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Monday, May 20, 2013

8 Balls and the House on Dana Part 9


The party was pretty much over once the exterminator found the roach nest. By law, he had to call the city and it was then declared that the house was not fit to live in, in its current condition. The Exterminator went on to explain that the house would need to be completely covered by plastic and that industrial strength poison would be sprayed in. This process would need to be repeated several times, so all living things that would want to continue living, would need to leave the house. 

“I figure it will take at least a month for the house to be inhabitable again,” says the Exterminator grinding his cigarette out in the ashtray in the kitchen. We would also need to take everything that was leaving with us, wrap it in plastic bags and hope that the roaches wouldn’t travel with us.

We had an hour for an emergency group meeting.

Everyone crowded in around the dining room table. Jackie stood and spoke first. “Me and Billy are out tomorrow, the rest of you can do what you want. Ciao, I have to go pack.” With that said Billy also stood, pushed the chair back with his legs, flashed us the piece sign and followed Jackie into the bedroom.

The lease was in Michaels name so he was the only one who could fight the landlord, he was on his own. Everyone had less than a week to move. Kim and I eyeballed each other across the table. The look was clear “Where the fuck are we going to go?” I had no family that I could move in with and I wasn’t going to live with David again. Kim’s family lived to far away. I signaled Kim to meet me in the bedroom.

We started our plan of action. We would go to the Ghetto Chopper, scan the wall of posted fliers and see if anyone had an apartment for rent. Then we would move on to the library and look through newspapers for rentals.  If that failed we would make phone calls to friends and ask to sleep on their floors for a couple of days. Kim and I hit the ground running.

The Ghetto Chopper had fliers of several people with apartments “For immediate rent.” The problem was that most of these apartments were in the worst sections of town. Parts of Albany that you would walk into and people would stop dead in their tracks and watch you walk by. It often reminded me of the old west but what choice did Kim and I have? Standing at the pay phone we called the first number and made an appointment to see it within the hour. The apartment was located behind Clinton Avenue as you headed to the highway. This is where you entered Clinton Hill. If you were driving and you took the exit into Clinton Hill, you locked your doors if you didn’t want to get car jacked or shot.

Kim and I planned the rest of the day as we plunked more quarters into the pay phone, we would not stop until Kim had to go to work later that day, so that gave us 7 hours to find a place. We made appointments to see three other apartments in the Clinton Hill area and we had a lead on a newly refurbished basement apartment on Third Street, wherever the hell that was.

Time was wasting and we needed to find a place to live.

To be continued…….


Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writing "A Day in the Life". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.

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