The Landlord from Heaven – or from hell?
Psst. Hello. Yes, that’s right, under the table. Sorry for the inconvenience, but could we sit down here to chat? You don’t mind, do you? Thanks.
Why are you under the table?
Not so loud. It’s the landlord. He’s going to be here sometime soon, and...
You’re behind with the rent?
No, no. The problem is much more serious than that.
Tell me, maybe I can help.
All right. Here goes. Deep breath. The landlord is... he’s...
Go on, you can say it.
He’s a hunk.
... Your landlord is a hunk, so you’re hiding from him?
Yes! Of course! I knew you’d understand.
Actually, I don’t. Why should you hide from a hunk?
Not just a hunk. All hunks. But this particular hunk is a serious problem, because I can’t avoid dealing with him! The first time he came here, was when the oven wouldn’t work properly. I hadn’t met him before, because we arranged the house through an agency. So we were here a month when I finally got around to calling him about the oven. I left a message on his phone, thinking maybe he’d be here in a day or three. The next minute, there’s this knock at the door.
I wander into the passage to open it, and here stands this guy. He’s tall, to begin with. I want to faint in the company of tall men. They unnerve me. Then he smiles, and he has this lovely, easy smile. “I’m a nice guy” is plastered all over that smile. Then I look into his eyes, and he has the most gorgeous eyes the gods have ever invented.
Ha! I can’t remember. But I think it was brown, with green flecks in. All I know is it’s the first time I’ve personally seen eyes that are one colour with these little jewels of another colour in them. And of course now I’m dying to look at his eyes again so I can make sure of what they look like, and the colour. And I bet I’ll manage to do it in such a way that it looks weird, or that I come across as a stalker.
So there I stand, for a nanosecond taking all this in. Then disaster makes its graceful entrance. My mouth goes into overdrive. He asks me about my writing, and of all things I show him Anida’s website. Now he knows he has a woman who writes porn living in his house.
I know, I know, it’s erotica, not porn, but porn sounds worse, so I bet you that’s how he thinks of it.
I show him the non-working oven, and he prints the manual off the internet. Yes, Landlord, I am way too stupid to have figured that one out myself. I still couldn’t get it to work, so I leave another message on his phone. But I still keep at it with the oven, and next thing I manage to break one of the buttons off. And as I’m standing there with the button in my hand, thinking what this guy is going to say when he finds out I broke his oven even more than it was before, he phones back to tell me he’s arranged an electrician to come have a look at it.
Hmph. Yes. He can’t leave it with just being good looking, oh no. He has to go and be really nice, too. Bastard.
And then. Haha. Then the electrician comes and it turns out the oven works after all. So I’d made him get an electrician, and it wasn’t needed. I wanted to dig a hole in the floor and cover it up after me.
After that, the disasters just wouldn’t stop. The light bulb in the sitting room blew, and when I tried to put another one in, it turns out I can’t get it in. I phone him and tell him the fitting is broken, he comes around with no less than three replacement light thingamagogs.
I told him to come before I started writing. I’d warned him. I told him, but no, he just had to come around when I’d finished doing everything else I could think of, and I’d immersed myself in a short story I was working on. He needed to talk to me about something, but I simply could not disengage my brain from the writing. I kept going: “What? What did you say?” like the world’s greatest imbecile, when all he said was: “For any electrical faults, don’t try to fix it yourself, call me and I’ll get an electrician.” The man must think I’m crazy!
I’m sure he doesn’t.
Okay, perhaps he does just a very little bit, but surely there’s still hope for a normal, sane landlord/tenant relationship?
Yeah, right. And then he takes the light bulb and just... just puts it in! And it stays! Why wouldn’t it stay for me, why, why?!
Honey, don’t you think you should calm down a li...
Calm? I am calm. Look at how calm I am.
The fan in the en-suite bathroom wouldn’t switch off. But I’d vowed not to phone him again until after Christmas and New Year were out of the way. So my darling husband disabled the fan, because the noise was driving me up the wall.
Yes, my sweet man, the only hunk I can stand being around. Thank gods for him, because otherwise I’d have the added burden of actually being available on top of everything else. I’d have had to look for another house, I wouldn’t have been able to stand the pressure.
Then the same bathroom’s light stopped working. Believe me, finding the toilet in the dark can sometimes be an interesting venture. Then the sitting room light bulb, the one he’d put in so easily? It fell out again. Fortunately onto a pile of books on the coffee table beneath it, so by pure luck it didn’t break. I struggled and struggled until I managed to get it back in. And it stayed! It stayed! Muwahahahahaha!
That’s really nice. Do you think it’s a good thing to clutch your laptop quite so tightly?
Then there was the shower. Ah, the shower. It got colder, and colder, and colder. Until eventually it was freezing. But we bravely struggled on, taking cold showers in the dark. At least we didn’t have to worry about the extraction fan not working, ‘cause there wasn’t any steam to extract any more.
But it’s 4 January now. I made it. Not only left him alone over Christmas and New Year’s Day, I waited until the first Monday after the festive season. I phoned him.
And... now you’re hiding from him?
Oh, gods! I can’t do this, I can’t stand the stress! Whenever I’m in the company of a hunk, I feel as if I have sixteen legs and twenty thumbs. My brain collects all the stupid things I’ve avoided saying since birth and spits them out one after the other.
I think that’s the doorbell.
Aaaargh! Will you get it for me, please?
I can’t. I’m only a cyber-presence, remember.
Oh, no. I’ll have to open the door. Deep breaths, deep breaths. I can do this. I can do this. I’ve cycled over the Swiss Alps, I can open that door and act normal. Look, I’m going over to the door. I’m opening it. “Hi, Alan, how are you? Sorry to have bothered you again.” See? That was normal. See me smiling normally. See me walking normally. See me tripping over my own feet and falling on my arse. Nooooo!
I know what I’ll do. I’ll write about him. Written hunks are different. They’re manageable. I’m in control. And I can make another female have to deal with him instead of having to do it myself, and snigger as I do so. Hehehehe!
Hehe. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. Thanks for your help, I feel a lot calmer now. I’ll let you know when I have him captured in a story, then you can come around here again.
Er, no rush at all. I’ll just, er, leave now. Bye.