the story.

So, the story behind my being evicted, as I understand it. The only unsure details are about who first proposed what, and whether the landlord currently visiting India (Karl) has been fully participating in this.

My housemate, Bryan, has a pregnant girlfriend in Montreal. He's been looking for a place for them to live when she moves out here in a few months. As he was explaining this to Jeff, the landlord who's in town, he mentioned that it's too bad they were leaving, he and his girlfriend really liked the house. Now, apparently (1) some time ago Jeff and Karl had told Bryan that if he ever wanted the house, to let them know (they've all known each other a long time), and (2) Jeff and Karl have wanted to rent the house as a whole, rather than as two separate rooms to individuals. So Jeff thought of a rent higher than what Bryan and I pay combined (which is far too low), and asked if Bryan would pay that for the whole house. Bryan said yes, and I got fucked.

I never say the words "I got fucked over" lightly. I reserve them for cases where I really do get sandbagged by people. It doesn't happen all that often: I have good boundaries, I'm generally a good judge of character, I hedge my bets, I plan. I'm careful. And so usually, if someone tries to screw me, it's from a corner of my life where I almost expect it, where I've been wary and eyeing things with suspicion. And, really, most backstabbing doesn't result in anything as extreme as eviction.

But Jeff and Karl are people I've treated as friends for the past two years--we've hung out, we've eaten dinner, Karl's given me rides to and from the airport--suddenly stabbing me in the back. I'm bewildered, and pretty down about the whole thing, much more so than I would be without the feelings of personal betrayal. Maybe the worst part is that Jeff has rationalized it as a difficult choice he had to make between two good tenants; except that Bryan had already planned to move out, and he chose to forcibly eject me instead.

I know what you're thinking: surely I have rights. Well, I do, and none of them prevent this. As far as I can tell, it's all legal. I have no lease; my original rental agreement was only a partial one, not for the entire house; and essentially the only rights granted me by San Mateo County are the 30 days' notice Jeff gave me. In reality, since no one feels the need to toss my stuff out on the street, I can probably stay informally until the end of January, about when Bryan's girlfriend moves out. I laid it all out for a friend of mine, who bought a rental property in San Mateo County specifically because it's so much more landlord-friendly than San Francisco, and as someone well-versed in the relevant law, he agrees I'm hosed (including their taking half the $300 security deposit to clean my parts of the house, which is a nice slap in the face to top it all off).

So here I am, starting to pack, because that feels right: less to do later, and it aids the process of feeling that this isn't my home any more, it's just a house with all my stuff in it. I don't want to be here; I don't want to work from home, I don't want to come here from work and hang out, I don't want to see my housemate, I don't want to be reminded that my landlord is alive. I don't particularly want to do anything, actually, though so far I don't have problems doing work and aikido. I'm wanting the world to go away, to an extent I haven't experienced in a couple of years. I want to go someplace far away and start over, because being here already stung for a variety of reasons before last Thursday. I've always wanted to live in Europe for a while.

But that's silly, at least for now. I've personally committed myself to staying down here, at my dojo, at least until I get my black belt, which is stil 2-3 years off. And "the only Zen you find on tops of mountains is the Zen you bring there", as the saying goes: I carry my issues with me, and if I don't gain some insight into why I let my life slip into this state that I'm not happy with, it'll just happen again. Clearing everything out and restarting might let me see that, or it might make things worse. Now's not the time, though. I'm here, ultimately out of choice; even if I don't understand all the choices I've made.