I think it was around the second time my possessions were rearranged without my consent that I started to harbour a razor-sharp disdain for the predicament I keep finding myself in. A spectre haunts me so.
Having made the bold move to throw everybody the fuck out of my house in February and fly solo for the first time in my (then) 29 years of spinning on this hurtling space rock, my passion for living without three weeks of unattended mouldy dishes in the kitchen sink was hitting new highs.
Every extra dollar I sent to some faceless extortionist baby boomer that’s successfully locked me out of the housing market was well spent, I felt, as the ratio of monies to sanity also ensured significantly less square-inches of crusty scum left in my shower.
My previous share arrangement was dogged for years, not simply by the basic pitfalls of sharing one’s living space, but by the looming threat of a four letter word I’ve heard over and over again during my life: SALE. The extortionist baby boomers previously mentioned not only control your accommodation in the physical sense, but they control you in a IBM Deep Blue chess game sense as well.
They’re the King, and you’re one of the pawns.
During my younger years my parents suffered from a severe case of athlete’s foot, and a portion of each quarter-decade was generally spent packing up and shipping out to god knows where. I suspect this is why I always find moving extremely traumatising as an adult.
Anyway, having umm-ed and ahh-ed through most of my degree with a month-to-month lease, Sharehouse Boomer finally decided to sell out from under us in late 2016, cementing my decision to significantly reduce my positive cashflow and selfishly reassign my dollars. With four years of share house hubris to sort through in the interim, imagine my excitement.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to not move very much in your life, allow me to explain the pitfalls of being thrown out of a rental via sale: you mean nothing, your possessions mean nothing, your privacy means nothing, your time spent cleaning for fucking open homes all the time means nothing, and you and your things are simply in the way.
Your lease means a little bit legally, as whatever is left is in fact inherited by any new buyer, but ultimately you should just get out immediately for your own sanity.
Once the shock of “SELL!” settles in, saddle up homie, because now it’s time to let a photographer take pictures of your appalling possessions for public display online, alongside a straightforward map for any friendly neighbourhood thief. Then, in short order, wave after wave of stranger will enter the domicile you have considered your own when really it isn’t, at times mostly inconvenient to you personally. Every week.
This process goes on and on until some other King is stupid enough to buy it and you are forced to leave anyway.
So with one swift stroke, I moved myself out onto the chess board and found my own place after six weeks of sorting and packing – and even more weekends of driving to rentals in various states of appalling disrepair to a degree disproportionate to the weekly asking price.
Just seven weeks into blissful solo living, after a near-breakdown and then the actual moving process I had already successfully repressed, my phone rang. The number was unknown. The caller identified himself as a real estate agent, and then I heard a phrase that was back and in greater numbers: “The owners have instructed me to sell the property”.
That’s right friends, Unit Boomer was my King and I was just about to get fucked. Again. I’d barely even disassembled my last box.
Within two months of making moves I was literally right back in the exact same scenario I’d just vacated. Only this time I had a photographer actively move my things and not even vaguely attempt to put any of it back.
Nothing reminds you more offensively that you don’t own a place than a stranger entering and rearranging your shit while you’re not around. Follow that up with weeks of open homes and maintenance people entering on a fortnightly average, and you quickly have yourself a clubhouse that you’re paying a lot per week to be inconvenienced in.
Your King cares not about the time you expended finding the property they intended to sell minutes after you signed the lease. They certainly don’t care about the weight of my couch, or of the simple cash outlay or time required to move. As the rental pawn, you are simply there to be extorted and then sacrificed at the whim of your lease at substantial inconvenience.