Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ownership




“Wow!” PP pauses at the wall, looking up from her tunnel vision swim focus at the empty Oakland Y pool, “There’s NO one here!” she hollers at the two lifeguards flirting in oblivious abandon.

They laugh, forced to acknowledge her for a moment.

“I’m going to swim in EVERY lane!” PP laughs. They laugh. Loudly this time.

Then PP does it. Really.

Dives under each lane line, swims down the lane, then dives under the next lane line and swims down the lane.

It’s like a dream she wishes would never end.

Her life out of the water is in such turmoil. Her Evil Landlord walking in on her while brushing her teeth to show HER cattage to prospective buyers. “You have to give me 24 hours notice!” she’d shrieked at him, shaking.
“Didn’t you get my email?” he asked, sheepishly, knowing damn well that duh, she hadn't.
“Email!! I don’t look at the email every day. You need to give 24 hours notice,” she repeats, her shock at his trespassing into her private domain gone wild. Who the hell does he think he is? The Landlord. That's who. He's exempt from common respect and courtesy--the law? If it's for the tenant, well then, he's exempt from that too.




He backs out, tail between his legs; she sends him a copy of the California Civil Code 1954 detailing the basic right of a tenant to 24 hours notice before a landlord enters the premises. He responds, incensed by her ‘legal’ blow with a threat of eviction. How dare she throw the law in his face? Doesn't she know that it doesn't apply to HIM? After all, it's his property. What does he care if she's paying rent and thus is protected by a (minimum) of laws guaranteeing such luxuries as peace, privacy and comfort.

PP reads his threat and tries not to cry.

Why was she being 'punished' for asserting her rights? She hadn't done anything wrong. It wasn't like she was some deadbeat who never paid her rent. No. She pays her rent on time every month. Keeps the cattage sparkling clean. Is quiet and respectful.

How the hell did she go from being the Ideal Tenant to one being threatened with eviction in only 24 hours?

Hell, he’s lucky she didn’t call the cops on him for breaking and entering.

Asshole.

See what happens when PP is out of the water? The Landlord PTSD all comes flooding back into her brain and onto the page.

But for a moment, last night, diving under the lane lines, she’s blissfully and joyfully breaking all the swimming in lanes rules. When she gets to the ‘Walking Lane,’ she stops, grins over at the lifeguards who are half watching her crazy swim but mostly back to their more interesting flirtation. “Can I swim in the Walking Lane?” she calls out.



“NO!!!” they both shriek, terror in their voices. How could she even think of such a transgression? So what if there’s NO one in sight. It’s against the rules.

And so, she doesn’t. Break the rules. And they laugh with her a moment, before going back to their fun.

Diving back under the lane lines, PP thinks, yeah, some may 'own' property and lord this ownership over lowly tenants, but as far as she's concerned, Pool Ownership rules.

And for just 5 blissful minutes, the Downtown Oakland YMCA was absolutely HERS!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Evil landlord--I'm really sad to hear about this behavior. But the pool swim sounded like great fun. Next, swim in the walking lane--you deserve to make the transgression.

Love you,

Laurie