We have found a new home! At first, the quiet girl from Craigslist seemed like a great match—we had just the occasional tangle over cats and cleanup. And women seeking men westchester ny backpage the men started coming over.
It was late morning, and I was putting up a fresh pot of coffee when I heard the first meow. It sounded awfully close, as if from inside the apartment instead of the backyard one story down. Then I heard it again, and there was no doubt. I’d made it clear when she moved in: no pets. I suffer from allergies — through spring and summer I have a persistent itch in my nostrils, and the lightest bit of pollen or dander or even a freshly mowed lawn sets off sneezing spells that leave my entire body sore. I was also concerned about the smell.
And besides, the landlord forbade pets. I’m only taking care of it for a few months. I keyed my reply, then backspaced over it, reconsidering. I have a tendency to overreact, to exacerbate conflict. Instead I went for calm and firm, and maybe slightly paternal. Later that afternoon, in the kitchen between our bedrooms, we talked, leaning on opposite counters. I’d expected an argument, but her posture was one of submission, as if I was her dad, or a schoolteacher.
But I wasn’t her dad, and she was an adult woman, even if I was twice her age. I was left somewhat unsettled. In the end, I told her she could keep the cat, but she better take care of it properly. I thought you were going to kick me out or something. That conversation was the longest we’d ever had. We were unlikely roommates, a Craigslist arrangement: I, a near-middle-aged man, several years divorced, with adolescent children of my own.
She, a twenty-year-old recent college grad. We were living in Gravesend, an unremarkable neighborhood in a remote part of Brooklyn, where restaurants, bars and coffee shops are scarce, and when the friend I’d been living with moved out, finding a new roommate wasn’t easy. At first, I had a parade of eccentrics, men who seemed to have something to hide, smelling of whiskey, with slurred speech, crooked teeth, telling me about jobs as investment bankers or corporate accountants, claims I found dubious. One man, a flashy young Georgian, took one look at the room and grew alarmingly aggressive as he tried to force his cash deposit into my hand, even after I explained that I wasn’t ready to make a decision just yet. He left just as I was about to call the cops. So when Jenny showed up, I was inclined to like her. She looked like a typical post-college young woman: hair dyed reddish-blond, large earmuff headphones over her ears.