Friday, September 3, 2010

Aimless Reading: The J's, Part 13 (James Joyce)


James Joyce
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Ellman, Richard
James Joyce


Not sure where I bought this. I acquired it a long time ago in NYC. That much I know. It was in bad shape then. It's in worse shape now. When I pulled it off the shelf this morning little bits of yellowish glue fell out onto the floor.

We're rapidly approaching the present in this examination of domiciles. What'll I write about next?

After five years of house fires, shootings, vandalism, odd smells from the sewage treatment plant and various other sorts of misery, we decided to sell the house in Black Rock. We more or less broke even, which was something of a miracle, especially since the house market collapsed across the country about three month before we'd got an offer. Unsure of our plans, we decided to rent for a time.

2008: We moved in the dead of winter into a large one bedroom apartment at 560 Auburn. It was owned by a father and daughter team who were more or less incompetent at everything. He was a construction worker who'd just gone through treatment for lung cancer (smoking all the while). He wanted to leave something for his daughter, so he bought her a nice house and proceeded to try to turn it into a three-unit building. T

hey skimped on everything and their reconstruction was a disaster. We constantly had leaks in the ceiling from the apartment above, sometimes they were caused simply by water being spilled on the floor Our bedroom had no heat because of mistakes they made in the plumbing. We were forced to use a space heater all winter to provide a modicum of warmth. Our heat was included, but the father was so cheap he would make excuses to get into our apartment and turn down the thermostat.

Anyhow, our apartment was on the first floor. You entered into the living room, which was quite nice. It had floor-to-ceiling bay windows at the front of the house, hardwood floors and a old non-working fireplace. I stuffed my desk in a corner and used that as an office. The living room was connected to a large dining room, which Lori used as her studio.

There were two doors off the studio. One led to the bedroom and bath, the other to the kitchen. The bedroom had been an addition made by the landlord, which was why it was so cold. He was such a bad carpenter that on our first night sleeping there all the shelving he'd built in the walk-in closet collapsed under the weight of our clothing and nearly scared us to death.

The bathroom was very small. I can't even remember what it looked like. The kitchen was a decent-sized square, everything in it kind of yellow. A door led from the kitchen into the basement, where we stored all of our things. There was also a laundry down there.

A short passage between the kitchen and the living room/front door served as another storage area, mostly for my boxes of books. The rest of the were stacked in the back corner of a long, narrow, awkwardly l-shaped closet.

It was a pretty unpleasant six months, truth be told. We bought our current house that August and moved in in September. The landlord practically chased us out because he was mad we wouldn't sign a lease. He then cheated us out of part of our security deposit to pay for carpet shampooing. Glad that's over.

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