Today should have been “NYC, Day 334.” But I think yesterday was our last day in the city. We spent it loading all of our stuff into a UHaul.

It started to rain in our apartment on Tuesday. Water was streaming out the light fixture in the bathroom and soon after, gushing out a hole in the wall. The superintendent seemed nonchalant. No one came to fix things, although a few repair people came in to stare.

The smell was terrible. (The water, brown.)

By Friday, the smell had started to dissipate – either that or we’d gotten used to it. On Saturday it rained again. The water came through the hole in the wall. It came through the fixture where the shower curtain had been. (The shower curtain had fallen out of the very wet ceiling on Wednesday morning.) The fire department came to the building twice.

The man who lives one floor above us says his ceiling has collapsed. The woman who lives two floors above us says hers in on the verge of caving in.

We looked at the weather forecast – two weeks of rain – and decided we need to do something as the property management company was doing nothing. We boxed everything up and moved it out of the building. The apartment isn’t livable – the bathroom is unsafe; the smell, surely toxic. It’s all a giant fire hazard.

We hadn’t planned to move. We thought we’d stick around for another year – renew our lease (it’s up at the end of September). Ha. Instead, we’re heading west. I hear it’s much, much drier there.

Audrey Watters


Audrey Watters


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