Wednesday, February 13, 2008
la femme d'enfer
I had an ENORMOUS fight with my landlady yesterday. She's an intolerable woman. And for four years I have put up with her.
How? Using excessive gnashing of teeth and the overrated “Count to 10” method.
She's smart. Because now she phones me on an unknown number. Usually when the Devil calls, it says “Landlady From Hell” on my caller identity. And I never pick up. It is an absolute necessity to mentally prepare first.
This is the Type AAAAA recurring person I am dealing with.
Again, for four years, I have somehow managed to smooth over:
1)Her asking me repeatedly if I have boyfriends sleep over;
2)Her asking repeatedly if I trust the people I live with (Ant is only one of my best friends, what the fuck would you expect? And Martha is a trustworthy social worker for God's sake;)
3)Her insisting on rewriting the lease every 6 months with a painfully slow hand. Yes, she writes it by hand, in front of me. And insists I sit through it, for about 3 hours.
4)She doesn't let you talk. She's your classic case of Portuguese Bombardment. (Third Roommate would understand)
5)Her telling me to tell my neighbours when I have a party (twice a year!) Which, I do. I slip them fucken NOTES in their postbox on top of verbally communicating with them.
Yesterday, still knotted in anxiety from “The Thing”, she catching me offguard (no mental preparation), and me having untimely PMS, she calls. These are important circumstances, you understand.
I completely flipped my lid.
Devil Woman: You didn't pay the correct utility bill into my account.
Peas: Oh but I did.
Devil Woman: It was R450.91
Peas: No....it was R317.61. You SMSed me the bill.
Devil Woman: [ensues on psycho rant, the only words I hear are “trust” , “whine whine whine”, “moan moan moan” and “blah blah blah”]
And then...out of nowhere...
...ping.... I can physically feel my synapses crack and recoil.
Peas: Right. SHUT. UP. JUST SHUT UP. I am completely SICK and tired of talking over me EVERY SINGLE TIME when you QUITE CLEARLY SENT ME THE UTILITY BILL, which I still have on my phone. YOU NEVER LET ME SPEAK, AND I HAVE HAD ENOUGH.
Devil Woman: [Amazingly, doesn't shut up. My voice was booming like thunder. By now my entire building, not just my office, has heard me crack into a telephone receiver.]
“But it's the wrong amount.”
Peas: Then why, for God's sake, DIDN'T YOU SEND ME THE RIGHT AMOUNT?
Devil Woman: I did.
Peas: No, you fucking didn't. In fact, on that note – I TRUST that you're sending me the amount stated on the utility slip itself.
Devil Woman: Are you making up the numbers?
Peas: WHAT. Like I look at the bill and say, “Hmm, let's see...maybe I'll put a 1 there and a 2 there.” NO. BECAUSE IF I DID THAT, IT WOULD MEAN I'D GET A PHONECALL FROM YOU – MUCH LIKE THIS ONE – WHICH I TRY TO AVOID AT ALL COSTS, BECAUSE TALKING TO YOU IS ONE OF THE LEAST PLEASURABLE THINGS ON THIS PLANET.
Devil Woman: [Still, amazingly, goes on.] We need to clear this up.
Peas: SHOULD I TAKE A PHOTO OF THE SMS YOU SENT ME? WOULD THAT CLEAR IT UP?
And that was pretty much the extent of the conversation.
Incredibly, I said “fuck” only once.
Which just goes to show: push me enough – might take four years – but I'll eventually crack. And when I do, your world will explode.
The scary thing is, this will happen again.