“I Will Never Forget This”

After my freshman year of college I decided to do an internship in NYC for the summer. I found an apt on Craigslist that was a few blocks away from where my sister lived. My friend also had an internship lined up in NYC so we decided to split the very expensive rent in half and live together in a small studio apartment. 

This apartment was so gross. First of all it was 2007 and I told everyone at the time it was on 6th and C but it was really 6th and D (and I was too scared to walk on Avenue D). The studio was on the ground floor so there were bars on the one window that we had, and it was next to government housing so we always had interesting people walking by. Sometimes they would stop and talk to us and one time someone decided to stick their hand through the bars and open window (open because it was 100 degrees and we had no AC) and try to steal my iPod (it was 2007) that was sitting on the ledge. Going back to the temperature and not having AC: it was so blistering hot that when we were at the studio, both of us would lie in the full-size bed and put the random contents of the owner’s freezer (think frozen peas and vegan cheese) on our necks and foreheads to cool down. We never bought our own food because you could not pay me to try to use the “kitchen.” The whole place was maybe 175 square feet. When you walked in the bed was to the right, near the window. The fridge was at the foot of the bed and the kitchen/bathroom was straight ahead. There were rats, spiders, sometimes internet and no AC, all for the really not-reasonable price of $1750/month. I also had to put down a $1,000 deposit. The guy renting the space to us seemed really nice over email and while the place wasn’t great – for two 18 year olds living in NYC for the first time, we were so happy and made the most of it. 

At the end of the summer I made sure that the place was as clean as can be and emailed him that we were out of the space, the key was in the apartment along with his mail that had come over the 3 months. A lot of bills and “last notices” but I didn’t think anything of it. He didn’t respond to the email. I followed up to the email a few days later to make sure he’d seen it and to remind him that I needed my $1000 deposit back. No response. I called. No answer. I Myspace’d him (it was 2007!!!!!!!) No reply. For an 18 year old, and let’s be honest – even today, $1000 is a lot of money. I was FUMING MAD and even now, my blood boils thinking about it. Money aside, being ignored is my biggest pet peeve. It’s just rude. 

After many weeks and months of trying to get in touch, I finally called him one more time and when I got to his voicemail I just said “I WILL NEVER FORGET THIS.” and hung up. 

I moved on. But I never forgot. 

Then, one fateful day in late 2011 I was having a chat with my sister who still lived in NYC. She was telling me that her friend was coming into town to see a local band play a show. My sister looked up the band and, remembering my ongoing rants about this guy, recognized his name. She told me the name of his band but it didn’t sound familiar. I remembered when I was first emailing with him that he told me he was in a band and sent me some songs, but I was pretty sure that the band was called the Uplifters (which was ironic) but his full name checked out and the music was just as bad so it must have been him! I couldn’t believe it. My sister told me that her friend could put me in touch with him. I told my sister’s friend the whole story and low and behold, four years later, I got a response from him. He wrote a lengthy email apologizing for going MIA and promised to pay me $50 a month, until it was all paid back. Of course, it wasn’t that simple or easy. I would follow up each month, and every week after he was supposed to send a check but didn’t, until he did. It took three years – I looked back at my emails and I didn’t receive the last check until April 26th, 2014.

All in all it took seven and a half years to get my $1000 deposit back – – but I did it. Because I told him I would never forget. And I didn’t. The moral of this story is, don’t fuck with me. Oh and also karma.