Why Didn’t She Tell Me?

I was really getting to like my old place before the landlady decided she didn’t want me there. Why couldn’t she just tell me that, instead of hiring a lawyer, and then a process-server, and all that? I’d have left.

Why did she have to conjure up a pack of lies about how I was living and lie to a lawyer about me?

She made me throw out an excellent piano, with MIDI, a real Yamaha “action” (piano techs dig me), real strings, etc.  In fact, she insisted upon my throwing it out, instead of taking it over to my storage unit!

She made me throw out, rather than save, half my possessions!

Then she did it again! Half again of what I had left!

She wouldn’t even tell me what she was bothered about. I asked, but she wouldn’t say. She even made getting out hard for me, by telling me what to do, how to do it, and insisting I couldn’t pull the moving van close to the door, etc. At her insistence, I had to do a lot of work, though debilitated from a recent emergency operation, and she seemed to go out of her way placing obstacles in my path.

When people offered to help, she stepped in, telling them to go away!

Once, when I was at my worst, and stuck on the floor, unable to get up, she even blocked a neighbor, who wanted to help, from helping. Once she even stationed herself outside my door and told an emergency fire and rescue crew to ignore me and go back, telling them I was a lunatic, when it was a real emergency, and if I’d gotten the operation a bit sooner, some serious trauma, still with me today, might have been averted.

I wound up soiling myself, of course against my will, and only because of her interference, and she didn’t think of doing anything about it, like sending a worker around, but left the room a mess, for me to clean up myself when I got home, about a month and a half later, and then blamed me for it and the stench, which must have been noticeable from outside, the whole time.

Except for mowing the lawn and part of the yard work, I did everything around that place with my own hands without asking or being asked, for free, to be nice, and because I like beauty and taking care of business, such as sweeping up my neighbors’ messes, sweeping the sidewalk, policing the grounds, fixing plumbing problems caused by the lousy workers she found, etc.  One guy, needing clean sand, used yard dirt to install an inferior toilet, replacing the perfectly good, superior one I had, charging her for the new one.

She had an excellent utility sink thrown out and replaced with a cheap one, instead of patching a minor crack.

My neighbors, also her tenants, regularly moved out, complaining about her and the problems in the house, which she never got fixed, even after they sued her and won, and left, relieved of months worth of rent, thanks to wise judges. Several got sick from the problems with mold in there, and she did have the house “tented” once, but it didn’t kill all the termites and carpenter ants. It was just a lousy extermination job, and when I told her the termites might do further damage, she didn’t listen, nor did she bother fixing the damage done already.

She always hired incompetents to do things. Her husband, by contrast, was a great worker; he took his door business very seriously, and was very successful. It is still one of the best and most profitable in Miami. His workers knew technology of door installation, maintenance, and repair very well, excellent technicians all. He’d never think of working for cheap, or doing an inferior job! Why couldn’t she just find decent workers and pay them what they were worth?

(Lydia Lee, my hostess, is the same way, always expecting discounts and bargains and free labor. It’s already cost her a lot; it’s a lousy attitude, but she doesn’t realize it, or that things might be better. She could even have a decent mechanic, keeping him and herself happy, and the car in good condition, but she won’t consider that option. She even gets parts, oil, and oil filters for her favorite shade-tree mechanic to use, so he can’t get them himself, because she assumes he can’t find such things as cheap as she needs. In my own line of work, I flee from such people. I charge everybody but “charity cases” alike, even my fellows in the trade. Either want me and pay me, or not! Once a big shot celebrity thought he deserved a bargain for his fame’s sake. Phooey on him.)

Then she evicted me, under false pretenses.

I thought we got along fine; I was a great tenant; I even maintained the place at my own expense!

Why was she suddenly so cruel to me?

I’m really sore about the way I was treated, and I’ve only scratched the surface of how she treated me, such as denying me access to the place, with all my possessions there, and making me spend a lot of money I didn’t want to, and making me keep up the full rent the whole time.

Gee!

Her name’s something close to “Marilyn”, but not quite that, “Rodriguez”, and she was really mean to me, especially after I’d been getting along so swell with her and her whole family, for about 25 years, or so I thought. It was her husband who rescued me from an aimless life on a moored, immobile boat, and gave me a good job, and whom I liked very much, until I suddenly couldn’t get through to him on the phone. I was sure he liked me, but maybe not. She didn’t want me talking with him, I suspect. I’d even broken my rule, and did good work on their piano, only one time, for free, or cheap. I was never invited to maintain the thing. It was in bad shape when I arrived, and is probably shot by now. Considering father and son are both fairly decent musicians, it’s a shame. They even got a very nice new Yamaha grand piano for their son, which is probably in poor shape by now, simply out of neglect.  They’d only have to have a pro like me check it out, maybe tune it twice a year. What’s the big deal? As the years go by, its appreciation in value alone ought to pay for that, especially if it’s a Steinway. For a long time, the expense was stuck at $100 a year, though not any more, of course. But it’s still a bargain. My labor never was overpriced.

He was an excellent singer for an amateur; he should have gone pro. I liked them all, and thought they liked me.

The whole experience left me feeling bad about myself, not to mention broke, resentful, deprived, homeless, and stuck spending money to be where I didn’t want to be, feeling somehow inadequate and doomed to a lousy future!

All she had to say was that she didn’t want me there, and I’d have moved on without any fuss.

Now the place has been ruined, deprived of its best features, such as a high ceiling, small shower, and adequate closet space, in an attempt at renovating it.  The new tenant knows that much, but he’s paying high rent, for once.  She even put in air conditioning, denied to me, because it was intolerably hot in the summer. I’d had to leave when it got too hot. I’d go to a library or Burger King, or simply sit somewhere outside in the shade of a tree. There were none on the property; she didn’t like plants, but got a chain-link fence installed for no reason. It only cheapened the place. She even locked the rear gate, denying access to an alley, and did likewise at the neighboring house, which she also owns. It isn’t so bad, having once been renovated very nicely for her son to live in, but after a while, even he moved out. It’s a great neighborhood, and quiet, especially after I asked a few visitors, very politely, not to use their car horns as doorbells, etc., and a few neighbors decided to follow my example. It must be a nicer place for my having lived there, trying to befriend my neighbors and commending them to each other. Even bikers try to keep down the noise there now. They know we like peace and quiet.

The new tenant doesn’t even have a fire extinguisher on hand, not to mention close at hand. That’s hazardous!

A good landlord would just install one without giving it a thought.

Oh, I almost forgot. Once she changed the locks just to deny me access to my own home and possessions, for months, all the time receiving the rent she decided upon, which I never paid late, of course.  And we had nothing in writing, no lease or anything, the whole time, over 25 years. I’d have departed at a week’s notice. She denied me that, too. I got out almost overnight to satisfy her wishes, and because fortunately I could do it. I hired a moving company to put everything in storage, which they did, in one rather expensive day. It’s still in storage, rather expensive, secure, and air-conditioned storage, a year later.

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