When I came to Tucson 2 months ago, I looked on Craigslist for a place to live and found a couple of sublet advertisements. I contacted them both and they emailed me back immediately. I dithered back and forth between them, made a choice and moved in the next week.
Simple. Easy. Nonstressful. The kind of thing that makes you think that Craigslist is a boon to mankind and you can’t figure out how we survived before the internet.
Fast forward to last week when I realize that my sublet lease is up at the end of July and I need a place to live from August-October. By this point, I have a short but rigid list of demands. I need something short term preferably in the university area and I can’t spend a fortune. I don’t want to put utilities in my name but I need internet. And most importantly, I need something already furnished because the very idea of buying/finding/borrowing and then schlepping furniture into an empty Tucson apartment makes me want to buy a ticket for the closest island and never come back. As I told my friend Greg, I’m not landing in Tucson so much as hovering. Lightly. Wings flapping. Ready to move along at any moment.
Unfortunately, college classes starts this month so desperate students have sucked down all the reasonable housing options leaving me with dregs. I found a “duplex” where a guy put a wall down the middle of his house cutting off a bedroom, bathroom and part of the dining room to create a mini living space he rents out. It has “kitchen accessories” (microwave and hot plate) on a shelf in the living room, you wash dishes in the bathroom sink and he wants $725 a month for it.
Then I found this adobe ranch out east renting a studio for $450. I thought it might be charming with beautiful views but instead it’s a small and dark studio behind a tall fence with a lonely straight back chair in front, sitting on a bed of rocks and facing the fence. Sad. Depressing. Terrible.
And those were my two best options because despite constant emailing, people apparently post apartments on Craigslist and then never check their account again. After a week of looking for places online and inquiring about multiple posts on Craigslist with no one responding to me, I prayed a lot cuz I know that God doesn’t want me homeless and asked everyone I knew for suggestions. And while I have lovely friends who offered me the temporary use of their homes, I KNEW that the perfect place was out there. A beautiful little visually inspiring desert hideaway that will justify all this time spent in Tucson.
So, I kept looking, praying and emailing and by the way it’s Wednesday and I have to move out on Sunday. Terribly close. I spent all yesterday looking and then I found a notice on ebay for a studio in a nearby neighborhood advertised as 150 square feet for $395 a month. I figured that even if it was the size of my current bathroom, it had to be better than a sad dark studio with a chair facing a fence. There was a phone number for the landlady so I called her and said I was around for a while but really desperately needed something for next week.
She called me back within the hour and said the studio was rented but then wanted to know how long I was staying. She said she had just decided to rent out her artist’s studio so she could pay some bills. Would I be interested in that? Month to month lease, all utilities included, washer, dryer, pool and in the university area all for cheaper than the “duplex.”
I went over, took one look and said YES. It’s tiny but adorable with a kitchenette and a little screened in porch, beautifully painted and decorated and just the kind of place I need for the next couple of months. As a bonus, she’s an artist and a published author so she’s very interested in what I’ve got going on right now. She says the place is available through December but let’s hope I’m not here that long.
Now I have to move over the weekend, but then I don’t move again until I leave here.
Pictures to follow.