Last year, “Chico” and I were barely a month into living in our (not-quite) 2-bedroom digs on Q Street when he sat me down one day for a little man-to-man chat. He proceeded to explain to me that the sober life just wasn’t for him and that he’d like to “drink socially”. Apparently, his problem was never alcohol, but crack cocaine…
Things proceeded from there. Despite what he had said about “not bringing it home”, there was a morning when I came downstairs and there was a guy I didn’t recognize passed out on the couch.
Then came the morning at 4:00 AM when I awoke to him banging on the front door smelling of booze and sporting an egg-sized lump on his face. He mumbled something about how he’d gotten “jumped”. So it was pretty obvious at that point that the “drinking socially” had become “smoking crack and god knows what else socially”.
Then he quit his job (or it quit him, who knows?) at some point and began spending most his time doing things not related to maintaining an income.
One day he called me at work. “You’re not gonna believe this,” he said. “Try me,” I replied. The power had been shut off at the apartment. The deal had been from the beginning that I would pay for cable and he would pay for power. Apparently, he hadn’t paid the power company a dime in the four months we’d been there. So, in what I knew was a huge gamble, I handed him $135 cash for “my half” of what was owed. The next day, he asked me for ANOTHER $135 — I didn’t give it to him. That night, with the power still not on, he muttered something vague about “Gotta go to Chico to get the money”.
I thought that Chico Einstein would at least be able to summon the wherewithal to get the power turned back on. Boy was I wrong. Because who needs air conditioning or even a fan in July in Sacramento…when you’ve got CRACK? So when it became apparent that the temperature was going to skyrocket and Genius had no intention of getting the power back on, I packed a bag and moved into a halfway house that a guy I knew ran. Hey — at least they had utilities. INCLUDING air conditioning!
Anyway, apparently the trip to “Chico to get that money” hadn’t been too successful, since in addition to not paying for power, Genius also didn’t pay his share of the rent for that month — $425. I found this out the same time that I found out that if I wanted the slumlords to give me any kind of good reference toward ANY future rental at all, I would have to come up with the money he didn’t pay, plus a full month’s additional rent, since they required 30 days’ notice for moving out. Plus, I thought that we paid first and last month’s rent when we moved in, but no. We paid first month’s rent plus a “security deposit”.
Anyway, total cost to me to be free of the situation — around $1100. If you count my share of the “deposit” that I’ll never see again (Chico was in jail last I heard), around $1500.