I was holding an official check for $4900 when my leaseholder informed me that he would do what he can to help me move out of the property. I did not mention the check I was holding as twelve hours earlier, this same individual promised to put me into a homeless shelter overstaying in the property without paying for the extra two weeks I could not afford to play at sharing the residence. It is the sixth address I have received mail at in three years and it hurts to have this be the verdict of a person that has witnessed my attempts to secure employment, have friends that are in the same predicament and after residing in a city where rampant homelessness plagues the community of their sexual orientation, made me mentally pause in disbelief.

It is no surprise that the male leaseholders who share my skin tone have been uniquely traumatizing in some capacity. Both have taken a verbal stance of my unemployment that suggests my existence in their residence steals from them. For my father, the idea that I would need to openly exaggerate my delight at every waking moment to acknowledge his self-sacrifice of housing me as an unemployed resident during a global pandemic. For my tenant situation where one is allotted a window of grace to recover or face legal ramifications, this leaseholder is openly ensuring my last few weeks in this property that I have paid for border on the discomfort level I want to employ local government to ensure he never is allowed the opportunity to passively torture another person in the future.

Let’s be clear, it is a pandemic. There is a base need to hunker down and ensure you survive. There is one thing I have been forced to do since the pandemic eliminated my space of employment- office upkeep- and that is house surf in some capacity. For the past year, I have been my four months savings away from being one of the visible homeless for a brief time period. It is not something one plans on in any capacity. I left home poverty for the long-term rental space only to have the reason I entered homeownership still be a factor for me to buy again. Unfortunately, the safe haven of being the deed holder is not supported in my choice of income revenue so I have entered the temporary housing market that is subletting.

Based on the spew of venom my leaseholder unloaded on me, one would think I was preparing him to house a squatter. I provided the information that openly laid out my plans to vacate and possible barters so each the decrease in income he would be facing. Having been in his place of an unpaying tenant on several occasions, I knew my response to these kinds of situations would not be to keep one on the verbal promise whilst pulling at the leaseholder’s income. I know loosely what the baseline is for not paying rent and the impact a non-employed person would have on a household in addition to the loss of their income. I had three tenants that still owe me money from their leaving from the damage they left on the property, discarding the remnants of their property, and navigating the good faith investment that their payment is coming at some point.

It is four days until I move out of this echo chamber that tugs at my preteen experiences living within a two-parent home and why the thought of them divorcing filled me with hope and relief. I want to let my aunt know I will need another two weeks before I need her couch again. The check was a fake after all. But my orisha keep pushing that need away from me. Tsunami is en route to me. In the interim, my leaseholder’s choices need to be cemented by my staying until the last hour. Much like my father’s in some capacity. The positive is that he fulfilled the police call part of this execution.

I hate being the hard lesson for people.

Taking my words out to ‘lunch’.