You know the saying not to judge a book by its cover? Well as hard as I try not to do that, I usually do. I almost always pick the book with the cover that looks the brightest or the most intriguing.
So, I’m not exactly sure how I wound up living in the first floor apartment on Hamilton. The outside of the house looked to be on the verge of collapse – there was a vacant lot next door full of dead trees and discarded trash, several bricks were missing from the front steps, and there was a hole in the center of the porch covered with a rotting board.
The landlord assured my roommate and me of his plans to fix up the house. He pointed to the brand new bathroom and kitchen in the apartment and promised that everything would soon sparkle just as much.
So we moved in.
For two weeks we lived in peace, enjoying the fact that we only had to walk 10 minutes to class. We didn’t see our landlord once, but thought nothing of it. The new deck and painted walls that he promised would happen, eventually.
Then it started to rain.
The water ran across the ceiling, dripping in steady streams down the center beam and onto our brand new leather couch.
We called our landlord, but suddenly he was unavailable. We must have left 50 messages, but for three weeks we heard nothing from him.
Then one day a man appeared on the doorstep claiming to be a plumber. He went into the apartment upstairs, took a look around, and declared that the tenant above us must have overflowed the tub.
Puzzled we watched him leave; neither one of us had known there was a tenant on the second floor.
That’s when the lock stopped working.
This time our angry phone calls were rewarded a little quicker. We got to speak with someone who told us that our landlord was currently in India. He assured us that he would take care of the issue though, and soon came to our apartment with an identical lock to replace the sticking mechanism.
That’s when it started to rain, again.
Disgusted at the idea of dirty shower water soaking into our couch we marched upstairs and banged on the second floor apartment door. Nobody answered.
So we called our landlord’s answering machine and left yet another longwinded message.
This time it took almost four weeks for the plumber to arrive.
After checking upstairs, again, he decided that he needed to check the pipes in the floor. Wielding a giant saw he cut a giant hole in the center of our ceiling, spewing dirt and dust throughout our apartment. Nothing was wrong.
At our insistence he replaced a few old pipes and then left, leaving the giant hole in our ceiling.
That’s when the lock started sticking, again.