Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Someone find me a nice new place to live in Manhattan

Whilst I was in Los Angeles, one of the things that reassured me about returning to Manhattan was that back in March I had arranged my accommodation for the summer: I was to sublet a room in Chelsea until the middle of August. It was convenient, well-located and very inexpensive.

I based my plans, work, fiscal, social, around this, and arrived back in New York ten days ago. I unpacked, gradually removed my possessions from storage, settled in.

The fly in the ointment? My flatmate was the emotionally fragile ex-girlfriend of my best friend, S, & I had met her through him. Not an ideal situation; the breakup, two months ago whilst I was in LA, was complicated and messy, as most break ups are and there was a lot of emotional fallout. There is no right or wrong in a break up. S is no saint but then neither is she. They no longer speak.

But, we are all adults and I thought that, as I was just here for six-eight weeks, that we would be able to deal with this. On my first night back I told her that I was Switzerland, completely neutral. The problem, tho, was that she wanted to talk about it. A lot. Has been, frankly, unable to stop talking about it in the eleven days we have been here together. I do not wish to talk about it. Ever. I'm already dealing with my parents' breakup. But I listened, and nodded along as she was clearly distressed.

I am empathetic: as a single girl, I’ve had to be a shoulder for a lot of people, and one cannot fail to be sorry for anyone trying to come to terms with the end of a relationship that they thought might be The One. It’s miserable, throws one’s equilibrium out, and makes the world feel like a hostile place. However much I love my friend S, I can’t help but feel sorry for this girl & her emotional turmoil.

Hell, I’ve been there myself. After one heart wrenching break up I did all of the following: posted every photo I possessed of him though his letterbox, sent rambling letters, drove convoluted journeys home so that I could drive by his house, frantically Googled him to find out what he’d been doing, and basically acted like a nutcase.

But it passes. I look back now and cannot believe either that I even liked him, or that I would behave in such a way. And I hope that I am old & wise enough now not to fall for the kind of unfaithful cowards who would induce such behaviour.

Unfortunately, my flatmate is still in the throes of the nutcase stage. This morning she informed me that, as she had passed by S at the subway when he had come by to pick me up for dinner, it was no longer possible for me to live here & that I needed to move out by the 30th June. She was also considering a restraining order against S as he obviously can’t keep away from her.

I had promised her that I would never have S in the house which seemed fair enough to me (& he has zero desire to come in anyway) but, with hindsight, if I had realised it would distress her so much, it wld have been better not to have met S on the street outside the apartment last night.

But a restraining order? And evicting me? A normal person would have said, LLG you were a bit insensitive last night. Please don’t meet S where I might bump into him, not turn it into an accusation of stalking. The whole thing is utterly ludicrous: in two months he has got in touch with her once: on Monday he emailed, texted & then left her a missed call after he had found out a few things about her which upset him, and he has picked me up for dinner from my home once.

I’m aggrieved because, whilst I was inadvertently insensitive by allowing her ex to pick me up from my doorstep, I wld do anything to ensure a woman's safety. Regardless of my friendship with S, if I for a moment thought there might be even a scintilla of risk to her I would back her every step of the way.

But in this case I am afraid that right now the only risk to her is her own imagination.

And evicting me because she needs her home to be a ‘safe’ environment (God I hate therapy speak) is patently absurd. But if it makes her feel more secure, then so be it. And maybe it is too much for her having one of S’s friends around her. That’s fine: I’m thoroughly bored with her games, accusations and character assassinations and with the whole situation. Clearly, I am much better off out of the apartment and out of her life.

Now I have six days to find a new place to live. Curses.