May 16, 2019


I suppose some people might wonder why I'm not completely hysterical. Why would I be hysterical? The building where I've lived for 22 years is scheduled for demolition, and I have to be out of my apartment no later than June 4. At the moment, I have no new apartment to move into. So, I have two and a half weeks to find a new place, pack up all the stuff I've accumulated over the years (and throw away and/or give away a lot of books, CDs, and DVDs, among other things), and make the move happen.

The good news is that there are apartments available in a price range I should be able to manage (which is to say, the new rent would be very close to my current rent, perhaps $100-$200 more per month, but that would be manageable, once the relocation expenses are disbursed to me -- see below). The bad news: I have no money to pay for the security deposit and first month's rent, or to pay for the move and/or storage of my belongings. Why is that the case?

Regular readers will know that I'm entitled to a relocation allowance. Since I'm over 62 and have lived here so long, I will be getting $20,050. Some owners make it easy on their evicted tenants: they provide a check for the full amount to help with the move. Alternatively, the owners can set up an escrow account, which is what the owners of my building have done. And the way the escrow account is set up means that, in effect, the relocation allowance functions as a reimbursement system: once you've paid the expenses of the move (or any part of them), they will reimburse you upon presentation of an invoice, contract (i.e., lease in this case), or something similar. So you have to have the money in order to get the required documentation, so that you can get the money. See how that works?

But I don't have the money. I've been round and round on this, and I can't make any headway. Up until last week, I thought I'd be able to work it out. I was wrong. So here I am, two and a half weeks away from life on the street. I've said it before, and I'll say it once again: I will not survive on the street. Given my health, homelessness is a death sentence, and probably one that would be actualized in very short order. Which, quite frankly, would be a blessing, if it came to that.

I don't believe for one moment that it has to come to that. You're doubtless wondering why this is happening at the very last minute, since I've known for a year about the forced eviction. Perhaps I haven't made clear just how bad my health is. Much of the time (and for most of the last year), it's all I can do to get out of bed for several hours a day, manage to eat a meal or two, and sit at the computer for a while. I kept thinking that I still had plenty of time -- and, honestly, a couple of months is plenty of time to move, I've done it in far less time than that, in fact, I've done it in a couple of weeks in the past -- and I also kept thinking that I just had to start feeling better soon. I never started feeling better.

So basically, I have to do my best to raise some money in very quick order. To cover the first month's rent, security deposit (assuming a rent of around $1,100-$1,200/month), and moving and storage expenses (assuming I have to store some items, as I'll probably be moving into a studio with less room than I have now), as well as contacting one of the services that come and pick up a bunch of junk and dispose of it, I'll need $3,500 to $4,000. I don't know if it's even possible to raise that much -- but I regularly see (we all regularly see) people raising far greater sums for projects that are often dubious, or at least questionable. My project is simple: it's my life. Without a new place to move into, I'm finished.

Now, I will be getting the $20,050 eventually, but to judge from the experience of other tenants who have already moved, I may not receive it nearly as quickly as I would wish. But I'll get it at some point. So I would be more than happy to agree with anyone who wished to make a donation for the purpose of this move that, once I've received the relocation funds, I'll refund the donation, plus an additional fee which you should feel free to suggest. If you want to do it that way, well, bless you, first of all, and just let me know. I'll send you an email confirming that I'll reimburse you for your donation once I have the funds.

A semi-related point: I held off on this post until today because I had made a deal with myself. Given my inability to write for most of the past year, I felt I had to publish at least one substantial new essay before regaling you with these tales of my wild adventures. I did that yesterday, and I enjoyed putting that article together (although the idea of war resulting from "bad intelligence" utterly infuriates me). I felt I had to do that as a gesture of good faith, if you will. And even though I have an incredible amount of stuff to get done in the next few weeks, I'll try to publish at least a briefer post every two or three days, or however often I can manage it. Writing should be a welcome break from the tedious tasks associated with moving.

So that's what's happening here. Although I'm not hysterical, I certainly am experiencing a considerable amount of steady anxiety. Sleep does not come easily these days; sometimes it doesn't come at all. Wouldn't it be lovely if I'd received a check in the full amount of the relocation allowance several months ago? All this would have been avoided. Ah, well. I am still confident that I can make all this happen in the next few weeks. Once I have the necessary funds, if I have the necessary funds, it's all manageable, even if very tough and pressured.

Thank you for listening. Bless you for your support and concern. Many people have to deal with situations far more grueling than what I've described here. And I am very far from giving up. I still derive a great deal of pleasure from far too many aspects of the world to consider giving up at this point. And, big mouth that I am, I still have a lot to say on many subjects. (I'd publish all my notes from the past year or so if I thought they would be intelligible to anyone else. But they wouldn't be. Sometimes they're not even intelligible to me months after I made them. "What exactly was I thinking when I wrote that?" I'll sometimes wonder. I'm sure it was absolutely fascinating, but occasionally I'll have no idea at all what it was.)

All right. I'll shut up about all this now. Many, many thanks again.