American Horror Story: Rent Is Due
In this town, an existential crisis is always right around the corner, luckily so is a bodega. I wasn’t quite sure how I would get out of this one. My
employer former employer owed me a shit ton of money and wouldn’t answer my calls or emails. As always, bills were due; namely rent. Why should I be afraid of witches, haunted houses or a traveling freak show when my life is clearly a psychological thriller? Rent was due on February 1st, today was February 9th. I was renting the room week to week and had fallen behind twice before. I’d passed my grace period, albeit gracefully, and entered full on lateness. If I missed rent again I’d surely be out on the streets. There is no safety net, I could hardly keep a checking account. At the moment, said checking account was deep into the negative.
I used to feel bad about my financial discrepancies, “what am I doing wrong?” I thought to myself. “Why can’t I get it together?” Why? Because it’s easy to seem like you’re bad at managing your money when you just don’t make enough of it. I used to feel bad about my financial discrepancies, now I just feel American.
I sat in my room at 4am, contemplating how I would make it out of the house without being caught.
My ‘landlord’, who lived in the next room, was a Dominican woman who didn’t speak much English and couldn’t quite grasp the convenience of a cell phone but sure as Hell knew how to count a dollar bill. If she caught me, I’d certainly be evicted. I knew if I left this early in the morning I could make it to my audition unscathed because as we all know the best way to deal with your problems is to completely avoid them.
My mind was racing. That’s when it hit me: there are a ton of TV shows that could easily be mistaken for obscure Brooklyn rock bands – Modern Family, Homeland, How To Get Away With Murder. I digressed. And with shoes in hand and bag in tow, I successfully crept out the front door without being heard.
I’d ridden the subway for a few hours to kill time before my audition, giving me the opportunity to think of a great porn name – “Beef Wellington!”, I proclaimed to myself with the pride of a child who’d survived potty training.
One think I was unable to survive off of was my survival job. It would take at least two more survival jobs to effectively survive. However, with 3 survival jobs, where would I find the time and energy to blossom and grow as an artist? Maybe I should fore go my true passion for now, save money and wait for a better time? “That’s bullshit.”, I thought to myself with the pride of a child who’s parents just said ‘I will turn this car around.’
Everyone talks about how I should have a ‘plan B’ but no one ever talks about what I should do if and when ‘plan B’ doesn’t work out. No one ever mentions how you could save money for months and months at a time to benefit your career and suddenly have to blow it all on getting rid of bedbugs or finding a new apartment or some expensive medicine because you got sick. All of which had happened to me in the past. No one ever mentions how your plan B isn’t foolproof. If plan B always worked out, don’t you think people would be like “fuck plan A!”?
I’d thought about quitting, stopping, slowing down. What difference would it make? A survival job could fall through, again. A survival job could avoid paying me, again. A survival job could cost me 50 hours a week leaving no real time to pursue a career. Alas, rent is due and I was scared that I would fail.
That’s when I thought to myself, “maybe David Cop-a-Feel is a better porn name?” I digressed.
As scared as I was about what would happen if I failed, I was more scared of what would happen if I stopped trying. In my world, there’s no such thing as safe. I would rather fail at something that I really wanted than fail at something someone else told me was a good idea because it’s so safe. At least when you fail at something you really want it was worth it, and you don’t feel like complete shit the next day.