Saturday, 10 February 2018

Bad Landlady

            I needed groceries on Thursday and since the wi-fi downstairs went off early, I went to Freshco at 10:00. Grapes were relatively cheap, so I bought three bags, but I think they were cheaper because this batch was sour. I also got some strawberries, a frozen duck, some yogourt, three bags of milk, some cheese and a box of Raisin Bran.
            I had to work that night at OCADU. On the way out, O'Hara was surprisingly still not cleared much more of snow than it had been a full day before. The same was true of Brock Avenue and Dundas.
            I was scheduled to work on the sixth floor where Terry Shoffner’s class had just finished. I shook Terry’s hand and wished him a happy New Year. We chatted on a couple of light topics and then he asked if I knew the model Helga Schlatter. I confirmed that I not only knew her but that she used to be my landlady. He told me that a young man of about 22 with her last name had just been charged with murder. I said that she’d been pregnant with her first son when I was living with her and her husband and that the baby was born just before I moved out. That kid would be about 22 now. He asked me not to repeat this for fear of starting any false rumours, but I looked it up and found that the man arrested for the strangulation of Tess Richie is indeed Helga’s son.
There may be no connection between Kalen Schlatter’s upbringing and the fact that his mother is an evil and probably insane person, but it wouldn’t surprise me if her son turned out to be a murderer. I would have thought though that her son would have had his father’s last name, but then I don’t know how long Helga and Peter Bird stayed together after I left, because it was a bitter ending and I was evicted by an asshole judge that was totally won over by Helga’s Little House on the Prairie act when she showed up in court nine months pregnant and talked about how much “stress” I had been causing her.
I met Helga one day in the mid-nineties when we were posing for the same class at OCAD. I mentioned to her that I was looking for a place and she offered me two rooms and my own bathroom in a house with a shared kitchen. She also said something weird at the time about her and her husband having an open relationship after I told her that being pregnant made her look radiant. I went there and met her husband and shortly after that I moved in. There were small issues related to sharing the kitchen and I suggested that we have weekly meetings to deal with them. As winter approached they decided that they did not want to pay for heat and would get by without it. I used an electric space heater in my apartment and offered to pay for the extra electricity. After a few weeks though they approached me and said they’d decided they couldn’t live with anybody and asked me to move out. I refused. When the court case came up and Helga walked into the room I could pretty much tell I was doomed. Everyone in the room was smiling at her and their hearts were melting, including the judge and the court stenographer. Helga surprised me by presenting photos that she’d taken of some of my food that I’d allowed to go bad in the fridge and worse than that, she had snuck into my apartment to take pictures of my space heater with the power on and the pictures were angled in such a way as to make crumbled pieces of writing paper that I’d thrown on the floor look like they were closer to the heater than they were. She also had a letter from a friend saying that she’d stayed upstairs one night when I’d had friends over and the conversation had been very loud. Helga declared that I was causing her stress that she couldn’t handle in her condition. I had brought my friend Raven as a witness against the claims of noise but the judge dismissed me having any opportunity to present evidence. He said he’d heard enough and that I was a despicable tenant and I had two months to move it.
Ultimately I’m glad I moved out but that doesn’t let Helga off the hook for her evil, manipulative and sneaky tactics.
When I say that Helga is insane I think it relates to a certain fearlessness that she has that I don’t think is the result of having acquired courage but it’s just that a fear switch seems to have been turned off. It gives her the illusion of being charming because people admire a lack of fear, especially in a woman. She also implied while I was living with her that I should put myself under her control, and this was not about the kitchen. I remember her telling me that she’d been pregnant before but she had aborted that fetus because she’d had a sense that it was evil.
Despite her being pregnant at the time I was living there I found her to be very unsympathetic and even rude to my daughter, who was about four years old at the time. The next time I saw Helga I was already living in the place I am now. I was Christmas shopping in a toy store at the Eaton’s Centre and saw Helga with two young boys. They were taking up an entire aisle in the already crowded store and she was letting the boys play with toys in the middle of the floor.
I worked that night for Nick Aoki and it was just one straightforward pose for the night.
Riding at night in the winter after a snowfall is a horrible experience, even if most of the road has been cleared. There are still clumps of snow on the street that obscure the many potholes that form over the winter. It seems to me that there are more potholes this winter than usual and news ones are popping up all the time. I was glad to get home.
I watched a couple of episodes of The Big Bang Theory. Amy and Sheldon couldn’t decide which of their friends to ask to perform which functions, such as best man and maid of honour and so they secretly experimented on them to determine which one was most suitable for each function. Their friends found out though and got mad. Finally they made emotional selections like normal human beings and Leonard and Penny were picked to be the best man and bride’s maid.
Penny helps Sheldon return to string theory physics after coming up to a dead end with dark matter. She explains that dark matter was just a rebound theory that he’d run to after breaking up with string theory in order to make himself feel pretty again.

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