When I was twelve, my aunt and I moved into what we thought to be the apartment of our dreams. Unfortunately the dream was to good to be true and the apartment turned out to be an apartment from hell owned by a very psychotic landlord. For five years we lived above a mentally unstable man who constantly terrorized us. The experience was like something out of Stephen King’s horror classic, The Shining. I am currently writing a book about our experience entitled For Rent. This is a passage from the book:
“PARADISE is painted canvas that sometimes has a dirt coating smeared beneath its oily strokes. From a far, paradise is a painting of a beautiful eggshell white house, with a large, unreasonably flawless, green backyard, protected by a wall of the most royal looking violet flowers one could ever lay eyes upon. Up close paradise isn’t as aligned to ones dreams as it may have seemed. Paradise is now the outside of a once beautiful house, peeling away as if it were slowly being ripped apart by the shadows of a cold winters morning. It is a weathered yard, dry and lifeless like the spine of a washed up animal corpse. It has flowers that turn to thorns and prick you when your back is turned. That is what paradise became when my Aunt and I moved into a house we assumed was our dream home. In reality it was a home for nightmares and our landlord was the boogeyman that ushered our fears inside. Those fears continue to haunt us to this day.
I often watch shows on the Discovery Channel about landlords living with crazy tenants, but I never see a show where the tenants were living with a crazy landlord. Generally tenants are able to escape such living situations before they escalate. My aunt and I were not so fortunate, for five miserable years we were stuck with an unstable psycho who made Jack Torrence from The Shining look like Bambi. Our friends are often left astonished when we tell them about what it was like living with a madman, they cannot believe how we survived. From the moment we left Milford, Massachusetts to live in Newton, Massachusetts, we were doomed…”