When the going gets tough, man, I’m going man, I’m out of here, OK, maybe if the going gets a little easier, maybe I’ll come back. Maybe, but probably not. Like when the washing machine broke down at my old place, my roommate Bill was like, “Should we call a repairman?” and I was like, “No, Bill, just call the super, OK, it’s not like it’s our washer and dryer, OK, that’s the owner’s problem, right, that’s what you call the super for.”
And the super, he didn’t live in the building, he lived somewhere else. I think he might have been the super for a bunch of buildings. I never asked him, but the few times that I did see him, he was always acting like he had to be going somewhere else, “I gotta get out of here man, sorry, I can’t really chit-chat, all right, I gotta get across town,” totally preempting me from even possibly asking a question, like hey man, maybe you could come upstairs and check out the sink, just, it’s not urgent, but you know, when you get a chance.
“Maybe if we call the repairman we can just have them send a bill to the owner.” That was Bill again. And yeah, it did suck not having a functioning washing machine. It was definitely one of, if not the reason we chose this place over all of the other apartments we looked at. Like that one six blocks closer to the subway. Or the one that had the lofted bedroom, the one with the spiral staircase.
“No way, Bill, come on man,” I remember making my argument, “we have to get this place. Do you know how many apartments in New York City have washers and dryers? Zero. None of them.” And yeah, even though Bill was like, “Well, not zero, I mean, what about this one? This one has a washer and dryer. So it’s got to be at least one, not zero.” I’m pretty sure he was joking. I mean, he’s thick, but he’s not that thick. And he wanted it too. How could you not want your own washer and dryer?
“Bill,” I tried to spell it out for him, “If we get some repairman to come in, you might as well get out the checkbook, because I can see it going down right now, the super’s going to be like, ‘I don’t know boss, I don’t think the owner’s gonna go for this,’ and we’ll be like, ‘Why not?’ and he’ll say, ‘I could have fixed that, all right, I was going to fix that. Why didn’t you guys call me up?’”
Because we can’t call him up. We’re supposed to go through the management company, even though it’s just the owner’s house up in Westchester, it’s not a real management company, it’s just him, I’ve called up, plenty of times, the pipes were clogged, or we needed the exterminator, it was always, “You gotta go through the management company,” even though, the first few times I called, it didn’t make any sense, it was clearly an old-fashioned answering machine at a residential house.
“You can’t just give me your cell number?” I tried to ask the super one time when I caught him in the hall, I wanted to ask about the heat, to see if there was any way to turn it down, I get it, it’s an old building, but this was just a really, really dry heat, non-stop. “Sorry boss, you gotta make an appointment, OK? I gotta get across town, all right? You gotta call up the management office.”
But the management office, the owner, whatever, he never picked up the phone, and that answering machine had to be full, and yeah, Bill kept telling me, “Rob, this place, it totally wasn’t worth it for the washer and dryer.” And that was all I had left to cling to, “Of course it’s worth it for the washer and dryer. You’re just spoiled. You don’t remember what it was like, putting all of your clothes in a big sack, you think, OK, this week I’m not going to put it off, I’m not going to make it like I’m trying to shove every piece of clothing I own into this sack that clearly doesn’t want to close, I’m going to carry that sack over my shoulders, I’m going to walk what, two? Three blocks? You want to go back to that? You don’t know how good we got it.”
Which, yeah, Bill must have gotten attached, even more than I was, which I didn’t think that was possible, “You want to risk putting your own money down on that old washing machine?” and he was like, “Yeah man, whatever, let’s just get it fixed, we can fight with management about the money later.”
Did he just say management? “Listen, Bill, there is no management company, OK, it’s just …” but I couldn’t, I couldn’t get myself to say management company one more time, I totally gave up. You want to figure it out? Figure it out. At least the owner never gave us a chance to sign that lease. I kept bugging the super whenever I’d see him, “You know anything about the lease?” I thought, these guys are going to try to kick us out, jack up the prices, I want this deal in writing, I want signatures. But now it’s like, man, I’m so glad we didn’t sign the lease.
“Bill, I’m out man, I’m going to go stay with my parents on Long Island.” He was like, “What?” Yep, Long Island, my parents have a washer and dryer, my old bed, I’ll just take the train to work until management figures it out. Too bad for Bill, his parents still live in Nevada. Arizona. Something like that. They came to visit once, but it’s a small place, I bailed last second, I said I had a family party on Long Island, but nah, I just didn’t feel like meeting his folks, keeping up with the fake smiling all weekend.
Nah man, too much, I’m out, remember what I said at the beginning? I was like, “When the going gets tough,” because you naturally think I’m going to say, “The tough get going,” but no, I’m out, I’m going, I’m going home to Long Island, I’m calling up the owner and telling him I’m not paying any more rent, nope, sorry Bill, you should get out too man, let me know if you find any cool apartments, I’ll borrow my dad’s truck and we’ll do the move in one swoop.