Sunday, April 14, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me

I'm not writing.

Oh, I want to write. I want to write very much, but all my extra brain cycles are consumed with solving a problem. It started in 1940 or thereabouts. My grandfather settled in West Michigan. He bought some land and found that it was not very good for farming--despite the fact that his neighbors said his garden was the best they'd seen. His house has two bedrooms and somehow he fit eight kids in it. My dad ended up in possession of it when Grandma died.

I administer my dad's estate and that means managing Grandma's house as a rental. I rented to an induhvidual who smoked legal and illegal substances incessantly. He moved out last fall and I foolishly consented to rent to his son. Mostly, because I didn't want to go through the hassle of cleaning nicotine off the walls. (White woodwork has been stained to a goldenrod hue thereby.)

His son liked to party and I got calls from the neighbors. I saw for myself how he was living and how he was treating the property. To fix my horrible mistake I served him with a Notice To Quit. A fortnight ago he moved out. The place is a disaster and I'm putting things back together as best I can. This means spending my every free hour twenty miles north of here working on the place.

And I'm not writing.

One thing about managing rental property is the symbiosis between the tenant and the space. A space can be ramshackle and tenants can be found to live there. But they are ramshackle tenants you don't want. Instead, one spruces up the space and makes it a nice. Whereupon nice people want to live there. The art of landlording is to most effectively use limited funds to make a space nice. And when funds are most limited, the solutions tend to be more labor-intensive.

Sure, I can carpet that bedroom, but it is cheaper to paint hardwood floor it was covering up. A painted floor looks so much nicer to hipsters, and it's cheaper, but it's more labor-intensive.

Today is Sunday, the Christian day of rest. I'm resting up from yesterday, nursing some aches and pains from work I seldom do. I have scheduled vacation time for tomorrow, so I'll be up at Grandma's place seeing what I can get done. Woo hoo, vacation. In the meantime, it's my birthday. Happy birthday to me.

And I'm not writing.

Because if I were writing, I'd be concocting a sure and deadly vengeance to fictionally visit upon the low-life's who had no respect for my grandmother's house that they contracted to live in. If I were writing, I'd make them fictionally pay for disrupting the flow of my life.

In fiction, it is a good thing to make your heroes suffer, but there is no way I could regard these induhviduals as heroes. So, they are spared my fictional wrath.

Instead, of getting some psychic recompense fictionally, I'll do something boring in real life.


  1. Oh, I don't know how narcissistic... A bit self-indulgent, perhaps. But a very fine post. Very just sentiments well-expressed.

    1. It is always a bad thing to indulge one's baser impulses. Thank you for tolerating mine.


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