Bourbon Cowboy

The adventures of an urbane bar-hopping transplant to New York.

My Photo
Location: New York, New York, United States

I'm a storyteller in the New York area who is a regular on NPR's "This American Life" and at shows around the city. Moved to New York in 2006 and am working on selling a memoir of my years as a greeting card writer, and (as a personal, noncommercial obsession) a nonfiction book called "How to Love God Without Being a Jerk." My agent is Adam Chromy at Artists and Artisans. If you came here after hearing about my book on "This American Life" and Googling my name, the "How to Love God" book itself isn't in print yet, and may not even see print in its current form (I'm focusing on humorous memoir), but here's a sample I've posted in case you're curious anyway: Sample How To Love God Introduction, Pt. 1 of 3. Or just look through the archives for September 18, 2007.) The book you should be expecting is the greeting card book, about which more information is pending. Keep checking back!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Countdown to Homefulness: Day 10 (Not 9)

Don't make me nervous. After I went through that company to get my apartment, and paid a whole year's rent in advance, my friend Tracy said, "Wow. They made you pay that all up front? I hope it's not a scam." She was joking. I immediately got petrified. Oh, sure, they'd shown me the place, and I'd signed what LOOKED like a lease (but was it really?), and it certainly APPEARED that they were a legitimate business with a bustling office on 23rd St. But how could I really know?

An advisor of mine said, "Ask for proof of something. If they're up to something, they'll start to act weird. That's how you know." So I asked for a receipt for my vast heart-stopping check, and the man said, "Okay. And here's my card." Very smooth. Perhaps...too smooth?

So I asked for the phone number of the landlady and the superintendent. "But the landlady is out of town for two weeks," they said. A likely story! But when I called, the phone rang and rang and rang...a fake number? The superintendent, it turns out, doesn't speak much English. I said, "I just want to confirm that an apartment I got last week--I think it's 1A or 1B?--is actually available and in my name." And he said, "What? You say apartment? Not 1A! We sold it this morning!" and hung up.

It gives me huge relief to report that the landlady really was on vacation. She answered the phone yesterday and said, "Dickerson? Yeah, your name's on the lease right here. You're out of town? Give me your number so we can call around the 30th about how to get you some keys."

Until this happened, I was literally avoiding spending any money on anything at all, for fear that I might been taken for $20,000 and would have to pull together the remainder of my ebbing bank account for some emergency backup apartment. Now I feel centered--and I'm confident enough to begin the countdown. Soon I will have a (tiny tiny tiny) place of my own! No more relying on the generosity of others! No more begging to borrow someone else' car to buy basic necessities! No more living way the hell out in the middle of nowhere! I mean, there have been good parts to my exile as well, but Jesus, am I ready to start living.

Which reminds me: one of the good parts about the exile is that I'm not paying Manhattan rates at movie theaters. Today's celebratory plans include Hellboy 2.



Post a Comment

<< Home