Peter and Josh will be happy to know that I came about as close to swearing this morning than I ever have before in my life. I don't even remember the last time I was this angry. I don't really know what to do.
This is what happened. I had this subletter come for a week, since S's room was open and I had July rent to pay. It was just a week, but the money helped make a small dent in the three rents I had to pay this month. She seemed like a nice enough girl--in her mid 20s, a theater major from BYU, on her way to London, in NYC for a week to see the sights for the first time. I didn't really get to know her because she'd stay out all day and come back late at night. A few times she asked if she could borrow my cell phone to make calls, and I let her because I am a nice person, but it kind of annoyed me. Who doesn't own a cell phone these days? That was weird, I thought. But I wanted to be helpful, especially when she said she needed to check on her flight reservations and stuff. But she also made some calls to Utah, and at 4:00 in the morning on Saturday, one of those Utah people called her back on my phone and woke me up. That was really annoying. And it was even more annoying when another Utah person called my phone the next day and left a non-emergency message for me to give the girl. I mean, I'm happy to help out, but what am I, a bulletin board?
Initially, the subletter told me she'd be leaving Monday, but then when I asked her again she said Sunday evening. I worried about her because she didn't seem to even know which airport she would be leaving from. But whatever--she's a grown person, I thought, and she would be able to figure it out. I went to a movie last night and got home around 1 a.m.. Trini, my super, was outside and he said that he'd let the girl in because she'd had trouble with the key. But he laughed and said that although he opened the apartment door (which can be tricky) for her, he stood there and made her do it herself so she would know how to do it next time. We do have a difficult front door, but it is simple once you know the trick, and I had shown the subletter how to open it before a couple of times. When I got upstairs to the apartment, the door was ajar--she had got in, but not bothered to close the door behind her! But whatever, I though, she'll only be here one more day and then I won't have to worry about it any more. The next thing I knew, it was 4:15 a.m. and I (a light sleeper) heard someone opening the door.
I got up, and realized the subletter, and all her stuff was gone. But where was the door key and the gate opener? She must have had a much much earlier flight than she had told me! I ran out the door, barefoot and in my pajamas. The elevator door was closing, so I ran down the six flights of stairs and caught the girl as she was leaving the building with her suitcases. I asked her for the key, and she said she thought she had left it in the kitchen. I knew for a fact it wasn't there, and asked her to look through her bag. I probably looked like a crazy person, have just jumped up from a deep sleep, and I wasn't thinking clearly. I ought to have made her open her suitcase then and there and dig out the key. But seriously--who packs the key to their sublet?! She said to look again upstairs--she was sure it was there--and if not, she would mail it to me, or pay for it. So annoyed, and again too nice, I reluctantly agreed and went upstairs. But I had a sinking feeling, and hurriedly dressed and ran outside again. She was getting into a taxi. "Please!" I said, running up to the taxi door. "Search your bag again! I need that key." She did a cursory search of her handbag and then handed me a check for $30. "Let me know if its more than that," she said. Some dirty guy, who I think must have helped her get the taxi, asked for some money too, and I don't know if she gave him any, but the whole thing was so surreal. I was still half-asleep, half-dressed, standing in the street at 4:30 in the morning in Harlem, with half a dozen old drunk people standing around watching the whole thing. So I let her go, but I wish I would have been stronger. I wish I would have asked her for the key last night, or compelled her to open her suitcase before she left the building, and search until it was found. It crossed my mind that she had actually lost the key somewhere in the city, but Trini had helped her in, and had forced her to use the key herself, so she definitely had it.
As she drove away in the taxi, the sketchy man came up to me and told me that the girl said to give him ten dollars. I just gave him a death stare and walked away. Trini was there, asking what was going on, but he was ridiculously drunk, and not making any sense. I wanted to scream, to talk to someone, but all normal people were fast asleep. I sent an email to the girl, outlining my need for the key to be returned. She has no phone, so I couldn't call her. I paced around the house, fuming, and ate a bowl of cereal. Then I went back to bed and tried to sleep, mostly unsuccessfully.
Am I crazy? The thing is, it's not a simple key that can be copied by the neighborhood locksmith. Besides the door key to the apartment, we have a double set of gates on the building that open with a little laser key. None of us have ever lost ours, so I have no idea how hard it is to get another made, or how much it will cost. But it's one more annoying thing I don't want to have to deal with. I'm angry at how irresponsible this girl was, and how I now have to fight with her to get the thing back, and then get another made if she doesn't come through with returning it. For all I know, her check will bounce. Should I deposit it right away, or wait for her to mail the key? What if I had had another subletter lined up to come stay after her? She's lucky I don't, but I am moving and I need to return that key to the management by the last day of this month. Otherwise, my security deposit is at stake. Ugh. I'm so mad! And now I have had no sleep and that is making me even crankier. What a night. How can someone be so rude? Who DOES that?