At 5am this morning I woke up, briefly (long enough to eat a bowl of cereal and watch an episode of Silicon Valley on my iPhone). Recently I’ve been sick, exhausted, nauseated, and so physically uncomfortable that when I’m awake I long to go to sleep again.
But this morning, for a brief moment and for the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel so bad. The whistling of the wind through the trees outside my bedroom sounded almost like the ocean.
It reminded me of when, a few years ago, I stayed in a beachside cabana on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua in a small town called Playa Gigante (about a year later I bought my own little piece of Nicaraguan land a few miles North in Chacocente). I would sleep in, sip coffee and eat chocolate chip pancakes with the other travelers at the restaurant next door, then surf, then eat nachos, then surf, then eat, drink, and play ukulele with my new friends into the night. This morning, for a moment, I wasn’t in my shitty, painful life. For a moment, I got to be somewhere else.
As I wrote about in my post a few weeks ago, last month I was besieged with a series of events so bizarre that they would almost be comical if not so tragic (maybe, someday, I’ll laugh).
First, my paranoid, heartless, and not-mentally-sane landlord informed me and Peter that she would not be renewing our lease and was making us move. (Yes, she knew I had cancer. No, she didn’t care). She waited until the last moment to tell us and rebuffed our appeals to let us stay via a series of cold certified letters, having stopped returning our phone calls long before. She told us she was moving back into the house, although that same day I saw it listed online as available for lease the day after she was kicking us out — for a significantly higher rent.
In the weeks before we had to move, she started stalking the house, slowly driving around the block dozens of times to peer inside, accused us of threatening her, called the police on us, and then in the culmination of insanity, hired private detectives to do background investigations on us and tail us for two days straight. (Yes, in some cabinet somewhere there exists a file on me with surreptitiously-acquired information, including photos of me doing such salacious things as picking up the mail and getting into Uber cars to go to chemo). In their defense, when the whole thing came out, the detectives were apologetic, having realized they were hired by a crazy person for no good reason at all. One of them had even read my blog, and was very complimentary.
Oh, and she also refused to return our very large security deposit, charging us with $8000 worth of damage. One hundred dollars to remove a sticker from the garage, $2000 to plant new trees, $450 to put in a new sprinkler system, $150 for a new fireplace grate, $107 for a broken bunny tassel, etc…
What the fuck is a bunny tassel?!
(P.s. — If you are a lawyer familiar with California landlord-tenant law and wouldn’t mind giving me some advice, I would sure appreciate it).
Then — yes, there’s a “then” — the house that Peter and I were supposed to move into fell through the night before the move due to a series of bizarre problems, so when the movers came in the morning, there was nowhere for us to go. I frantically arranged for the movers to take our stuff to a storage unit. For the few days I stayed at a hotel room. Then I moved into the house of my incredibly kind and generous cousin, where I’ve been staying for the last month.
And as many of you figured out from my last post, Peter and I are no longer together. When our housing situation fell through, it forced us to confront that our relationship had been unraveling for a while. I won’t write about the details here, except to say Peter is a good person, but our 5-year relationship could not weather the stress of my cancer diagnosis. The whole thing just broke us apart.
Yes, this all happened. No, I did not steal this story from the plot of a bad Lifetime movie.
What else is there to say? I thought having cancer would be the worst part about having cancer, but it’s not.
Fuck you, cancer. I’m going to bed.
Photo by Gary Laurzon