“It breaks my heart to see you go,” said the landlord today.
“You’re a good tenant,” he said another time. “I’ll miss you.”
All well and good and no doubt he’s sincere. The landlord isn’t a bad man. Had things gone differently, we could’ve become friends as landlord-tenant.
Yet, on the cusp of my departure, one that he helped orchestrate in significant measure, he’s speaking as if it wasn’t his doing or choice.
I know others were involved in pushing me out. A few residents who are chronic complainers, who have long tenancies and/or longstanding ties and friendships with the landlord who lives on site.
I know too that the owner, a nameless and faceless person to me, had an enormous if not final say in getting me out.
I know nothing about the owner except what I’ve been told by the landlord and one tenant. “She’s difficult to work with. She knows people in town. She’s very well connected.”
I get the sense in conversations with others that she has no interest in her tenants, fairness or justness. That her chief concern is a hand’s-off property ownership, smooth operations while she’s away (which is most of the time) and an income that’s steady and reliable.
She’s not hurting for money. Based on one story the landlord told me, she screwed him over a bit I think. My sense is she’s neither warm nor fuzzy. All things heard, “difficult” seems the word for her; I might add “stingy” but that’s based purely on hearsay and impressions.
Where does that leave me as I prepare for departure in three days?
Angry at the residents. Angry at the landlord. And angry at a faceless nameless owner whose say in this matter may have been final; however, just and fair it was not.
People here talked behind my back. They spoke ill of me without ever having met me. Complaints were issued, to their friend the landlord, possibly if not probably phoned into the owner.
The whole thing, the way this went down, stinks of a network of others’ connections in which I had no say, voice or input.
When issues came to a head, I cited a laundry list my immediate corrective actions to any problem and requested that the landlord speak to the owner on my behalf to delay or rescind the moving orders.
When he didn’t, I requested the owner’s number so that I may speak with her. Tell her my side of the story and my experience. I knew she wasn’t getting it. I knew she was getting news colored and slanted by chronic complainers and a landlord who can be really unreasonable and irrational.
Not a single person stepped forward on my behalf and when I tried to, the door was slammed in my face.
So this “I’m sorry to see you go, you’re a good tenant” tune rings on some levels false — or at least sour. The landlord COULD have stopped this. He could have acted differently, could have chosen another path. He could’ve fixed this.
But he didn’t.
Like each of us, he too is a person with limitations. His perceptions are colored by his own past and experiences. He too has his blind spots; perhaps they’re bigger than most.
That doesn’t make what he (or his clique of residents) right. Doesn’t quote-unquote let him off the hook in the high court of justice and fairness.
I got the short end of the stick — if indeed a stick was even offered. I have my doubts.
I’m still niggled by this whole thing. Still processing. Still angry and even though I know I need to JUST LET IT GO, learn and move on, it still gets my craw.
If I could leave anything with the landlord, it’d be to leave with goodwill and good wishes for him as a landlord in a job he loves — kudos for that! — and wishes for illumination and greater tolerance as a person.
He DIDN’T make the choices that could’ve extended my stay and put all this to rest. And while I bear the brunt of his choices and blind spots and overriding unjustness of it all, truth is, as things were and other players in this story unchanging, I had no place here. The residents (chronic complainers) aren’t my milieu. They’re not my tribe (nowhere near).
Good or bad, people are who they are. Through it all and despite it all, I choose to learn and grow, which eventually, in one way or another, would’ve sounded the death knell for me here in the building. They did me a favor; a part of me truly recognizes that.
So yes, he’s sad and sorry to see me go. Yes, others, fairly or unfairly, deservedly or undeservedly, had a hand and say in the matter. And yes, he could’ve chosen differently and spared me the hassle and work of moving at this time.
But good came of it too. I learned more about myself, felt my lifelong unresolved and painful domestic issues even more acutely. I leave more illuminated and more knowing and wiser to my needs and issues than three months ago when I moved in.
Making this, all told, a bittersweet story with a positive ending because I choose it to be so.
And I’d wish likewise for the tenants (especially the chronic complainers and bullies) and the landlord.
Three days — not even — and counting until I’m fully in my new place behind the library on the hill!