As you may or may not know, a large part of my November and December was tainted by the fact that my upstairs neighbors are assholes, and were doing a bunch of things with water that led to my ceiling caving in on a regular basis. I’d come home from school or work to find that another giant bubble or dirty-ass water had formed between the layers of paint, and was about to explode all over my bedroom. Said water looked foul, smelled fouler, and was generally unwelcome. The super, bless him, tried valiantly to fix the problem. Unfortunately, these belligerent fucks, in addition to washing clothes all day, every day, IN THE BATHTUB (they do, by the way, have a washer/dryer; all the apartments in this building do), which led to water cascading through the caulking and floors and into my humble chamber, were also keeping their door shut tighter than Fort Knox, thus making it nearly impossible for the super to even get into their place to figure out what the problem was. At last count, they had seven people living up there, none of whom appeared to be the legal drinking age. 311 was called approximately 27 times, efforts are in the works to evict them, and my life is generally made more difficult by their existence. One of my least favorite moments around Christmastime was coming home from a Sunday double – brunch was involved – and realizing that not only was my mattress soaked all the way through, but that it was stained brown. Forever.
At a certain point, a Christmas miracle happened. The super was granted access to their apartment, they tore up my entire ceiling to find the issues, and everything was as it should be. The tenants were severely threatened, and told to wash their clothes in the washing machine like normal people. My life returned to stasis, waterless and calm.
Until this morning, when the now-Pavlovian DRIP…DRIP…DRIP… jolted me out of bed at, um, 12:45 in the afternoon. I turned the light on in a flash and saw the nipple-esque form of a paint-in-the-ceiling bubble laughing at me from above. Luckily, at this point, I have the super on speed dial. Wringing my hands, I speed-talked the problem in an unrecognizably distressed tone. He was there in a jiffy, went up to their apartment, came down cursing them to hell (“malditas morenas asquerosas” was among the tamer monikers), and promised to take care of the issue.
Now, usually this is the extent of a super-tenant relationship.
“Thank you so much,” I said, and walked out my bedroom door, assuming he’d follow.
“Oye,” he said. “Y el novio?”
One of the drawbacks of having the super in my room five times a week two months was that he knew my schedule and life very well. That would include an innate awareness of which days I was getting laid and which days I wasn’t.
“No mas,” I crowed with joy. (Though it’s been practically two months since I emerged from the idiotic stupor and 86’ed the now-ex-tragedy, I’m still filled with contentment whenever I remember, and also with sadness, for myself, that I was able to confuse orgasms and alcohol with burgeoning love.)
“Yeah,” he continued in Spanish, “he was too young. You need someone who’s 30. Like me.”
“No!” I blurted out without thinking.
“Porque? You’re single, I’m single…what’s the problem?”
“Okay, fine,” he said, and gave me a hug. Then, and only then, did he leave the apartment.
What the hell? First of all, if this guy is thirty years old, and not forty five, as he appears to be, I will drink half a gallon of ceiling water every day for a month. There’s no way he’s under thirty eight. Second of all, looks aren’t the most important thing in a guy, but my super is bus-TED. He’s very tall, like six two or three, slim, but with a 6-month pregnancy paunch hanging over his light wash old man jeans. He’s got a lazy eye that looks southwest at all times. He wears horizontal stripes. And most importantly, he’s my fucking super! He’s the one person besides your parents or your partner who you’re allowed to call at any time, hysterical, and demand he does whatever you want in that very moment.
The relationship similar to the relationship you have with a drug dealer in that you depend on them for a particular and specialized service that’s annoying to replace. You want a quick response time and need to be a priority, so yeah, you work it a little. And while it might seem like the perfect match (free drugs, a perfectly working radiator that never leaks) you realize that, if you jeopardize the contact, your life will be infinitely more horrible. You stand to lose so much more than you stand to gain.
At the same time, though, this is the first time in weeks that any member of the opposite sex who’s legally allowed to rent a car has shown any interest in me. This has made me stop and think. Granted, I’m in my last semester of grad school, I’m writing a thesis, and a screenplay, and taking a memoir class, and training for a half marathon. If I have one or two days a week where you can actually kick back and relax, I’d rather spend it with people I know are awesomely intelligent and will be able to discuss theses and marathons and authors rather than going to bar and watching poorly attired people fail at drinking. More than that, I “work” at a “job” that does not beget tons of money and thus am pretty much on house arrest until financial conditions improve.
But today, February 7th, 2014, was the day that my super told me he and I should be together because we’re both single. So even though I have sixteen dollars in my wallet, two of which is in nickels, and another seven on my debit card, I’m getting dressed and going out. Because it’s Friday night, and it’s New York, and I’m going stir crazy in this apartment. And just because I am super, doesn’t mean I should fuck one.