I’m no stranger to living in squalor and filth. College was spent living transiently. Dorm room to apartment to shitty house– you know the drill. You think you’re upgrading but you’re really just moving from one shitty room to another, possibly more disgusting room. Even out of college, my living situation was not all that much improved. Sure, I had the luxury of an in-unit washer and dryer, but the stacked w/d in my overpriced apartment was so old it cut up a bunch of my garments and left them unwearable. The last place I lived in had no air conditioning, meaning that for the 20 or so days that it was actually really nice outside in Chicago, I was sweating my ass off. It was cumbersome, but at the time I didn’t really give a shit. As a native Michigander, it’s almost required that you move to Chicago following graduation from college. It’s just what you do. I guess it’s not just Michigan. If you went to a Big Ten school there’s like a 75% chance you up and move to Chicago. 25-year-olds just fucking flock to the windy city.
My apartment was affectionately referred to by friends as “an absolute shithole,” a “dungeon,” and my personal favorite “filth factory.” Some of this was my fault, sure. I probably could have swiffered my wood floors a little more often. I could have gone the extra mile to buy new drapes for my windows. But if living as a transient renter has taught me anything, it’s that you don’t want to have too much shit in your apartment. Why? Because then you have to move all of that shit out when you relocate.
In my last place my windows rattled. My stove took no less than ten minutes to boil water anytime I wanted some pasta. My landlord basically refused any service other than coming to collect our rent checks once a month. Issue with the toilet? Sounds like a personal problem. Hot water off? Guess you’re taking cold showers until the water heater fixes itself. These were minor inconveniences, and after a few months of becoming an amateur plumber and electrician, I just got used to it. This brings me, of course, to my latest move, which saw me move from Chicago to Austin into an apartment sight unseen. I knew the building was new because I had a brief tour of the space where I would eventually move into via a realtor I hired to help me find an affordable spot. But I had no idea it would be as nice as it was when I arrived at 11:00 p.m. last Sunday, just 8 hours before I needed to be up and at ’em for my first day of work.
This apartment, to put it lightly, is bougie as fuck. The clientele of this particular building is all 23-30 year olds who I can only assume will be complaining to a building supervisor about how the pool water is too cold. Sidenote: the pool isn’t going to be open until the end of July, so if anyone wants to invite your boy over I’ll toss a few Bud Lights your way. I used to make fun of the kind of douchebag who would move into a place like I now live in. My room has a sliding glass door that leads out to a balcony view of a pretty nice courtyard. My stovetop is electric, but it only takes a few minutes to boil water when I want pasta. I have a goddamn kitchen pantry. My refrigerator? It’s got an ice maker and one of those things on the freezer door that gives me water because I guess the tap isn’t good enough for me anymore. I’ve got one of those Nest thermometers that I can control from my iPhone. It’s disgusting. I feel uncomfortable living in a place like this because I’m so used to living in apartments or houses that should have been torn down and rebuilt fifteen years ago.
So what should I do here? While I will be the first to admit that I’m a grade A douchebag, I’m not a snob. I’m more of a Danny Noonan than a Judge Smails. I need to bring everyone in my building down a peg or two to assert my dominance early. This is like my first day on the yard in prison. Once this pool opens up, I think the play for me is to just go Cousin Eddy from Christmas Vacation on everybody’s asses. You know the drill. Start rolling down to the pool in a robe with Skynyrd blasting from a boombox. Make my apartment’s balcony into a tiki bar and the go-to spot for Tequila Tuesdays. Maybe I’ll trade my Impala in for a Winnebago and park that thing in the buildings garage, solely so I can yell “Shitter’s full!” at people on their way into work at 7:30 in the morning. My goal is become known as the bad boy of the building. A wildcard that people are simultaneously scared of but also intrigued by. Texas is my opportunity to become the disgusting scumbag that I’ve always wanted to be..