Again, I’m breaking that “don’t bring up personal shit on a public blog that everyone can read” rule, but I need to get this out seeing as I’ve now ranted on Twitter and Facebook about it and the series of events are still fresh in my mind.. This will be lengthy, names will be named, details will be detailed and hopefully some questions that have cropped up will be answered. So if that isn’t your thing, I’ve summed up my current thoughts and feelings into this video of Hulk beating the shit out of Loki on a repeated loop:
Okay! on with the show. Backstory time:
Ar0und 2008-2009, my girlfriend at the time, Tessa, and I moved out to a gorgeous -if a little neglected- single bedroom cottage in Burradoo, in NSW. Big backyard for the dog, just enough room for two people and -given it was a private deal and was owned by a family friend (David), we were living there practically rent free ($100 a week, $50 per person. Compare that to current market rates and weep, fellow renters).
Being that we were young and stupid and had plenty of young and stupid friends at the time, it also became the designated party house whenever a gathering was required. But that’s a story for another day.
I eventually moved out in 2010 to study, leaving the house to Tessa and her deadbeat boyfriend at the time. Earlier this year, Tess, Kim (current girlfriend) and I all moved just outside of Bankstown, leaving the Burradoo place to a friend of ours, Josh, who passed away earlier this year.
Since then, the house has largely just been ignored, short of the occasional “let’s make sure nobody’s broken in” and people needing to get Josh’s things because none of us really wanted to deal with it and dredge up painful fucking memories. We have tried to get in touch with David since, and he’s been a pain in the arse to get a hold of, as he has been since we first moved in. Aside from the painful memories thing, we all work and have little time to make trips down. So yeah, a fair chunk of stuff we didn’t immediately need has been left there.
I get a call one day from a friend, saying her daughter needs a place, and he suggested the Burradoo place. They offered to clear it up and look after the place, so I jumped at the chance and got the ball rolling. We all rocked up to the place to find the following notice taped to the front and back doors courtesy of the neighbour (commentary in bold is mine):
26 June 2014
You have obviously moved out
That is really great for David as he has been planning for a change to the house for a while. (You mean the past god-knows how long he hasn’t bothered to contact either of us regarding the house?)
It is unfortunate that he has not been able to contact you and you have not notified him. (Again, I reiterate: He is not easily contactable, never returns calls or texts until months after the fact unless we’re extremely lucky. At this point, no effort has been made by either David or Johanne to contact us)
Therefore the locked have now been changed and the power has been turned off. When you want to get your things out you will need toring me, as I have the new keys.
If your personal belongings have not been removed within 2 weeks, they will be stored in the garage, which is as you know is not locked, for another 4 weeks. (Yes. well done. Tell any passer by that it’s a free-for-all)
After that time they will be disposed of.
My numbers: [redacted] or mobile [redacted]
Regards, your former neighbour, Johanne
Cue brick shitting on the friends’ part. Few frantic calls to David (which he doesn’t answer and never got back to me), then a call to Johanne to start sorting out what will eventually become a shitstorm later on. Grab the keys and start hauling whatever we can into cars, with the above timeframe in mind.
The next time we head down is the week or so after, Kim and I get rear-ended and our car is out of commission for the following two weeks as we sort out insurance and a new car purchase. I then go off and shoot a movie (which is, you know, what I consider work), so the timeframe lapses with everyone’s schedules being all over the damn place.
Cue yesterday, 10th September. I contact Johanne to enquire about the status of our belongings and the house. Namely, whether they’ve turfed our stuff back or not because yet again, no-one has contacted us. Conversation opens up with Johanne claiming to not know who I am (despite taking my number down, as well as Tessa’s), and it goes downhill from there. She gets flustered and rude as the conversation goes on. Meanwhile, I am being polite and asking pretty straightforward questions.
Johanne proceeds to tear into me about the state of the house, that stuff had to be moved “at great cost”, and that the timeframe to take our belongings has lapsed to the point where she has taken some of Tess’s things to Vinnies. (which I’m pretty sure is kinda… you know, theft). I ask whether this coming Sunday might be suitable, and she “doesn’t know what she’s doing”. I ask if I can just have access to the shed and she would rather contact David first. Because you know, part of apparently putting yourself in the position of middleman is having to ask permission first. The conversation eventually leads to the story of who moved in when (which she already knew, passed from me and Tess, to Tess and her BF, to Tess and Josh, and then Josh).
“Well I’m not surprised he killed himself, given the state that YOU left the house in.”
Cue shock and much tongue-biting so I don’t tell the old bitch where she can shove her perceived theory of the mental wellbeing of a person she never met. I tell her I will contact David and get back to her. After ringing David (and again, no answer at 11:00am, and straight to voice message at 5:50pm. Mind immediately goes to “he’s blocked my number”, because I’m paranoid), I send her a message saying that I cannot get in touch with him, and that if Sunday is no good for her, then to tell me when she is free, so I can organize people to move shit.
I have spent most of yesterday afternoon hurt, angry and upset over the comments made, given that I was in no way able to help Josh when he was going through what he was and I feel GUILTY as FUCK about it. I have not slept, and if killing things on the Xbox and listening to the angsty music of my formative years (Smashing Pumpkins FTW) doesn’t improve my mood, you know I’m in a pretty bad fucking way.
What I don’t get is, I have done nothing to deserve those comments. I have always been polite and respectful to Johanne since moving in and out again. I am aware she is in a shitty situation playing middleman (which again, she brought on herself) and have done my best to alleviate that. She has been rude and pushy in the past to both myself and my friends (Tessa included) and I’ve ignored it. But Blaming ME? for a situation I had NO control over? Broke the fucking camel’s back, man. If it weren’t for the fact I’m only playing happy families so I can get mine and Tess’s stuff, I’d tell her promptly, undisputedly, and unequivocally to go fuck herself.
It’s the sort of uncaring, callous and bullying attitude I have come to loathe of the more cashed-up parts of the Southern Highlands area, and makes me more and more glad that I left, even if Marrickville had it’s faults and issues and causes for mental breakdowns.
I am not going to deny that Tess and I aren’t entirely innocent. We could have just moved everything out and avoided all this to begin with, that’s our bad. But shit just didn’t happen, stars didn’t align, we just couldn’t do it in time.
I don’t know what the fuck to do now, or whether any of my stuff if still there (again, I asked pretty straightforward questions, and got fuckall straightforward answers). Whether it’s even worth coming down and wasting money or to just leave it. Whether to contact David again because I do not wish to speak to Johanne right now, or just bite the bullet and ring the old bag up and sort out a timeframe, or even do that, as I could probably just raise an army of beer-bribed minions and do a snatch-and-grab in the next few weeks.
So at a loss, angry, hurt, upset and here we are now, 5:39 in the morning, ranting in my blog. All because some cashed-up old bint said mean things to me.
She could have at least said I was fat, dressed funny and had a small dick. I have mastered plenty of comebacks for those over the years…
Till next time.
UPDATE 14th September: Went down to attempt to get stuff out of the shed. The shed has been locked (with our stuff inside), nailed/screwed shut, with “PRIVATE PROPERTY! NO TRESSPASSING” signs plastered everywhere. Photos supplied for your viewing pleasure.
Johanne confronted us, claims that she “legally can’t let us in” and repeatedly said “we had six weeks” to get the stuff out, and that it’s been “unfair on David” to leave everything to him. Other comments includes “everyone moves on with their lives, even if you don’t”, more bitching about the shit in the house that was removed “at great cost”, more complaining how unfair it all is, blah, blah, blah.
Well gee, we’d help out, if -you know- we could GET OUR STUFF.
Oh yeah, that “great cost”? $70 for two couches. Yep. This apparently broke the bank. OH THE HORROR!
David, of course, is still uncontactable.
I have been informed by two friends of mine that what they are doing is illegal, as they have to get a court order of removal. Have called Bowral Police, they have told me I need to get a similar notice to give them the authority to give us access to the shed.
The next stop is going to court. But honestly considering if it’s all worth it.