A few years back, I made a promise to a long time friend. "You'll never be homeless," I said. Several months back, she called in the promise. She described an evil new (probably) Republican building manager, who demanded she get rid of a certain percentage of her beloved books. It was almost cartoonishly evil. I now have very good reason to suspect it's enitely untrue.
The first day, she took.to her bed, leaving a couple of people to unload a 25 foot truck after sniffing that the basement "smelled." (Lysol sucks.) She was near tears and, well, and something about the display hinted it would only getbworse. The boxes were at least eighteen inches by eighteen inches and incredibly heavy, especially for someone with a torn rotator cuff, a bad back, and a weak meniscus. I finally rented a small storage locker. I got her out of bed to help point out where stuff went. At one pount, she came out to the truck to check on her stuff. Not us. Her stuff. I asked her to get me a bittle of water. She was scannung her precious stuff. *So-and-so will get it," she said.
That was the day she made her first suicide threat. It was over a computer. It was....troubling. You'd think when somebody takes you in, you'd be...
appreciative. Instead, she got emotional to the point of tears. She shouted that I WOULD call some person.....somewhere else.....who didn't own my house.....for huh?
To make a long story short, I was trapped elsewhere by the suckiest of bad weather. For months. I took sympathy on her after another complaint by her about her old building manager, who was unfairly holding onto her security deposit. With het sitting next to me, I asked her fie that ohone number. "I'm going to get your money back," I said. That was how I found out it was "nonpayment." Months later, she attacked me over that, rewriting it as a "boundary violation." That's something she does, quite frequently, along with the suicide threats.
She claimed she had migraines like I did, but she sat or laid in the sun, snacking, reading, watching movies, but moaning when the subject of chores came up. That was a pattern. Her illnesses----unlike mine----only curtailed her ability to do chores. She ordered brandy snifters and a fancy teapot instead of paying bills. She would scream and sob when you asked her to clean up her mess, crying dramatically about how she was useless. I got the impression I was to console her. Then later, she'd sing out gaily, "I'm useless, get used to it!" She slept till the afternoon, then got up, fed herself----using my dishes, which ahe piled in the sink and refused to wash because of some injury. She also refused to do anything for anyone else. She wouldn't do dishes, laundry, housework, and got furious when I pointed out that her "injuries" were causing me pain. It became apparent she would only permit you to say anything is she wanted somethibg from you.
I went back to the house a few days ago. She had refused to pay the utility bill. "But you said I didn't have to pay the utilities!"
"I said THE RENT."
She texted back, "So ....you didn't mean it. I guess I shouldn't be suprised."
That accusation was so extraordinarly dishonest and manipulative my jaw dropped. It implied that she was used to betrayal from me, that I had broken promises before, that she was inured to it. When I texted her back furiously, her response was also a master class in things that I can't even name. "I...whatever I say is wrong. Ditto saying nothing." How about the truth? How about stop this....what even IS thos shit?
The porch was jammed with Amazon boxes, and I found, bags upon bags of dirty cat litter. It took hours to break down them all. Finally, I went inside.
Beside the front door were two garbage bags full of rotten cat food cans.
In the corner of the living room was my grandmother's chair. My little Egyptian inlaid mother-of-pearl table was covered with...things. The floor was worse. I saw smeared paper plates, discarded clear plastic takeout containers, small square takeout boxes from some restaurant VERY far away, fast food takeout bags also from faraway shops, smeared glass dishes, discarded metal and pkastic forks, sticky smears on the floor itself, Amazon paper packing material, empty Amazon boxes, drink cups and soda cans everywhere, fruit rinds and large areas of crumbs and discarded chips. There were pudding cups, yogurt containers, their lids, and that plastic film that seals the container. I found the tops of ice cream containers I had bought. The floor crunched and rustled as I walked. Later on, as I collected three bags of trash, I'd find cheese and a hard, partially peeled orange.
The parlor was entirely blocked off by Amazon boxes. In the dining room, garbage bags stuck to the floor and the drift of bills and dishes and empty cans and newspaper ads prevebted one from getting to the window.
I had found her an apartment to live. April 1st. She was supposed to be packing. Instead, she was using a cat tree as a shelf for tacky fast food souvenir glasses.
I pulled one of the garbage bags off the floor.
It contained three of four rotten milk bottles, swollen and leaking. The floor beneath them was moist. I saw a plate upside down on the floor.
In the kitchen, the stove was piled with cooking pabs, including a turkey roaster I was genuinely afraid to open. The counter next to stoce was piled with those little brown grocery bags. The stove top was itself sneared with several differnt colors.
The top of the little fridge was crowded with more swollen milk bottles, a broken bowl of mine, open packages of cheese and yogurt and dip. The fridge itself could barely be closed.The table nect to it contained a sausage, a package of corned beef that required refrigeration, packages of bread, more soda cans, and God knows what else. There was also a milk bottle dated early December and lsyered in several strata. The top one was nearly clear. I spotted more milk bottles in the wrecksge, along with more soda cans, yogurt containers, cans, can lids, yogurt lids, and a package of cheese. Aparently when sheq opened or finished a container, she tossed all the componebts on the floor.
That was my little antique formica table. My ex neighbor gave it to me. It wasn't glamirous but I loved it.
The kitchen sink contsined two inches of brown, indescrible-smelling brown fluid, and heaps of rotten meat. The counter was piled with my dishes and crumbs, ripped pieces of packaging plastic, and God knows what else.
I noticed a handle sticking out of the cupboard. Perched on my plates was a frying pan. It contained two rotting and green pieces of chicken, plus two desdicated pieces of bacon.
The floor in front of the kitchen sink crunched under the feet. There were black and brown smears everywhere.
On the side porch was s knee-high pile or rotting cat food cans.
I can't even describe the center of the kitchen. The garbage can had apparently bern for weeks.
In her room, cat shit and wet black litter were scattered on the hard wood floors and my Persian rugs.
"You need to clean this up, you're damaging my floors!"
"Get used to it, Laundry Maid," she said from the bed I will have to burn. It was at least eight o'clock, and instead of corralling the foster kitties, I was trying to clear a path through the house.
In the center of her room was ! mounnd of clothes snd catalogs and bedding and delapidted....things. My desk and Indian chest sge'd been using were caked with filth, and cat food----dry snd wet----were ground into the carpet by her bed.
The ferals' litter boxes were surtounded by swathes of lit and were full of solid cakes of litter. I had been paying a girl $15 a day three times a werk to scoop litter boxes.
"Get used to it, Lsundry Maid."
So. This is what I have to do. She owes $477 for gas and electric, $67 for water, and God knows how much it will take to haul away the trash. Oh, and I found a kitchen-sized garbage can outside her bedroom, filled witj at least another five or six bags of dirty litter.
The lower tracks in the dishwasher are gone. They will have to be repaired or the dishwasher replaced. I don't know how much it will cost to much out tje house I'd hoped to sell-----and she KNEW I wanted to sell it. "Oh, by the way," she said casually one day, "You have to pay for my move." Originally, my idea had been to buy a duplez in a quiet small town. These expenses might very well force me into foreclosure. She is supposed to.move April 1st, but obviously is not packing or doing anything toward that end. I found her an apartment, but she's one of those people wh1o leaves dirty dishes in t1he sink,11 knowing others will finally need the sink. Oh, yeah, the sink. Jesus. (I partially cleared the drain, but....I'm not a plumber, and I suspect this is a job for a plumber.)
Under the table.
If you can help any, I'd appreciate it.