That night Randi took the Q train to Ditmas Park, to see the apartment. She had the same experience. She liked, liked, liked the apartment and then when she saw the second bedroom loved, loved, loved it. We both were a little disappointed that there was no laundry in the building—this was the only letdown—but there was a massive laundromat just around the corner, which would give Randi a chance to take a stroll at least a few times a week … or more, since newborns poop about 24 hours a day for at least their first month.
The next morning I faxed our credit report to the rental agency, nervous about beating out the other couple rushing to live in our place. But I was ready: I not only had the credit report, but also pay stubs for us both, and a short cover letter.
I still hadn’t heard from either Carol or the rental agency by the next day so I called in, and got Dolly on the phone.
“Hi, this is David Serchuk, and we were looking at the Ditmas Park apartment? The one for $1350 a month?”
It took Dolly a moment to put it together. I could tell over the phone that she was a little older. As if that her name was “Dolly” wasn’t enough of a tip-off.
“Oh, yes! The editor and the school teacher!”
Now that’s more like it!
“So, yeah, just calling to see if the credit report checked out, and everything, and how it looks.”
She took a slight pause.
“Well, I am sorry to have to say this, but it’s rented. But we loved you! You two looked like the perfect people to have live in one of our buildings. You looked great!”
“Well, there was another couple that had already put their money down for a deposit, so we had to check them out, and we showed the place to you while it cleared with them, in case it didn’t work out with them. But if you’re still interested we have another place on Ocean Parkway,” she said.
“Did Carol know this?”
I hung up, feeling used by this old woman. If another couple had already put down their money wouldn’t it be right to take your apartment off the market? I felt that despite her praise for us we had just gotten played. Also that meant the other couple Carol had told us about weren’t racing with us to get the apartment. They had completed the race, were standing on the podium with wreaths on their brows, and now were simply awaiting the results of their piss tests.
I told Randi soon after getting off the phone with Dolly. She was angry, and it definitely fed her frustrations with the whole process. I put on the smiley face as best as I could, but it was hard to not feel frustrated as well. Not only did you have to move fast in New York to find a sweet apartment, apparently you needed the ability to somehow travel backwards through time as well.