You have recently worn
It's official: I survived the historic move of 2014. Having spent ten years in a three-bedroom apartment, I have now moved into a small two-room loft space with about one-third of my former square footage. How did she do it? you may well be asking, and not without good reason. The answer I'm afraid is that I did it by not doing anything else but move-related work since the beginning of February.
The necessity of carrying out the apparently Sisyphean task of sorting through and assessing the value of every single item in my former abode was occasioned by the sale of the house to a couple who decided that they could command rents of $3K for each of the apartments of their newly acquired three-family house. I had been paying a reduced rate of $1K because I served as the landlord's surrogate. (The other apartments were also being rented for significantly less than $3K, and though I was the first to go, I shall not be the last.)
Unfortunately, the former landlord's next of kin (with whom he had however no relationship) crawled out of the woodwork one gray day--like a slimy earthworm slithering along a sidewalk after a heavy rain--upon learning that he had no will in place. (I am omitting names because this is a true story of the "truths stranger than fiction" variety...) She then moved swiftly and aggressively, with dispatch and purpose, as they say, to have him declared incompetent, rendering it legally impossible for him to pen a will. At the same time, she had herself appointed the "conservator" of his estate.
Said relative then proceeded to liquidate her uncle's estate, including the place which I called "home" for a decade of my life. I'm not sure how much of the story to relay here, but suffice it to say that the circumstances of the "incompetence" finding were suspicious, to put it mildly.
A few juicy quotes were relayed to me by the former landlord, including that when he told his newly appointed "guardian" (ha!) that he would contest her effective usurpation of everything he owned, she replied, "If you get a lawyer, I'll get two. If you get two lawyers, I'll get four." In addition to robbing the man blind, she also painted his mental state to all outsiders as vegetative. I know this because in a phone conversation immediately after she had been named the executor of his estate, she said to me (having apparently forgotten with whom she was speaking--a person whose phone records clearly document many hours of lengthy conversations with said "vegetable")--"Now I'll just have to try to figure out what he would have wanted."
When the house where I was living ended up selling to a couple who paid about $300K more than the true value of the property, though they never had it professionally appraised (which I know because only I had a key to the top-floor apartment), then my hunch that the niece was a full-fledged, bona fide (or should that be mala fide?) con artist was confirmed. I am quite certain that the new owners were in a bidding war with a shill.
Naturally, the "winners" of the bidding war needed to increase rents on the place quickly in order to "make good" ( = break even) on their investment. Whether they sunk their entire life's savings into the place or they "secured" a bad mortgage from a friend of the seller's realtor (who was also a friend of the seller, and who remarkably served also as the buyers' broker! ahem--can you say "Long Con"? I thought you could...), I know not.
What I know, having lived in the house over a decade during which NO MAJOR REPAIRS were made to anything, is that it is a disaster waiting to happen. (NB: My role at the place was only to make sure that the minimal stuff needed was done--hot water heaters and appliances were replaced when they ceased functioning--in order to keep the house fully rented.)
There was water damage on my ceiling--indicating the need for a new roof--and one developer who stopped by some years back to inquire about the property confided in me that the entire structure would be better razed than repaired, given the crack in the foundation, the rotted wood inside the ratty aluminum exoskeleton, etc. (The house, which dates from 1920, has not had any awnings for decades.) The building was never even deleaded, except on the second floor when a complaint was filed by a woman who had a child while living there.
My place in the most recent chapter of this story began when I was told near the end of January that I needed to be out by March 1, 2014. When I pointed out to the new landlord that it would be humanly impossible for anyone to do such a thing, he wrote me a combative note indicating, first, that his demand was "nonnegotiable", and then that he "might consider" letting me take an extra month to vacate the place--if I paid about triple my current rent. No, I am not joking.
I originally had a lease which began on June 15, 2004, and automatically renewed. Unfortunately, I was unable to produce any evidence beyond the lease addendum (archived on one of my hard drives), which specified the details of my special arrangement with the former landlord. I could not for the life of me come up with the original signed lease agreement.
Upon learning that I had been ordered out by the new owner, the gentleman with whom I originally signed the agreement called me up and told me that I should "stay put", because my lease--which he said he had a copy of before him--had never been terminated and so was still valid. No, he is not demented--unless of course he was born that way--but that is another story altogether, which would be far more appropriate for a different venue--such as a major motion picture screenplay.
Needless to say, 2014 has not been my most productive year--at least not in terms of writing. In terms of archaeological discoveries and self-knowledge, I must say that I was surprised and amazed at what I learned through this thoroughly exhausting process. In the end, I was not taken to court, and the new owner and I parted ways amicably after I relayed some pieces of the puzzle of which he had been wholly ignorant. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"--or something along those lines.
So now, after this somewhat rambling preamble, I offer you sherapop's Scent of Moving: a perfume-by-perfume history of what I wore. Why I wore what I did while slogging my way through ten years of archived layers of STUFF to arrive where I am today will be discussed in a subsequent post--as will other scents of moving not selected by me.
Pictured here are the perfumes which I wore, in reverse chronological order, throughout the grueling process of apartment hunting in the coldest winter in Boston in my history here, and the subsequent herculean task of vacating the place where I spent more years of my life than anywhere else. I am grateful to the Parfumo.net database for enabling my OCD so meticulously.
Unfortunately, Blogger appears unable to accommodate the complete list, so in the next post, I'll provide the missing month of pictures, and the discussion to follow (Part III of this series) will start from the very beginning, a very good place to start.