My social worker looks up at us through the rear-view mirror, “I wish all my clients were like y’all.”
Supposedly, right before you die, your life flashes before your eyes. It’s been happening to me. A lot, actually. God, I hope we don’t get into a car accident. How sad would that be?
Seems unlikely that God would be that much of a sadistic asshole, though. Considering the turn of events, at least. But what do I know.
“I think we just got lucky.” I replied.
“This ain’t luck. It’s hard work. I wish my other clients could see that. You actually put the work in and it paid off. You didn’t wait around for me to do everything for you. That’s more than I could say for anyone else.”
“Well, to be fair, our broker did most of the hard work. For 3 months.”
“None of my other clients would have even thought of getting a broker — much less look for their own apartment. Most won’t do anything at all. They’ll just wait for *NYCHA; as long as it takes, even if it takes 5 years. You don’t have 5 years to wait, though, do you? I didn’t think so.”
“I think no one has a broker because no one has an extra month’s rent to pay for a broker. What broker is going to want to help the homeless anyway? They know we don’t have money. They know we’re a risk — a liability. I just think ours hadn’t made a commission in a long time and really needed the money.”
I really shouldn’t say that about Jay.
God, if I got hit by a car right now, well, it’d know why.
Imagine if we hadn’t come along. My broker could have been me. We could have casually switched spots like that.
“Trust me”, he continues, “they aren’t even thinking about the first month, or the security deposit, or any of this other stuff you’re telling me.”
Imagine your biggest cheerleader isn’t actually cheering for you.
“I’ll tell you what — I’m glad for it. Y’all make me look good.”
Of course, Thomas doesn’t hear any of this.
He’s got his earphones in.
He’s ready to be on to the next chapter.
Believe me, I am too.
*NYCHA: New York City Housing Authority, public housing
Hi all. I guess my extended vacation got cut short.
I don’t know what to say here. Just that I’m probably going to start pointing fingers.
For the last ten months, we have been navigating the New York City shelter system. From Manhattan to Queens, back to Manhattan, and finally, to Brooklyn. We’ve been all over this beautiful city.
Eight months prior, we stepped foot in a courtroom. We spent most of 2017 fighting tooth and nail – a rent overcharge and neglected repairs. It’s unbelievable how much a landlord, a single person, can cause this much pain in a person’s life. It’s scary how quickly our lives can fall apart at the hand’s of another.
I have collected nearly 100,000 words documenting our journey. In Scar Tissue, I will share with you pieces of my collection.
© 2018 Jocelyn Figueroa All Rights Reserved “Scar Tissue”