I understand that the world economy is not doing so well. The local, the provincial economy is apparently just starting to feel this, having been until now relatively resistant to such things (I maintain it’s more a matter of it having been in the hole for so long that when the rest of the world dropped, we were dazzled by the sudden appearance of the sun, but I do not have an Economist’s feathered head-dress and bone-rattle).
Personally, I will not complain for a moment. Despite the presence of the third member of our happy tribe, The Regular Job is now bringing in as much money as I’ve ever made, and we appear to be able to pay our bills on time for the foreseeable future. The province remains sufficiently socialist that all health matters are non-threatening (my wife has asthma, so we have to pay almost $20 a month for her various prescriptions), and one might almost sense a note of optimism in my contemplations of the upcoming decade.
I should know better, of course.
We have a friend, who despite working three jobs could easily be described as poverty-striken. Because the local economy is “strong” (shake rattle, rustle head-dress, invoke the great juju Adam Smith), there is a bit of a housing shortage here, which means landlords are fairly free to charge what they like for apartments. She found herself facing rent on a one bedroom apartment very nearly double what we’re paying on our two bedroom mortgage, when an acquaintance of hers suggested this: Acquaintance is moving to another city to take a master’s degree, but does not wish to sell her house– why does our friend not move in, scrape up a couple of room mates, and pay far less in rent by way of covering the mortgage on this place?
Our friend was very pleased at this prospect. For diverse reasons, though, only one potential room mate had been found as of ten days ago (there are now, alas, teeming masses of “Can I Be Your Room Mate?” notices about), and the acquaintance began to turn savage– a deadline was announced, unexpected damage deposits mooted, and similar nearly-reasonable but unexpected hurdles of slowly increasing impossibility.
Our friend had, of course, given notice on her apartment, which was instantly assigned to some other desperate person. As of the end of this month, she has no roof to sling her stuff under.
Last week, my wife had a fit of compassion. “I’m sure we can fit you into the basement for a month or so, while you find somewhere else.” Our basement is in such a state that it might be the annex of Fibber McGee’s closet. Our friend has a cat, which may not get on with our six (yes, it’s a lot of cats already– fits of compassion by both of us are not uncommon). We all have personality tics which might not wear so well with perpetual exposure. It seems, at very least, a good way to damage a friendship.
Happily, after laying the position out to her landlord, a place is found for her– slightly smaller, for the same rent, but a place. It’s available on 15 September, so at worst we all have to put up with each other for a couple of weeks.
What might this have to do with pens? Well, the re-laying of the hold in the next couple of days and its occupation by a guest might well interfere with my access to both tools and computer. This aimless gazette will go on regardless, but actually doing anything may take a hit. My irrational aspect believes this to be the outcome of thinking to myself, “This is the weekend I master the fountainbel Triumph Point Removal Tool!” The lesson, kids, is never believe you know what you’re doing in the future.
Today’s pen: Sheaffer Valiant chubby touchdown version
Today’s ink: Herbin’s Vert Empire