by Nelly Maiwan
A glimpse at how New York City can be magical yet a total nightmare.
| In the winter of 2017, I moved to New York City. I was 23 years old and moving from France.
I landed on a Saturday and there was a blizzard. My boyfriend at the time went to JFK airport to pick me up and drive me to where I was going to live for the next six months. The roads were covered with snow, the sky was grey, and the temperature was freezing. I was about to live with two complete strangers, in a new city. I had previously found this apartment through an app, two weeks prior. I put down my two suitcases on the floor of my new room next to a lonely mattress, I said hello to my roommates and visited the apartment, then went to Ikea to buy a few necessities. Mainly, a cozy duvet, pillows and jade colored sheets. To comfortably sleep away the stress of having no set future plans.
On Monday, I had an interview with a temp agency, my only hope to find a job. I arrived late because the trains were delayed, and I thought that taking an uber would help. But my localization wasn't working right, and the driver never came to pick me up yet still made me pay $15. I took a taxi, but he drove me to the other side of the city. Being new and a bit disoriented, I asked strangers on the streets, but they were tourists who spoke very little English. I finally arrived, and the interview went well. From there it was some sort of waiting game where if you weren't quick enough to answer the email - i.e. if you didn't reply within the first two minutes - the position would go to someone else. A month had gone by and nothing was happening. I applied to be a cashier for a big pharmacy to hold me over and pay the bills while I applied for other jobs. A month after that, I got a position through the temp agency for a start up app. The people I met became friends and made me finally feel like moving to a new city without a job, nor a lot of money saved up was the right decision.
Life wasn't easy at home, I was living with a lazy, liar and thief, a sorry excuse of a man who felt he was above everyone else because of his age and past. Everyone has a past, it shapes you and teaches you, forges you into who you become based on the actions you take to keep going. He would stay up late, would always be on the phone ranting about his failed love life. He finally got a job after months, maybe a year without a job and decided to get drunk the night before his first day. He didn't show up to work the first morning, came in late the second day, and quit before the end of the week.
After six months there, I decided to move to a different borough to try and fixed my failing relationship. I was excited for a new adventure, living closer to whom I considered being my favorite person despite our differences. I was excited to leave my living situation and have a complete change. The move wasn't smooth however. My former roommates were trying to lie and steal my security deposit. They told me the landlord had taken it to pay for the months they couldn't find a replacement for me. I called the landlord and she told me she hadn't been paid for a couple of months and never got my security deposit. It all worked out in the end but not without any stress.
The new living situation was great. I could hear the train from my room, it would remind me that I didn't have to walk twenty minutes to go to the station. I was living with a couple. A quiet and respectable couple.
Life at home was good. However, my relationship was getting worse and work wasn't perfect. My boyfriend and I decided to part ways. I was terrified of being single in the city. Having to go out and mingle with horny strangers wasn't an attractive situation to me. I was applying for other jobs, going to interviews and being rejected.
December came around and I renewed my roommate agreement for another year and found another position in a new company. Life was looking up. Except my roommate decided to do a full 180 and from being quiet and respectable they became loud and exhibitionists without consent. I paid 3/4th of their rent and now they had the security that their rent was going to be paid each month for the next year.
The week between Christmas and New Year's Eve was the worst. Because my family lives in France, I was spending the holidays on my own for the first time. Maybe because of the cold weather and the romantic atmosphere of the holidays, my roommates decided to try and have a baby every night of the week from 7pm until 3am. I know because she would scream until climax and they would leave used ovulation tests in the bathroom. They would fuck in the living room, the bathroom, their bedroom with the door open all while I was in my room. My friends would tell me to just go out of my room and start a conversation or let them know how I felt uncomfortable. Which is easy to say. But when you live in an apartment through a roommate agreement with a 40-year-old couple, you don't feel at home enough to tell them how they should live their lives in the "privacy" of their own home. The first night they had sex loudly, they asked me if I heard them and I was openly and visibly uncomfortable but that didn't stop them for the next 6 days. After the holidays, it stopped. Or at least they were more discreet about it.
Then Spring came around and as birds were chirping, they were fucking. One time, my brother was supposed to visit but he had to cancel last minute. I came home around midnight and they were fucking and moaning and screaming "fuck me, fuck me, fuck me".
On a Saturday afternoon, around 3pm, I came home from a class and they were having sex. So, I made myself heard, stomped my feet on each step of the stairs, jiggled my keys but they didn't care, and their door was completely open. I thought since they heard me they were going to adjust or even stop. But no, they kept going at it for another hour and she even answered a phone call right before climax.
A week after that, I gave them my thirty-day notice that I was going to move out. From then, each week it would get worse until I finally moved out. They would fight on a Monday at 11pm bringing a third person to all yell at each other. The weekend after that, they had silent missionary sex. I know that because unfortunately, for the first time in the six months that it kept happening I had managed to never seem them doing it... The next day, they were sleeping at 4pm on a Sunday completely naked with their door open and then they would walk around the apartment naked.
I finally moved out and life is exciting and new again. Moving to a new city is terrifying and difficult but there are a few moments where you realize how lucky you are to be living here and it makes up for all those questionable moments you had to push through.