The Apartment of Usher

The apartment I live in is part of a very old house that was refurbished into a quadroplex many, many years back. Of course this "classic" styling is part of the place's unique charm -- but there is a dark side. Namely, over the past few months it's been showing signs of it's age by basically falling apart right in front of my eyes.

Case in point -- late Sunday night, I'm stretched out on the couch half asleep watching the waning moments of the Cowboys game when the ceiling fan in the living room comes loose from its anchor bolts and crashes to the floor.
Scared the crap out of me.
It's a low rent bachelor pad, so even though the landlords eventually fix things -- speed isn't really their calling card. So a day later a guy shows up in essentially a business suit to come check it out. He's been here before (fixing the kitchen faucet that broke off in my hand, replacing the broken refrigerator), but it's always been on weekends where he was more dressed the part for a maintenance guy.

It makes perfect sense that an apartment maintenance guy might have a day job or whatever, but suddenly it dawned on me that this might be more than just a fix-it dude. The landlords I deal with actually handle a number of properties in town, including managing properties for small-time real estate investors. Which means that there's a distinct possibility that the guy in my living room holding the flashlight could actually be the owner of the property -- which made me suddenly very conscious of the state my place was in, not to mention the two cats hiding in the other room that are not really allowed per the terms of my lease.

Luckily he doesn't seem interested in any of that, as the expression on his face is more a mix of surprise and disgust at the apparently shoddy manner in which the ceiling fan was hung in the first place. It's not hard to imagine this guy as someone who had a little money to work with, bought into a rental property -- only to find himself back there week after week fixing all sorts of things he never expected to have to deal with.

But the funny part of the whole thing was the fact that because he was dressed so nice, he wasn't really eager to do a whole lot of things. He was like "Do you have a Phillips head screwdriver?" and I'd hand him one and then he'd say "Do me a favor, take that mounting assembly off the light fixture so I can look at it."
So basically the guy came over to check out my ceiling fan problem, but I did all the work.
In the end he told me he'd probably have to replace the mounting bracket, and maybe reinforce the wiring box in the ceiling -- a process that would take some time given his schedule. While not the ideal situation, it's pretty par for the course with this place.

So when I left for work this morning, there were wires hanging from the ceiling and a ceiling fan on the floor. When I came home from work and put the key in the door, the optimist in me hoped against hope that it would be fixed.
What I wasn't expecting was to find it GONE.
Best estimate is that he came by and picked it up. But then the phone rang, which turned out to be the landlord telling me that they've shut off my air conditioner because apparently it was pouring water into the apartment below.
So as much as I love my place, it's becoming more and more clear that I need to trade up a little if I can. Not that I can afford a move anytime soon, or any real bump in rent -- but that if I stay in this place much longer the floor might fall out under me or the walls will start bleeding or the monster in the attic will come down looking for his mail under the name "Willie Nelson" or whatever..
In other news, Florida is still a very hot and humid place at night.
..Especially if you don't have AC or a fan.
[Listening to:    American Head Charge"Fall" ]