the subletter’s tale

by liamcreaser

Before I begin this story of uncomfortable misfortune, I just want to get two things out of the way: (one) I consider myself a pretty good person; I do my best to make sure others are taken care of when they are in tough situations and (two) I am very much against private property, both in theory and practice. All of it sucks, landlords suck especially, the minimum wage in no way supports the massive amount people must shovel out for rent month after month, you know how it works. So you understand that I would try to help two people when they asked to sublet my apartment when I posted an opening in the hellscape that is Black Market U. Nothing wrong with helping people, right? 

Certain people exist, however, where there is essentially nothing you can do. Certain people seem cool at first, but then in reality it is revealed that they suck so bad that you would rather live at home with your parents, or, dare I say, the dorms. While I was lucky enough not to spend the summer with this couple I am writing about, I can assure you from what I’ve heard that my subletters were truly a disgrace to the home we call Burlington, even by Old North End standards.

Sometimes, you just see their comment on the Facebook group and you just decide it’s the best option, because it’s late in the semester and you have finals and a lot of other shit going on. You go over to their house to sign the papers, and everything seems chill, but, like any rookie pushover, you miss the red flags. And for me, red flags ranged from the incredibly tacky posters of girls in bikinis drinking beer and muscle cars straight out of the Scholastic Book Fair selection to the fact that they didn’t have a checkbook for the initial fee and just paid in cash after hours of texting in confusion. If you ever find yourself in this situation, you now know what to do. 

This brings me to what the people were actually like, and full disclosure, they were always friendly with me. But sometimes friendly doesn’t show you what’s really going on. A lazy person would describe these folks as typical Vermont white trash, but I would argue that description doesn’t provide nearly enough justice. These are people who were teens in the early 2000s– where 3rd wave ska, Fast and Furious, and monster trucks reigned supreme. And don’t get me wrong, those things all have their place, but these people were stuck on that shit. Like, I was a wee lad during that time period, but I still understood that stepping into their living room was like stepping into a time capsule that wasn’t where it should be–buried 10 feet beneath the earth. 

Keep in mind, the summer still hasn’t started yet. While I was ready for a couple months of them just being generally harmless late 20’s bums, nothing could prepare me for the fact that the dude turned out to be a rising EDM DJ. I was skeptical of this at first, but I still rub my eyes everytime I see the poster for some techno festival (probably sponsored by like Noz energy or some shit) with his name on the bill, sometimes even towards the top. (Even if you’re a fan of that kinda music, his Soundcloud isn’t really worth checking out, so it all remains a mystery to me).

Sometimes, the rent is late because he’s going on tour to DJ, and you’re cool with it, because he’ll hit you back in a couple days with that EDM money, right? Well, the thing about that is, sometimes your subletters get arrested for an outstanding warrant, and sometimes they have to spend upwards of 30 days in jail. Sometimes the rent is double late because it goes to those jail fees, and triple late because the girl decided to get a cat while she was waiting for Skrillex to get out of the slammer. 

Sometimes you get back in town after a summer full of boredom and the subletters aren’t ready to leave yet, so you have to find somewhere to sleep while you work ten hour days at the Davis Center (which is a great place that I love). Sometimes you talk to the other tenants to hear about the coke-fueled parties the infamous couple threw that lasted until sunrise, and sometimes you hear stories about the dude dating a thirteen year old back in the day. All of these things are true, and as you read me telling them, I would like to mention that they could be told much better by the folks who actually spent a summer in a house with them. But for me, well, sometimes you just have to learn your lesson. And sometimes, in an almost sort of nice, reverse-Big Lebowski-esque scenario, they leave you a rug in the room so you don’t have to buy one.

Categories: liam creaser, reflections


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