Back when Stark Raving Crazy Bitch still said she intended to sublet to me, she told me that her apartment would only be available from August 5 through 26th. Since I arrived in New York on July 22, this presented something of a problem. So back to craigslist I went, looking for a place that was available from July 22-August 5. So anxious was I to find a place for these exact dates, thus avoiding double booking myself and having to pay for two apartments on some nights, that I sort of ignored some of the finer points of these craigslist postings, like “proximity to public transit” and “existence of a kitchen in the apartment.”

So it is that I come to be settled in the East Village’s coziest shoebox, which was available for exactly the dates I needed and thus I practically threw myself at the feet of the craigslist poster, begging her to pick me. It has some charming, if somewhat unexpected, features:

* The “kitchen” consists of a hotplate and a mini fridge that appears to be older and more decrepit than the mini fridge I had my freshman year of college, which is unlikely to mean much to you but I ask you to take my word for it is a Very Bad Thing.

* The lamp above the bed, with the all-important attached fan, appeared for the first four hours I was here to be completely nonfunctional until, in a fit of frustration, I picked up a remote control that I assumed operated the stereo, pushed “power,” and the lights and fan came on. Hallelujah!

* The “bathroom” is the same room as the “kitchen,” by which I mean the shower, a jerry-rigged contraption of pipes and curtains suspended above a free-standing tub, is right next to the kitchen sink and less than two feet from (a) the fridge, (b) the hot plate, and (c) the front door. Using the same sink for kitchen and bathroom purposes has turned out to be much more unsettling than I expected.

* There is no closet, dresser, card table, plastic bin, or any other storage area to place clothes. I am beginning to suspect that the person who lives here full time is a nudist, which is making me feel even more creeped out than I was before about sleeping on her bedding.

There are some good points, though. What the apartment lacks in creature comforts it makes up for in musical elements. I have concluded that the permanent tenant is a musician (a nudist musician?) and the place is crammed full of cds of all types of music, many hundreds of them, thousands and thousands of dollars worth of music. This is, I suppose, an excellent way to invest your money when you are living in an apartment with a faulty lock (did I forget to mention that part?) as it is sort of hard and not that rewarding to steal hundreds of cds in their jewel cases (“Stop! Thief! The one with cd cases falling out of his backpack!”) There is also, sitting by the front door, (immediately opposite the shower/sink/kitchen) the string board of an old piano that makes loud, dissonant, horror-movie sounds when it is accidentally struck by something like your keys or your bookbag, which adds a nice measure of ambiance. I’m sort of hoping that any thief who is tempted by the faulty lock will barge in, knock the door into the string board of the piano, hear the resulting ominous dissonant chord, be terrified, and run away screaming. It’s a Nudist Musician Burglar Alarm System! ™

I move into my new place on Sunday. Five nights. Not that I’m counting.

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