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My apartment, and me, December 2008

So just after Christmas, our Landlord finally got serious about renting out the long-time-empty main floor of our apartment building. He also added a new wrinkle to the mix, putting the entire building up for sale… I guess he was tired of not really being a very good landlord. He wasn’t bad at it or anything, at least so far as we were concerned, he just wasn’t particularly interested in it… I kinda think he got saddled with the responsibility by his parents, who’ve since moved out of Canada.

What selling the building means, in concrete terms, is that we will have a new landlord (eventually) and that’s that. We have no real interest in moving. What it means in general though, is that for the better part of 4 months potential buyers have been traipsing through my apartment as they “inspect the building” before buying. It means that we get about 24 hours notice before a tour group is coming through, and if that happens to co-incide with wanting to stay in bed, well, tough shit. There’s also the added enjoyment (note: sarcasm) of not knowing whether or not a potential buyer for the building has any interest in keeping us as tenants. Which means that every single person moving through my apartment is also judging me as a possible tenant. Their right, of course, but no less… awkward… for me… or us I suppose.

Up until today, I had been vacating the apt before a viewing, but today a combination of being under-the-weather and f’ing exhausted meant that I couldn’t come up with anywhere to go for an hour that didn’t make me nauseous. So I sat here pleasantly on the couch, Andrew on the computer in the bedroom, and we ‘entertained’ a slightly befuddled real estate agent and a tour group of 3 older Korean people, who asked us if our roof leaked (no). Then we sort of looked at each other. Then I went back and started twittering, and they twittered amongst themselves in Korean. And then they left, to go do the same thing to our neighbours (who–ha ha–were also home today).

The thing that has helped me completely not lose my shit (I deleted the phrase “put my mind at ease,” because my mind if far from at ease…) is that Andrew went and looked up the Ontario Housing such-and-such rules for evicting a tenant, and since we’re on a month-to-month lease, about the only way our current–or potential–landlord could get us out against our will would be if they wanted to move into the space themselves, or move in a member of their family. Which is nice, though there’s clearly a thousand ways around that. Like, saying they’re going to move in, and then… not. Because what’re we gonna do?

So the idea of pre-emptively moving has come up… leaving on our own terms rather than getting a piece of registered mail telling us that we’ve got 60 days to find a new place. The horror of it is, for me, that I’m both incredibly comfortable in this place, and incredibly lazy too. ¬†I don’t want to move. Even the promise of a bigger, better place to live doesn’t outweigh the sheer amount of work that it’s going to take to pack up the massive amount of shit that we’ve accumulated, and move it all to somewhere new.

For example: On Friday, friends of our announced on Facebook that they were giving up their apartment (they bought a place), and it was first-come, first served. $1500 a month for a loft style 1 bedroom + den, 2000 square feet, about twice as much space as we have now! The utility bills were lower, the space was amazing, and it had lots of big bare walls for our bookshelves. And… I couldn’t pull the trigger. Realistically it’s about a hundred bucks a month more than we could comfortably afford for rent, but it’s also… the work! THE WORK! I have like 15 double Diamond boxes of graphic novels alone! Not counting art books, or novels, or the boxes of single-issue comics in the closet that I try not to think about! And that’s just the books. The idea of moving anything at all even for an awesome, awesome apartment (it was awesome!) is just not attractive at all, by which I mean I refuse.

I am aware this is unrealistic. Eventually, I will need to move.

I’d been telling myself for the past few years that I wasn’t going to move until I was moving into a place that we bought. I want to move… once. For the next 10 years. But it’s becoming increasingly apparent that that’s a pipe-dream at best, that anywhere we could currently afford to buy is nowhere we’d want to live. You’ve caught me, at the time of writing, in the middle of a major¬†realization. I might actually end up in another apartment in Toronto before I buy a home. It’s… depressing.

That said, I am trying to get ready for the eventuality that 60 days from now I’ll be apartment-hunting. I’ve begun to bring in bags of books to The Beguiling to sell, knowing that every bag is a full box that I’m not gonna have to eventually box and lift up and down three flights of stairs. I am throwing stuff out at a frightening pace (anything recyclable is going into the recycle bin, don’t worry). But perhaps most important, I’m beginning to change my mindset from simply dreading the possibility of a move to actually thinking about what that might entail, what I might want out of a new place, and what I can do to make a potential move as easy as possible.

So, in the end, I don’t think I’m going to be moving. I know I will, but at least it’s a ways away.


- Christopher

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2 Responses

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  1. ben says

    I have a really nice basement apartment that I’ll likely be giving up in August. Cheapest rent in the Annex and it’s in a fantastic street, but I bet you and Andrew would like to see the sun.

  2. Christopher says

    Tell me more… via e-mail.

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