Thursday, August 16, 2012

Turds Galore

I remain without an address. I'm adrift but not a bit homeless because (1) Gigi has opened her home to me, and (2) I have resources.

This situation is not new because I've been without an address since Memorial Day. If I had known how long it would take to get through an HDFC coop process, I may have gotten a summer sublet - although I have to say that it's been good to be here at Gigi's despite the mice. In fact, I'm pretty sure the mice have made stronger women out of us - or at least out of Gigi anyway because she's the one who went all Samuel L. Jackson on one the other night when he finally was caught in the snap trap. I say "he" because I'm pretty sure that if it were a She Mouse, there would be babies somewhere dramatically inconvenient.

The mouse seems to have been dashing about the apartment periodically since June, leaving a trail of turds.  Tuesday night, he has thrashing in the snap trap, and Gigi hollered, "I'm sick of these mother fucking mice in the mother fucking . . ." slammed the dust pan on top of the mouse and stomped him to smithereens.  Her arms are so buff she really looked amazing while jumping on the dust pan in her little lace nightie.  I sang, "I am woman, hear me roar," brought paper towels and a trash bag, then made peppermint tea while she took the mouse to the trash room across the court yard. 

The mouse first appeared when there was construction in the court yard as well as an apartment under renovation in the building.  I initially dismissed the mouse as just a trick of the eye, a stray curl in my peripheral vision. When I saw him for real, I squealed and ran from the room.  Thank goodness for all the turds because if it hadn't been for the turds, Gigi might have thought I was hallucinating.

For days and nights, I wouldn't go into the kitchen without smacking the broom back and forth in the door frame to scare the little bastard back into the cupboard.  Sometimes we would go a week without spotting the mouse or his debris.  But then, I spotted him running along the base board in my room.  Again, I tried to pretend it was a trick of the eye until we found turds near the sink.  By then, it was the end of July.  Gigi had the super come up to take a look.  He decided to pull out all the bottom cabinets and re-plastered the wall. It was such a mess back there he said it was a good thing a rat hadn't come on in.

Hidalgo the Super did a great job, but the turds just kept on coming.

As it happened, I was already leaving for Texas the next day, so I wasn’t around to help Gigi clean out all the mess in the closet left behind by the woman who actually holds the lease on this apartment.  That woman is married but chooses to keep this place for reasons of her own.  It works out for Gigi since the woman hasn’t stepped foot in the apartment in over a year, and Gigi only pays half the rent.  Sadly, mice had been having a field day in the hall closet where the woman had shoved a ton of stuff, including a fluffy down comforter and other lovely linens.  Gigi had to sort through all that shit – literally – in order for Hildalgo to find and plug any holes or cracks where mice could enter the apartment.
Meanwhile, I was in Houston floating in my parents’ swimming pool.

Those are crepe myrtle trees along the fence.  Mother has four and the neighbor has three, so my direct line of sight was filled with pink, white and fuchsia flowers dropping petals on me while I floated in the shade.  Quite an improvement over mouse turds, although I was occasionally started by a glimpse of these guys:  

No one knows for sure what possessed my mother to purchase life size replicas of Jake and Elwood back when she and my father still had some disposable income, but she did.  These days they’re out by the pool instead of up in the game room with the pool table.  Mother used to crack up every time she saw them.  She justified the purchase by saying that anyone who came to the house looking to buy it would remember her house was the one with The Blues Brothers.  Maybe they did and that’s why the house never sold.  Or maybe it was the old friend of my mother’s who was the listing agent.  She turned out to be a crooked, teabagging waste of space and air.  Mother fired that bitch, and has had two agents since then - but by the time she got rid of the teabagger, the damage had been done.  Once a house has been on the market a certain length of time, people often assume that there's something wrong with the house instead of thinking there was a stinking teabagger fucking up everything.

Even though Mother would have preferred to have sold the house long ago, I was glad to cool my heels in her pool while I waited to hear if my application for admission to the Coop had been accepted.  

I finally got a phone call the past Monday.  The lovely little church lady who heads the admissions committee wanted to set up an appointment for me to meet the board itself.  I confess it was an extremely aggravating disappointment to hear I had to jump through another hoop before I’m approved.  We can’t schedule the closing until I’m approved, and although it’s theoretically possible for a contractor to give a prospective client an estimate before s/he’s been approved by any coop board – it’s altogether unlikely and I haven’t been nudging him about it.

Besides, once I’m approved, the coop board may have a few “preferred contractors” who will be able to coordinate the job easily with the super in the building.  That way, I can hand over the keys and go down to Texas again.  This time, my mom and I will drive up together.  I really want to have a road trip with just me and my mom.  We intend to go by the Ballard Designs Outlet Store near Atlanta, then hit any interesting antique stores along the route to New York City.
As frustrating as all this waiting has been, I have been fairly zen about the whole thing until yesterday.  Velvet comes home from Vermont today, and I really don’t like it that I’m sleeping on a fold out chair in Inwood while he’s bunking at Buzz Kill’s.   Truly, I appreciate my little cot in the corner of Gigi’s living room, and I’m glad that Buzz Kill has room for Velvet for a few weeks until we can finally move into the new place.  Still, I’ve never been without Velvet before unless Velvet was out in the woods somewhere – and we can consider his time at Tree Hugger as Out in the Wood since he was, after all, a fifth semester freshman.

The good news is that ever since Gigi stomped the motherfucking mouse, we've seen nary a turd.
The other good news is that before I went to Texas, I got a chance to visit Mr. Wisdom in that box of his and it's very nice indeed.  We're working out the logistics to see each other again soon.  His oldest is off to college next week, and he's out of town now working on some True Crime drama for NBC Peacock.  At least he's not working on that reality show glorifying War, Stars Earn Stripes.  When you look at that shit, you really have to know the American Empire is in full and final decline.  

With all the media consolidation, there are currently about 350 executives who control everything 800 million Americans read, watch or hear in the mainstream media.  Talk about Turds in the Punch Bowl.  It's just one more reason why we Occupy!  I'm excited that Dennis Trainor, Jr's documentary American Autumn is out, and that it will be shown as part of Occupy the Film Festival here in the city on September 15th.  Manny Jalonschi and I are are going.  He also writes for Roundtree7 and for The Indypendent, too. Plus, he's awfully cute in that scruffy, revolutionary poet sort of way that's turned me on ever since I saw Doctor Zhivago.

I was at the premiere party for American Autumn back in June and reviewed the film for Roundtree7 (An Invitation to Occupy, Roundtree7, Aug 8).  American Autumn gives an excellent overview of the movement and is filled with interviews with many seasoned activists who have been working for years, as well as with many of the key players in Occupy Wall Street.  It's just over an hour long and well worth watching as we head into the presidential primaries.  Here's the trailer.  You can watch the full length version on youtube or download it free from vimeo:

I still say that the giant clusterfuck of a corporate uni-party merely offers us one peanut butter, leaving us to choose between creamy or nuts - but those Republicans have gotten pretty fucking Nuts.  Either way, though, everybody knows commercially produced peanut butter is full of mouse turds, too.  Another reason why we Occupy.