Things Get Worse Before They Get Better, Right?

I could tell you about how my car broke down less than 2 miles from the mechanic yesterday morning and how I had to push it off a busy street by myself until, out of nowhere, a semi-toothless black man, a pudgy white dude in business casual attire, and a lady in a sari appeared to help me. Or how later the mechanic called to say I needed a new distributor and with labor that would be $465.

I could tell you how our new lender approved us but at a higher rate and we’re just trying to understand it all. This new guy is not as clear when he explains things like mortgage points. Our closing date will have to be pushed back to early June. I was freaking out about how it will all work with our landlords, our replacements, renting our apartment.

I kind of lost it about 4:30, just wanting to go home and cry from the stress of it all.

I called our landlords who were understanding about our situation and said if it all fell through we could just stay on being managers which is nice of them but OH HELL NO. We want that house and we want to pass the torch. It’s just going to be delayed a couple weeks. When I talk to our lender today, we should know better about rates and closing dates and then we can get on with hiring movers , etc.

The real story here starts at around 5:45 when we got a knock on our door. I looked through the peep hole and turned to Mr. Darcy to mouth The Music Man’s name. He was standing out there, dog on a leash, with a paper in his hand. I haven’t had any interaction with him face-to-face besides seeing him at court or trying to reason with him through a locked door in months. I open the door and he starts talking about how he needs help- with his flight, how he wants to get home, how he is sorry, how the bank won’t let him get money, etc. I tried to reason with him and figure out just what it was he wanted. He handed me papers that were his flight information. He seemed very confused as to what to do. He was acting very erratic and had a black eye that he later told me was from a fight and then a few minutes after that said he got drunk and walked into a door jamb.

He started bawling about having the landlord forgive him and that he was sorry. He pulled out a bottle of pills from his jacket and asked me to keep them for him because he wasn’t sure he would wake up. My crisis counseling kicked in and I started asking him all kinds of questions about harming himself, how much had he taken of the pills already, did he need us to call the paramedics. He couldn’t recall how many he took. He said yes, call them. Mr. Darcy went to call and I sat on the ground with him outside our apartment. He was all over the place, glassy-eyed, obviously very agitated and spacey. He’s always been a bit crazy but this seemed worse than usual. The fire department showed up then the paramedics. There were at least 5 people working on him. He changed all the answers when they asked him about the pills, etc. I had to pull one aside and give them some back story. They wanted to take him into the hospital but he refused to go so they asked me to check in on him later that night as a compromise. They lead him back to his apartment and we closed the door.

I sat down and just cried. In talking to The Music Man we had learned that his plan was to fly to Santa Barbara (where he is from) and stay at a homeless shelter. This is his plan. HOW CAN THIS BE A PLAN? He is not in his right mind and can barely navigate getting on a plane let alone landing in his former home town with no support system and no place to live. It breaks my heart. I left a message for his case worker and called the numbers of the two friends of his I have spoken to before. One friend said they were on the outs and that being in The Music Man’s life is very wearing. Apparently The Music Man has burned every bridge and is left with no one to call in an emergency.

We went downstairs around 8pm to check on him. There is a huge frame sitting out in the hallway outside his apartment. I mean, it’s bigger than a headboard and covered in bright blue glitter. We knocked and could hear him on the phone inside. He spoke through the door saying he’d be right there and then continued to talk to his grandma. He kept saying grandma and was clearly pacing the apartment by the way the sound of his voice came and went. I could hear him saying  “can you send me money” and “no I won’t get in trouble again” and “I woke up from a nightmare, this is all a nightmare”. A few minutes went by and we knocked again. He hung up with his grandma (who, by calculations would be in her late 80’s at best because he’s 52) and immediately took another call. We stood there looking at each other like WTF? I knocked again and he finally came to the door. I announced who I was and that I was just checking on him. He said, “I am fine but I don’t know why you have a police officer with you.” Mr. Darcy = Police Officer. Who knew?

He finally opened the door and looked even crazier. His eyes were super glassy and he wasn’t making any sense. He asked us for a suitcase and also if we could lend him money. We said no and encouraged him to call his case worker. We left shaking our heads. What a disaster.

Very early this morning, Mr. Darcy got up to pee and I checked my phone to see what time it was. The clock read 5:00AM. I had two texts from a tenant on the same floor as The Music Man saying that the dog had been barking and howling for two hours. I texted her back and she was awake doing homework and said that he was still at it off and on. We thought about going back to sleep but we were both worried that the dog barking meant The Music Man was hurt or dead. So we got dressed and went downstairs.

I knocked a couple times and called out The Music Man’s name. The dog was at the door barking. We decided to call for back up because there was no way we were walking into the apartment of a dead guy. 911 dispatched cops and paramedics in case he had overdosed. When we met the paramedics outside the building, it was the same guys from earlier and they informed us that they had received a 911 hang up around midnight from The Music Man so they came out and checked on him. When they were at the building earlier in the evening they had told him that if they were called back, he’d have to go into the hospital. And they did haul him in and his dog was locked in his apartment.

I have no idea how long he will be at the hospital. I emailed the landlords and they want me to call the SPCA for the dog. I cannot do that. As much as I don’t like the thought of the dog in the apartment, it would kill The Music Man to lose his dog. I thought about taking the dog with me to work (which I’ve had to do before) but I can’t get involved to that level. I’m really hoping that he gets released from the hospital and is back with his dog to prepare for his 10:35am flight tomorrow. It could get way worse for him if he is not out of the apartment by May 3rd. The sheriff will have to be called and all that.

While not having The Music Man as a tenant is a good thing for the building and the landlords, us and our replacements, it’s such a sad and terrible story. I hate thinking of him on the streets of Santa Barbara, penniless and out of his mind, with his poor dog in tow. That is no way to live out your final days, even if you’ve been a crazy nuisance and retaliatory, passive aggressive asshole.


22 thoughts on “Things Get Worse Before They Get Better, Right?

  1. Good Lord! Poor The Music Man. Like you said, you has living in a homeless shelter in Santa Barbara as their plan? Does he live in a homeless shelter there? You are so patient to deal with him and his dog.

  2. Oh, that is a terrible story. But CLEARLY it did not start being terrible with you and the apartment and last night. He sounds like he probably has both longstanding mental health and substance abuse issues, and you can’t really fix that for him, so he’s going to make a balls of it anywhere he goes. I think you were very caring and responsible to make sure he didn’t hurt or kill himself last night. It is really up to his family and friends, not his landlord, to make sure that he does not end up in a homeless shelter. At this point I think your only reasonable action might be looking for a nonprofit to take the dog if he is not able to care for it. I’m sure this is horribly stressful but it is going to resolve one way or another, and again, this story started long before you came into it.

  3. There are places that foster dogs for owners that aren’t in a position to care for them. You also have to consider the dog. I understand that Music Man probably doesn’t have any other companions, but is he capable of caring for a pet, and will the pet even be allowed in a homeless shelter? It’s a very bad situation, and I wish it hadn’t fallen on you (and Mr. Darcy) to take care of it.

    As for the house, everything should work out fine. I bought a condo last fall, and every day for like 3 weeks I was sure the deal was going to fall apart because our lender ended up being incompetent. Our closing date was extended like 4 times. It was extremely stressful, but these thing usually work out in the end. Just make sure your realtor is keeping their realtor in the loop. You could offer to pay the June housepayment or something if that would help keep the good faith going.

    The most important thing is to eat food that is good for you and breathe. A lot. Lots of deep cleansing breaths to remind you that this too will pass.

  4. Oh, Sizzle. He is so lucky to have crossed paths with you; your compassion will make a difference in his life. I’m sorry for all the other BS, too. We had problems creep up that had nothing to do with us (also right before closing) and it was very stressful, but it all worked out. I’m sure it will work out for you, too.

  5. Ugh. I feel very sad for the Music Man – but even more sad for you that this is falling on your shoulders. I know it’s hard, but you gotta worry about your own side of the street right now.

    I’m crossing my fingers for you and the house. I hope you are exhaling with your feet up on new furniture soon!

  6. This is totally heartbreaking. I know that you want to fix it, but you can’t be responsible for this. He’s clearly having bigger issues in his life that he needs to deal with, and I’m so sorry that you’re having to carry part of that burden.


  7. I do feel awful for The Music Man, but I’m glad to know that you and Mr. Darcy will soon be in a home of your own where you’ll feel less responsible for the problems of relative strangers. Hang in there and keep breathing!

  8. Wow. If it was not clear that he was not all there before, it surely is now. I feel bad for him – he seems so lost, and without any friends, like you said. 😦 I am so happy you get to get away from all this. It’s hard enough when you have real friends and family with issues like this, but a tenant? Ugh.

  9. Holy crap that’s a lot to deal with in one day. Sounds like the music man should really be in a home or special mental institution where he can be cared for. So very sad.

    I’m sorry all this is falling on you and Mr. Darcy. I hope it does get better and things improve for you two.

    Keep remembering to take deep breaths and take it all one day at a time lady. Plus I’m here or you if you ever need to vent!

  10. It must have felt good to write all that out. That’s a lot of heavy shit to carry around, Sizzle. NOT what you signed up for when you decided to manage that building. Though, in some ways, the story of the Music Man gives you a lot of perspective about your own life … and how things may be stressful, but they’re not really THAT bad. Hang in there … you closing date is so close, we can all taste it!

  11. Oh my gosh, how awful. Mental illness is so tragic and can be incredibly isolating. I hope things will work out for him and he can get the help he needs.

    I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal this, on top of everything else going on in your life. Thinking of you and hoping things will calm down soon.

  12. Oh my GOSH! You are a good soul, you and Mr Darcy. I’ll cross my fingers for the loan to work out soonest. And as it was said in another comment, he is lucky to have a compassionate person on the look out for him. But! You also have to look out for yourself. I hope the Music Man can find a comfortable place to live and get some help.

  13. Wow, this is just heartbreaking. I’m so glad that you and Darcy found each other, can you imagine dealing with all of this on your own, without him? Oy, I feel for you. What a crappy situation. You two are REALLY going to be ready for that house! Sending positive thoughts and strengths to you both while you try and ride out the end of the apartment managing gig. xoxo

  14. This is so sad. Thankfully he’s had you there as I can imagine others would not have been his angel like you have, even if it was rough and sucky and thankless.
    There are organizations around that will take dogs and find them foster homes if the owner is ill. I can’t imagine he’s in a position to manage a dog on a plane flight, much less when he gets to California.

    Hang in there with the house stuff. It is all so hairy any way but it sounds like you all are getting an extra portion. I’ll be thinking of you!

  15. I am watching a eerily similar and sad story unfold in my universe right now. It’s wrong on so many levels. (This person contributed to his/her current state, but still, it’s sad.) It seems to me as a society, we just don’t have good ways of dealing with mental health issues. These people just unravel in front of our eyes and we don’t have mechanisms or resources for dealing with it. When they run out of loved ones and friends, they usually end up homeless and/or dead. I just ask myself why.

  16. Wow. Just wow. I agree with the others about looking for a non-profit or an organization that links homeless pets with foster families. I understand that you feel kind of guilty in some ways about this, but do keep in mind that there is only so much you can or even should do.

    Now to something you can control. WTF is up with this lender? Were you not provided with a Truth in Lending statement and a lock on the rate when this all started? Something is off. Way off. They are required to provide a TIL which shows ALL the costs within a short time period of entering into contract. ((I’m a lawyer, although I do not practice real estate law, I’ve bought and sold several houses and this is some straight-up bullshit.))

    Email me if you want and I may be able to point you in the direction of an attorney in your area who would chat with you for candy and cigarettes.

  17. I lurk most of the time, but mental illness+dog will pull me out every time. I hate that the Music Man’s burned all of his bridges and is where he is right now. You always want to think folks can be helped, but sometimes they’re their own worst enemies. That said, I’ve fostered numerous dogs for folks who were ill, in abusive situations or just straight up facing homelessness. Some of them were able to get back on their feet and resume the responsibility of caring for the dog; others wound up relinquishing the dog for adoption because they simply COULDN’T provide the care that was needed. It sounds like this case may be leaning heavily toward the latter, and I would reach out to a couple of volunteer-based groups in the area and see what can be done to get the dog into the hands of a capable owner. It sucks, but if the Music Man’s as determined to go down as he seems to be, the dog shouldn’t go down with him. And losing the dog may be the “rock bottom” that he needs to re-evaluate.

    That novel written, good luck with the house! I’ve been reading, and the whole process is giving ME a headache, so I can’t imagine what it’s like to be living it.

  18. I would just like to oh do helpfully suggest that you totally get pregnant now and one of you switch jobs immediately! Also, get a puppy.

    Dang! I feel your pain as 6 months before I got married I moved, started new job, became instant custodial parent step mom to a high school kid with previously unfiagnosed special needs, went from 1 dog to 4 creatures in a home with 2 boys who don’t mind sharing the dinner table with two cats and their old toenails. Don’t ask.

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