This is about my ex-landlord. Talk about tangents.

Anyways, on Tuesday my shrink had offered to talk to my ex-landlord about getting my $400 deposit back. I could really, really use that money. I MEAN REALLLLY!!! I had written her a letter 2 months ago, but had been too scared to send it. I don't like making waves, but instead choose to walk around pissed every day. Hey, that's why I'm in therapy.

So I finally gave him the green light. Sent him a copy of my letter to her via e-mail, so he'd know the particulars and he got back to me almost immediately, via e-mail. Here's what he said:

I spoke to the landlady and she felt that your mother and brother were not appropriate in their calls to her, that they told her to disregard the calls from the other, and that she fully explained to them that she felt that she need not return any money to you based on the fact you broke the lease. She felt you are welcome to take her to court, but she stated she was willing to put you in a hotel and you refused and were never happy. That she has another tenant now in the apartment who was perfectly happy there, and that she somehow knew that you were now in **** and still not happy with your current apartment set up. She was not angry but she was certain that you were not a victim here and she would fight any attempt to portray you in that light...I am sorry but she is steadfast.

Well, as soon as I read this I had gotten off the computer and the phone rang immediately and it was my mother. I just blew a fuse. Hell, I might have been responsible for the blackout yesterday.

First of all, this woman either is a pathological liar or has Alzheimer's. My mother and brother did not talk to her. Only my brother. She would not take calls from my mother. Two, she never personally told any of us that she wasn't returning my deposit because I broke my lease. She had her son do it. She was on her way to Florida. Three, she offered me a hotel room on the first night my apartment for damaged, but didn't hand me any money and expected me to trust her to pay me back. Sorry. She had already lied to me at least 3 times. She had promised to throw out a drunken boyfriend downstairs who I feel was probably sexually molesting a little girl who lived there. She even wrote me a note regarding it....I'm going to get a restraining order. He's out of there. He won't even be able to walk near the building. Well, he never left. I don't even think she talked to him.

Things would break in the apartment. Leaks. Once during the summer my entire closet collapsed. She said she'd fix it immediately. I waited 8 days. I'm sort of a control freak and I'd always ask when the workman would be there, because I was afraid he'd let my cat out. She'd give me a time and date. I'd make arrangement to be home and then he'd never show up.

One day I was walking up my stairs and I heard my piano being played. I, of course freaked out, like what the hell. I walked to my door, which was ajar, and my landlord was sitting at my piano plunking the keys and the workman was under my sink. I was pissed, but I didn't say anything.

But back to the e-mail. The comment that she would fight any attempt to portray me as a victim just infuriated me. That's actually what set me off to angryland. This was not a simple case of walking out of a lease a month early.

I was living in an apartment for 21 days in December in a cold, snowy climate with a broken window and a hole in my ceiling. And I couldn't get her to fix it. I bitched and yelled at her several times. I kept asking her when things were going to be fixed. She'd give me a date. In this case, December 23. (this all started December 8th). I waited all day for the workman. He never showed up. So I spent Christmas in a cold apartment with a hole in the ceiling. I had originally planned to get a Christmas tree, but all this stuff was so traumatic, I didn't. I finally went to the local building inspector to complain. He said he'd talk to her (she's kind of the town curmudgeon that everyone knows) and if it didn't get fix he'd issue her a citation. It got fixed. The day before my rent was due.

On top of all this stuff, I had also been paying my neighbor's electricity for 7 months without my knowledge. I had accidentally discovered that when my bills in the summer were so big. One day I went and unplugged every single thing in my apartment and went down and looked at my meter and it was spinning like a freakin' tilt-a-whirl. The power company came in and found that the apartment next door was wired into my power box. She didn't offer to knock anything off my rent that month...or to put me up in a hotel room. I figure I probably paid at least $250 of my neighbor's bill.

So am I a victim? I don't know. Is she a villain? Yeah. I think so. She was like the worst landlord possible, neglecting her building, ignoring pleas from her tenants, protecting alcoholic child molesters, and not returning a deposit and being protected by an ironclad lease (her departed husband was a lawyer. An alcoholic lawyer from what I heard...probably because he had to sleep with her).

So I did a lot of screaming. I think I hurt my vocal cords. And what was difficult, was that I had a meeting for a graphics job right after this. I'm designing a cover for a CD. I'm very fond of my client, but my nerves were shot and I was on the verge of getting snappish when I couldn't explain why you can't get 6 pages of text on a small 4 sided CD wrapper (of which one side is all art).

Guess me and the shrink will be working on anger this week. Yup.

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Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty