The apartment search is turning into a battle of attrition.
My roommate and I applied for 2 different apartments so far, fees and all, and got rejected both times. The agent said it was because there were multiple applications. It didn’t hit me until yesterday, after we received the rejection email for a space that should have been easy to secure with our decent rental history and credit scores: the realization of just HOW bad the market sucks right now, like a punch in the gut.
For some reason, at least in Chicago (and maybe everywhere, but I wouldn’t know) all the leases are up between March and June. There are very few spaces available in August, but it’s a very popular time to move into the city from elsewhere, so the competition gets ridiculous. For any apartment I find, and especially one that meets my aesthetic standards – which are admittedly high, since I have huge emotional issues with chipboard cabinets and pink tile – at least 15 other people are applying for it, and there’s always going to be someone with better history, etc. Landlords can afford to be picky with renters right now. They think they’re Shane at a crowded bar or something.
I was so horrified when it hit me yesterday at work that I went out and did an hour of stress-shopping. (Most of it consisted of drooling over the sneak peeks of next season’s black leather jackets, and thinking What Would Sara Wear, and then remembering the lack of funds in my bank account and putting them back on the rack before things went too far.)
I texted Mark about it.
“I can’t live with my family anymore, I just can’t! I’m one innocent mistake from coming out to them. Maybe I should. Maybe I should just get out and stay out.”
I mean, really. How bad could it be?
He’s been a decently good friend to me after the breakup, but he doesn’t understand the urgency of my situation.
“Don’t come out yet,” he told me. “It’ll only make your life hell.”
He’s right, of course.
But there he is, happily complacent about his mediocre life, happy to live with Mom and Dad into his 30s, happy to continue working part-time at the job I got for him, putting off dating because he’s “just not ready yet.” (I was his first girlfriend.) The further I get from our breakup, the more flaws I see in it, and the happier I am to have dodged that bullet.
What bothers me is that he can afford to sit on his ass telling me Don’t Rush because it won’t be the end of the world if I have to wait another 2 or 3 months to take a breath of fresh gay air outside this musty closet.
I need gay friends.
I need to date a girl.
I need to go to gay events.
I need to go out drinking on Friday nights and mix my own margaritas at home without having to smuggle half the ingredients into my room like I’m in high school.
I need sex.
I’m drowning in an ocean of coats inside this closet, and they’re not even cute leather coats.
Things got a little ugly after that. We began rehashing the end of our relationship and talking about how I was a horrible girlfriend and he was heartless about the breakup and why the fuck didn’t he break up with me in January when I might have at least had time to kick Rose out and find a new roommate. I’m looking at paying twice what I used to for rent!
I’m trying not to blame him for the way things are right now. I’m trying to remind myself that I have him to thank for doing what I couldn’t do in ending things between us. But there are certain things your straight friends will just never understand.
The me that is living with my parents is a shell of a person. The real me is wandering around somewhere in the city, homeless.
So now, let the apartment wars continue.