I called the city this morning about the condemnation order pending on my house. The city will condemn my house unless I turn the water back on. That will require I pay about $872, charges for water I have not been using, and to fix the meter. Once turned on, I will have to pay the $3100 I am being charged for the replacement of the stop box on the boulevard. If I do not agree to pay to have the water turned back on, the order will be set, I will be charged all of the above plus a $6550 vacant house fee, plus city inspectors will inspect the house and order me to update whatever they say I need to update. Thus, I am looking at paying between $4,000 and and $20,000 dollars for the right to live in my house.
No question, I have brought all of this upon myself. Four and a half years ago, I talked my father into helping me buy this house. The housing bubble was full on, and we paid what proved to be the absolute peak price for this small one bedroom. About twelve minutes after signed the papers, the market started to collapse. Considering the market, I knew the house wasn't likely to go up in price, but I had convinced myself that the price would not go down. I didn't know about the shenanigans at the sky-god Financial level. Now the house is worth about 20-30% less than it was when we bought it.
I walked away from the house in Autumn, 2008. I fell in love with a woman, followed her out west, then moving in with her and her two children in Wisconsin. My father continued to pay for the house, though he did not need to, and I did not ask it of him. That woman sent me away this spring, and I moved back into the house on June 02. As I was living off the grid, I ignored all letters from the city. Now I find myself in the midst of a perfectly amoral, institutional bind, a kind of mechanistic, obtuse, passive, unstoppable, governmentalized state of extortion. I am inclined to walk away from the house and let the Bank and City duke it out. See if they can do better with the house and land than I have. If the damage the city did to the wildflowers on my boulevard is evidence, in the replacement of the stop box, they will destroy it.
I wanted to turn this small piece of land into a bird and butterfly sanctuary, which it has become. Sixty-plus species of wildflowers and native shrubs, another 40 species of veggies, it is an island of habitat in a sea of sod, tar and concrete. I had hoped to turn the house into a model of urban, environmentally responsible design, a passive-solar, off-the-grid marvel. But alas, time has run out, the funding is not there, and I am not inclined to bow to extortion to keep it.
I biked to the mega-mall this weekend, to watch the movie Devil. Who knew the devil could be so dull? He has lost his power, the devil, because he does not actually exist. There are only men, creating institutions to support the power they seek, and the devils to distract from the behavior of such institutions and men. That there is no devil does not mean there is no sacred masculine. There is sacred feminine as well. Which any of us may model, just as so many model the behavior associated with the devil. In obvious ways, and in passive support of the machine, institutions. Extorting fees, as if it's all just a matter of order, code, rule and law.
It is appropriate, I suppose, that I should be condemned, as I have grown so disgusted with our culture and nearly all it has come to be. It seems I have nothing left to do but let go, and go full-on renegade.
So, I'm about to unveil my toy gun sculpture, on the floor of Monster Halloween. Nothing left to do but let go. Let go.