They were a married couple; both of them were named Mary. In my conversations with myself, I refer to them as Mary Squared.
In the process of buying the house, it became clear that:
- Mary Squared was dissolving their civil partnership. This is why they were selling the house.
- Mary Squared hated me. To them, I was conniving, scheming, plotting. Everything I did was to get my evil way, to manipulate, to get what I wanted and screw them on the terms of the sale.
Mary Squared also left the house pretty dirty-- this is an actual picture of the actual bag of actual rotting trash they left in the fridge:
|my long-suffering real estate agent stood there, holding the bag,|
when I said OH MY GOSH, I WANT A PICTURE OF THIS.
Mary Squared also completely abandoned any pretense of yard maintenance. When I first saw the house and made the offer, the backyard was charming! By the time I moved in 2 months later, it looked like this:
This jungle of overgrowth served as a breeding ground for unspeakable bugs. Unspeakable! Garden spiders, black widow spiders, an amazing amount of ants. I didn't understand the connection between weeds and bugs until I called a pest control company and a representative came to take a look. He said there was no point in spraying for bugs until the overgrowth had been cleared out.
So, I called a landscaper. His crew cleared out the backyard. A few hundred dollars later, the backyard looked like this:
|"I can run around without|
getting things stuck in my face now."
As I was going through the garage leftovers to separate trash from recycling, I came across-- of all things-- two of their forgotten books. One was:
Just-- hipsters. Was Mary Squared a hipster? Or was at least half of her a hipster? (Well, really, the square root)? This book seems to be a series of graphic novel-style short stories inspired by Belle & Sebastian.
Graphic novels. Inspired by Belle & Sebastian.
For me, Belle & Sebastian inspires zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
(No? You disagree? Listen to Piazza, New York Catcher, or The Boy With the Arab Strap. Are you still awake? I hear those songs, and I ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.)
The other book was this:
I froze. I got a little choked up. Kind of emotional, I showed it to the Pest Control Guy, hoping for...I don't know, a sympathetic cluck, or a 'oh, wow, that's too bad,' or something! Some fellow human recognition of what the book meant about Mary Squared's intentions for this house.
But Pest Control Guy was not on that page with me. I said: Oh no, look what the sellers left! He looked at the book, gave me the most blank look I've ever seen, and said: oh.
He turned around and went back to sweeping.
Ironically, I think the Frankenstein House itself is probably the reason Mary Squared didn't have a family here. There's so many goofy things to re-do or fix on this house that I think it just wore them out, and their relationship unraveled.
There's a psychic (?) process to homeownership for me so far-- the process of making the house mine, not theirs. Taking the home over from the previous occupants seems to be an ongoing process, or at least a more gradual process than I realized it would be.
And so, to exorcise the ghost of Belle & Sebastian, here's one song off the new soundtrack for the Frankenstein House. I think the house really likes showtunes! Whether you're in Ruritania, or a dance hall or in Albania...