.Renting out apartments and houses can be a nightmare. As in other areas of life, a few nasty renters spoil it for everybody else.

Though I wasn’t a perfect tenant, I strove to be quiet and to look after the places that I rented. In fact, one future landlord felt impressed at my consideration of neighbouring tenants when he visited my apartment. This is how it happened.

“I found a place that you could rent,” Mom said to me on the phone one July afternoon. “It’s the main floor of a house.” I eagerly jotted down the phone number and address. Having prayed for fifteen months that I could find a quiet place to live, I hoped that God would finally grant me my request.

Marshall, the landlord, met me at the house one afternoon. “This place seems not too bad,” I said as we walked into the second bedroom, “but is the downstairs neighbour quiet?”

“Sure. He’s an older gentleman and he doesn’t play loud music.”

“What about the neighbours? Do they have dogs?”

“As far as I know, they’re quiet. Nobody’s complained to me.”

“Great. I’ll sign the contract then.” As I wrote my name, I silently prayed that I wasn’t making another mistake.

“Do you have a cheque to pay the damage deposit and first month’s rent?” he asked.

“I forgot to bring it. Could we meet again here and I can give you the money?”

“How about if I give you a ride to your place and you could cut me a cheque there?”

“Sure. Thanks a lot for the offer. I have to take the busses since I can’t see to drive a car.”

At my apartment, he and I sat at my kitchen table as I filled out the cheque. “What’s that speaker unit doing on the table?” he pointed into the living room.

“That’s so I can hear my music without disturbing the neighbours underneath me. After all, God put my ears on the sides of my head and not my ankles.”

“Good. I’m glad to know that. I think you’ll be a good tenant.”

Pleased with his complement, I silently thanked God for letting Mom find the new place in the paper. As with the previous moves, I eagerly counted the days as I packed.

I wrote about my long search for a quiet place to live in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. I hope to have this memoir published by the end of the year. Please check out my previous paperbacks on the Bruce Atchison’s Books link.


Author: bruce Atchison - author

I'm a legally-blind freelance writer as well as the author of three memoirs and scores of articles. Contact me for details.


  1. I had a landlord I didn’t have to make an effort to impress. He was in his mid 70’s, and on the day I moved into the apartment, he said he had kicked out the woman on the third floor because she had her boyfriend in the apartment with her. I was mortified, not because she had her boyfriend in the apartment but because the landlord kicked her out. Before I could reassure him that I didn’t have a boyfriend, he said, “You wouldn’t do that. You’re a good girl.”

    Needless to say, when my brother came to visit a few months later, I explained the situation to my landlord so he wouldn’t jump to the wrong conclusion if he saw a man come to my apartment. He again surprised me by saying, “You’re a good girl. I wouldn’t have worried.”

    Of course I had been a responsible tennant. I didn’t play loud music or have loud parties. I told him when something was broken, and I kept the place relatively clean. I could understand why he said that the second time but why the first time when he barely knew me? Did he think that visually impaired people didn’t have relationships, never married, didn’t throw wild parties or play their stereos at full blast? I’ll never know because he died a year or so later.

    Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of
    We Shall Overcome
    How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s