Thursday, January 29, 2004

Because people are basicly nice

Having to move this week has underlined to me how fundamentally nice people in Atlanta are.

Again and again I met people much like myself, who were inclined to help others in the same situation. People coming to look at my apartment mostly had the same story to tell; they were either fleeing bad roomie situations, or were just looking for a roommate who fit them specifically. When I gave up and started looking for a new place to live, I met people just like me who had been looking for roomies for two or three months. Everyone was terribly pleasant.

I met lots of girls out on their own in the city, with stories that paralleled mine. Amy had moved here after dropping out of a PhD program, and found that her friend from the internet was not the friend she thought. Leslie, a paralegal, found that her roomie’s partying way interfered with her need to sleep after a demanding job. Ellen, who worked two part time jobs while finishing her Graphic Design thesis, had her roomie move in with his girlfriend – and out on her.

Both Amy and Leslie decided to get apartments on their own. In this renter’s market, they could afford to. I considered moving in with Ellen, but her condo was farther away from the train than I liked. I’ve settled on moving in with Dave and Parker, who have a house just two blocks from mine in a much better spot. They were so in need of a roomie after looking for over 2 months that the landlord waived my deposit.

As I was walking to the train from work Monday, a young woman approached me. Although neither of us mentioned it, it was clear she had just been crying. She was blonde and 21ish, wearing too much makeup, and lost. She looked like she was OTP – not from inside the city.

“Do you know the way to the train station?”

“It’s right down here, follow me – I’m going there myself.”

She struck up a conversation and her story spilled out to me – just moved here, can’t find a job, her roomies are awful and smoke pot all the time. I told her about craigslist, and how she could find a much cheaper apartment right away if she needed. She had moved here to try and go to school, but had picked a place far too quickly in Midtown, the most expensive section of Atlanta.

I barely resisted the urge to hug her as she got off the train.

We’re all in this together, you know? None of us are so much different than the others. And as I showed my apartment to a mom with two kids and one on the way last night, I realized I could never be alone – I am no different than the sea of other people who have moved here just to try and make it.

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