I have returned to Boston with a couple of places that I thought were generally okay in Midwestern Funky Town. Now I feel like a contestant on a game show hosted by Bob Barker (God Rest His Soul (I know he is not technically dead, but he isn’t on t.v. anymore, which is pretty much like being dead in my eyes)). In front of me is a big spinning wheel with slots labeled things like, “Perfect Location,” "In-Suite Laundry," or “Hunky Neighbor.”
“Tell us, GayProf,” ol’ Bob would ask, “Do you want to take the place that generally fits 85 percent of the things that you wanted? Or are you going to gamble and try to search MFT again a few weeks from now? Thirty seconds on the clock!” While I made my decision, the audience would be shouting, “Jump, jump, jump!” Oh, no, wait – That is something else...
While in MFT, I certainly saw a wide variety of places where one could live. I looked in the country – I looked in the town – I looked in an altered-drug-induced reality. Well, it wasn’t my altered-drug-induced reality.
Seriously, though, why would a landlord think that an apartment strewn with bongs and empty liquor bottles would “show well?” This was the same apartment where the leasing agent asked me to peer into the bedrooms where the current occupants were passed out naked in the bed (No, I am not making this up...). Somehow, that did not build confidence in signing a lease right then and there. Besides, that apartment didn't have air conditioning.
Okay, maybe I am uptight. Still, if I am going to be sneaking through a stranger’s bedroom, I would at least like for him to have bought me a drink first.
This brings up a related point about my search for housing. My penis apparently has a manual override switch for all of my brain's higher logic. Some of the least appealing places suddenly gained new charm when being shown by a hunky, hunky man.
“What’s that?” I vaguely remember saying to an erstwhile agent, “All of the neighbors are undergraduates who play in rock bands? Well, that probably isn’t where I am looking to live, but you do have nice eyes. What? I would have to pump my own water from a spigot out back? Maybe that’s why you have such great forearms! Let’s talk about this unit some more.”
Yes, GayProf can be really shallow. Still, even amazing forearms or sparkling eyes didn’t win the day.
I did see many nice and comfortable places as well (sans the naked bodies and shown by much less attractive agents). There are a couple of strong possibilities in my game-show debate.
One thing is clear. While MFT’s rental housing is (IMHO) a bit overpriced, it’s not even close to the craziness that exists in the greater Boston area. For around the same rent that I pay for a studio on the edge of the metro area, I could get something twice the size in MFT. Plus it would have those little “extras,” like interior walls.
Aside from the housing search, I also met some new people (including VUBOQ's aptly named SuperFantastic cousin). Plus, I completed my paperwork for my new job so that I can eventually be paid. There will be many advantages to living in MFT.
So, I returned to Boston thinking about that late last night. Upon entering the T, I discovered that the trains were delayed for “scheduled maintenance.”
I have always been confused about why the T does maintenance during the day. The MBTA shuts down the whole system at an unreasonably early hour in the evening (12:30). I think that I could take almost any hassle from the T if it kept running a few hours later, especially on Friday and Saturday.
See, I don’t make a pile of money as a history professor. Despite what your high-school guidance counselor might have told you, the real money isn’t in researching the past. I, therefore, can’t always afford to take a taxi and have my cocktails made with top-shelf liquor. Let me tell you, by top-shelf, I mean that I want to see the bartender on his tippy-toes. The T isn’t helping my cause by making me fork out money for cabs (not to mention overtly encouraging people to drink and drive by shutting down).
Given that the MBTA isn’t bothering to provide any service mid-evening, shouldn’t that gap be the time when all maintenance work is done? I am not a city-planner, but if they can build highways in the middle of the night, I think that they can fix some underground track as well (where it is going to be dark at 12 noon or 1 am anyway).
So, as I waited for
“Those could be suspicious packages,” she said to nobody in particular, “I am not riding the train with him.” Clearly she was crazy. To be able to ride the train with me would mean that the T would actually show up. Nobody in their right mind ever banks on that.
I and my suspect luggage were only a passing thought, though, as a man wearing a brightly colored shirt appeared on the platform. “I like your shirt!” She yelled at him.
“Uh – Thanks,” he responded as he edged closer to the wall, clearly thinking that she might toss him into the tracks.
“I said, ‘I like your shirt!’ Don’t I have freedom of SPEECH,” she started yelling at the man. “Isn’t this still a free country? Can’t I say that ‘I like your shirt?’ Are you gong to call a cop, now? Huh? Because I said, ‘I like your shirt?’ Are you going to have me arrested? I LIKE YOUR SHIRT. Can’t I say that? HUH? Well? Can I?” The last inquiry was delivered with an ear-shattering scream as she sloshed Diet Coke onto the platform.
“Look, lady, I will give you my shirt if you will go home and take your medication,” the man said as the train arrived.
Sigh – I am going to miss Boston.