My eternal apartment search goes on. Today this woman named Dana responded to my craigslist post seeking a roommate either to find an apartment or someone who already has an apartment, but needs a roommate. She was looking for someone to share her apartment in Somerville. Somerville is inconceivable to me. I have no conception for where it begins and where it ends. It feels much longer than Boston, but maybe not as wide. That’s about as far as my geographic cognition goes. Places are either long, or wide but I don’t have any sense of where they fit on a map. Or places are the things that move while everybody else is standing around believing they are moving. The notion of motion is a myth.
So I was off to Somerville. I liked the neighborhood. The apartment was in a house that was pretty non-descript. It looked like it was made from red wooden planks that had been jerry rigged into a house that could be easily blown down. I could relate to this house. The potential roommate who greeted me at the door looked like a teenager, maybe a 16-year old. But she said she was 30.
The room was also fairly nondescript. No closet. I’m not sure why closets seem to be such a rarity in so many apartments I have seen in this town. But the rent was so cheap and I tried my best to like the place because it would be huge relief to FINALLY find a place, especially at 1/2 the rent I would expect to pay.
Then we sat down to talk about ourselves. Dana was starting a job on Monday as some sort of financial analyst. And she was married. But her husband was in prison. She told me a long story about this woman who had this rare disease that nobody believed she had, but they sent her to what sounded like a psych ward. Somehow Dana’s husband had accidentally hacked into a network that had this confidential information about the woman and other confidential medical information, but this was not intentional. And they tracked this security breach to him and then sent him in prison/
Dana was hoping that he could be released on bail and come home soon. She asked me how I felt about it, if this was a dealbreaker. I told her it was not, but it would have been nice to meet him because I need to meet everyone who I might be living with. She understood, and told me how nice and quiet he was. I would really like him. And then she added that even if he does come home, he sometimes goes missing, like a cat who goes missing for a night and finds his way home. But to prevent that from happening, the court would have to grant someone to be his custodian, I guess. Was I willing to do that? For some reason they would not allow Dana to serve this role.
I was trying so very very hard to like the place. But I felt so rigid and ungenerous. I just thought that adding ex-convict custodian responsibilities to my already bumpy adjustment to this area… maybe that would be a bit much. I still felt lacking in compassion. But Dana understand that.
And then she showed me this elaborate computer set up with this large server and a couple of flat screens on the wall and a couple of cameras that were not powered on. A surveillance system from Radio Shack. She said that this was just for security reasons, but it was a very safe neighborhood and in the 3 years she lived there, no one has broken in so far.
But there are incidents with people such as her husband who might go missing at any time. So although there have not been break-ins, there have been many escapes.
And I thought that must explain the cameras.