Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"I'm not interested in living this far out."

I woke up to the unmistakable sound of gunshots last night. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. All in quick succession. Suddenly awake and my heart beating, my cheap alarm clock showed the black numbers of 2:30 am against fluorescent blue light. My cats, either awake from the gunshots or from my sudden stirring, had perked their heads up and were watching my movements intently from the foot of the bed. This had not been the first time I've heard gunshots, but they've usually been off in the distance and presumably from the dodgier sections north and east of me. These shots were nearby -- perhaps a block away. Laying back down against my pillows, I contemplated what I should do? Call the cops? My cell phone was only an arms length away. But I then found myself sinking further into my pillows and consoling myself with the assumption that there must be more actively engaged citizens who have probably already called 911. Ah yes, the false assumption that allows us to close our eyes and assume that someone else is taking care of it, the same assumption that allows to turn a blind eye to subway assholes heckling innocent people. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I was that girl. I went back to sleep.

The irony is that I have been extolling the virtues of my neighborhood to prospective roommates. Ah yes, move to the other side of the Prospect Park where the living is cheap and you can enjoy the brownstone life. Dear readers, this is not cynicism. I actually enjoy living in my neighborhood. The gunshots are just an anomaly. Seriously. Oh wait. Forgot about that notorious murder last May.

So the roommate search is over. I went with the very qualified first and only person to see the apartment. The other people either flaked out on me or failed to respond to my email. One woman whom I had lined up to see the place last night at 7 pm called me at 7:50 pm to tell me that she "was not interested in living this far out." This far out? Christ, Coney Island is far out. Brownsville is far out. Pennsylvania is far out. Lady, you apparently live a couple blocks away from me so color me confused. After she proffered a couple more excuses for wasting my time, I said goodbye and hung up on her. The whole conversation restoked the flames of my stress and caused me to gulp deeply from my nearby glass of red wine.

When I later called the woman who is to be my new roommate and told her the place was hers, she started to cry.

Huh? "Hopefully those are tears of joy," I joked cautiously.

"Yes, yes," she insisted. "You don't know how many awful places I've seen."

Actually I could. I had my own joyous experiences back in October of 2005.

"I told everyone how awesome you were and how amazing your place was and hoping that I would get it."

"Well it's yours if you want it!"


I won't tell her about the gunshots then.


La said...

Me thinks it time to give the Crier a pseudonym.

EnnuiHerself said...

Thanks for telling about the murder and gunshot problem before I schlepped up to your 'hood for New Year's. I think I'd rather take my chances on the mean streets of Cleveland.