Today I had the handyman come over. Actually, I had a lot of handymen at the condo, repairing things. I hired David yesterday, when he came to take a look at the place. Then he came out today with two guys that turned into seven during the last check. They filled the place, workers everywhere. It’s a small place. There were a lot of arms and tools and dust and stuff. Weird.
I wanted them to open the painted-shut windows. I figure that must be some kind of safety/fire violation, even though I’d never worried about it when I lived there. I figured they’d crack the paint, they’d use their brute force to wrench the windows up in their sashes, and we’d be in business.
So I left. Almost two years ago, on The Very First Day that I ever lived in my own condo-sweet-condo, I dropped the toilet tank lid on the floor, cracking off the corner. I just turned the lid around, even though it didn’t fit. For two years I looked at the grayish back of the tank, which looked better than the big huge chip. So today, I drove to Urban Ore, a great salvage yard near the water in Berkeley. Sixteen bucks got me a new (old) lid. Looks great.
I took it to the condo to find the windows REMOVED. Sashes dismantled, the cords on the floor. The guys just nodded and smiled and said it would be fine.
I went back a couple of hours later, to find them finishing up. I had windows that went both up AND down. Easily. Fresh paint on the sills, that matched the old stuff. I had a cabinet in the kitchen that stayed closed (I used to use scotch tape to close it). I had a rear storage unit with sliding doors that were on their tracks.
Best of all, I had a back security door with a deadbolt that TURNED! It turned, just by turning it, without using all my body weight slammed against the door to make it go. I lived there a year and a half, and never knew these things were possible.
I tell ya. Getting things square with the real owner of the unit next door, and getting a renter (keys go to her tomorrow), have been such a huge weight off my shoulders. I hadn’t realized how much it was affecting me. My heart used to sink just a little every time I’d pass the offramp for the condo, and I’d look at it from the freeway (you can practically knock on the glass of it from 580), and I’d think, sigh. I’d really think the word, sigh.
But now. I have a new spring in my step, a new toilet tank lid, and windows that open. I’m going to be the best landlord ever.
Additionally: It’s weird. It’s really weird. WEIRD. Landlord. I can’t be one of those. I still sleep with a security pillow next to me. Dude.
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