But not the design kind. The kind where my apartment and I go to a psychiatrist and we work on our communication skills, because apparently I’m not making myself clear. And my apartment, of course, has no ears … or empathy for that matter.
So first Kamel and I got engaged and decided to move in together and we researched apartments for a few months, which lead to a kind of disillusionment that can only truly be found in San Francisco. Basically – our money was going to get us a studio with a large closet that they referred to as a “bedroom”, in the outskirts of the city. Well, if we were going to live in the outskirts of the city then I at least wanted to be able to walk to the beach. So there.
And then we came across our current apartment, with a view of the Sunset district and the ocean and it’s separated kitchen (I know fancy, right), and it’s hardwood floors, and it’s top floor status. And put on top of that the lower-end-of-our-budget price, the move in costs we could actually afford, all of the south facing windows with all of that sunlight and I was SOLD. So sold Kamel had to shush me as a jumped up and down during the first walk through “I WAAAANT IT!!!” I kept whispering at him whenever the landlord would turn his back. And Kamel would put his finger to his lips and smile at me.
We finally moved and unpacked for for reals in late August. And this was home. We bought a couch and a big rug, we combined our belongings, we threw out our (his) belongings, we paired down to what we could fit into our tiny eagles nest of an apartment over looking the ocean and we were happy.
We were happy despite the ridiculous lack of storage. Check this out, the storage includes: Our kitchen cupboards, our bedroom closet, and a medicine cabinet. No hall closet, no under the sink in the bathroom storage, nothing. For two people. And then of course there are the ants. Oh god the ANTS! Just wandering around – in our bedroom, under the couch, in the sink, in our cupboards, on the clean dishes drying in the dish drainer. They come the myriad of random holes in our walls. Holes around the electrical outlets, holes between the cupboards and the walls, holes between the window sill and our wall. HOLES. Our apartment is a cheese grater!! And we’ve called the landlord, and we’ve called the maintenance guy and they say they will help, they say they will fill all of the holes, but they don’t. They don’t come back when they say they will, they don’t follow up, they don’t really help us at all. And I just don’t want to fight about it because, really? Even without the ants the windows rattle so loud in the wind that I can’t sleep, I can feel the breeze from across the room, we don’t have screens on the windows so during the hot days we can’t open them at twilight or the giant effing flying creatures swarm our lights. And all of those lovely south facing windows? Don’t have blinds or curtains (These we could purchase. Our excuse? Not wanting to spend the money and not having any of the tools for installation). So hello next door neighbor whose windows are parallel to one of our ours, don’t mind me getting dressed in the morning! Just your casual, neighborly nudity greeting you on the daily. Ho hum.
And my favorite – my favorite out of all of this shit the apartment reigns down on our heads – the effing hot water. I like a good hot shower, and the water is so so at best. It’s hot, but it’s not *sigh*-hot. Ya know? It’s just… a shower. But on the weekends – every weekend – there is no hot water. The water is luke-warm at BEST. Luke warm like when it splashes on my head it’s pretty much painful, luke-warm like shivering goosebumps just-scrub-your-hair-as-fast-as-you-can-and-escape luke-warm.
It’s exhausting, all of the crap bits. They wear on us and it just doesn’t seem worth it to have to fight for any of it. We had to call several times a week for a month just to get a bedroom door installed and that was after the month time frame the landlord had to do it in before we even moved in! Shit does not get done around here – and I don’t know anything about the laws of withholding rent, and I don’t want to become the “horrible tenants who do nothing but complain”. I just want to have hot water on the weekends and I don’t want to have to throw a big fit to get it.
So a few weeks ago, when I couldn’t sleep because of the howling wind and the rattling windows I poked Kamel until he woke up too and then whispered, “You wanna know a secret?” and he was all, “Hmmm…?” and then I was all, “I hate this apartment!” And ever since then, it’s like the cat’s out of the bag. We now laugh and say “I hate this apartment!” whenever we wish, where before we were trying desperately to love it, never wanting to say it out loud. In that sense, I feel a kind of relief. In the sense that I can’t get a hot shower on a Saturday at 10am, I really don’t.