People have short-term sublets, couple of months, in my price range. Nobody does month-to-month anything anymore, it seems. And if you’re moving in with other people, you have to meet an absurd list of contradictory demands: interact and hang out, but do your own thing. Be working or in school full time, but don’t bring work or school home with you. Laid back but not lazy. Tidy but not a perfectionist. Chatty, not a chatterbox. Not using the kitchen but not eating fast food. Don’t eat meat, do white-people-appropriated yoga and subscribe to a particular set of politics and “woo” so that you’ll be welcome. Eat meat, but don’t have THAT set of politics and don’t let your spirituality be seen or heard. Don’t have friends over, but don’t be a homebody. Don’t drink alcohol, smoke pot but not cigarettes. Smoke cigarettes but not weed. Don’t smoke anything at all and don’t wear perfume or cologne or deodorant or use cleaning products or laundry soap.
Don’t, don’t, don’t.
I remember when I had an acquaintance literally laugh in my face when I told her that I had four criteria for looking at a place to live: no men, no pets, no smoking, $500 a month. She told me, through her laughter, that she knew she shouldn’t be laughing but was just so absurd her that I wanted “so much,” that I was being picky. All I need is to be safe. That’s not being picky.
My maximum is up to $575 monthly, though that’s still really stretching things tight, and still almost 70 percent of my monthly income. I don’t know how to do this, and I’m not sure I can keep hoping it will work out somehow…