Monday, May 22, 2006

Wet Paint

My landlord painted my front door without telling me.


So this is the second time I have come into my house through the back door (where the carport is), opened the front door to get the mail, and stuck my hand on a very wet, sticky, freshly-badly-painted door.

And then I see a handy sign taped to the front step saying “Wet paint.”

This came after a long afternoon of minor but for some reason extremely irritating little mishaps: my car gave me trouble starting, the filling station didn’t have cold soda, my hands inexplicably smell like rubber and no amount of washing seems to help.

Is that a symptom of something? Rubber-smelling hands? It’s probably an early indicator of rubella or something.

The thing is, it’s frustrating to housefrau in a house that isn’t really mine. I can’t do anything about the ugly walls, the terrible window coverings, the fucking horrible neighbors. And all the myriad little broken things that the landlord is uninterested in fixing, well, I guess I could fix myself, but why should I?

It’s startling to discover, when I’ve gotten the bright idea to clean underneath the fridge, grime that predates my living here by decades. Those bobby pins, crayons, and BB gun pellets certainly aren’t mine. I’m just adding my dirt to the layers already set down by other tenants. I almost don’t want to clean too deeply—I’d rather be swimming in my own filth than in someone else’s.

And yet, much as I crave my own little piece of land with my very own plumbing problems to call home, it’s much easier to rent. It’s nice to feel that the crappiness of my home is someone else’s responsibility. It helps to think that my failed recipes are the fault of an oven that someone else picked out. It’s reassuring to know that I can pack up and leave with no strings attached, and I tell myself that, I'm not stuck in this life, I can leave, I can leave, I can leave, and that makes it better when I keep waking up in the same pokey little house, same pokey little life.

Still, I think it’s just common courtesy to give someone a bit of warning before slathering paint all over their front door. What if I had been planning to throw a come-over-and-touch-my-front-door party tonight?

“Wet paint,” indeed. I just hope the landlord doesn’t spoil the hey-check-out-my-broken-bathroom-faucet shindig I’m throwing next week.


Blogger Battard said...

Visit Our dogs

7:00 AM  
Blogger Q said...

You have left your mark!
Sounds like a nice time to potatoe stamp your door.

1:27 PM  

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