The landlady of the house was an operose bee, devoted to the preservation of her “heritage”, that she was used to protect full time. On her little notebook, she noted down meticulous the numbers of the electric counter and who knows how those numbers were running according to the lady’s perspective, even if most of electricity was stationary for the nothingness of its usage. Sometimes she turned off the lights that (in her opinion) she thought to be superfluos in this or that room and finally you could find yourself eating from the nose. She was more generous with flowers, giving more water than they could retain and then, when they refused it pouring some water on the windowsill, she started to sing softly and smiling, whispering some incomprehensible words as we do with infants while they dribble with milk.
BASED ON A TRUE (MISERABLE) STORY
Once upon a time… a well-known online network to find a home to rent, a couple looking for a house to rent, a home to clear due to the home moving. Home. Everything starts from here, through reviews and previsions, many baggages following and a spasmodic quest to find a house, the perfect one, for a while. But, sometimes things are not the same as they seem, even reviews. And do not say that I did not warn you.
Equipped with many rooms, many hosts and their cohabitation, the advertisement described the villa to rent as “a lovely house”; then there was some nice matching of the word “home” with adjectives such as “sunny”, “bright”, or even some more complex creations such as “luxuriant garden”. Nevertheless, a look at the pictures of that house inserted in the online network for houses, something should have clash with all those edulcolored adjectives: the strange position of the sofa considering the position of the TV should have imply a welcoming less edulcolored than the expectations, and that there was a malevolent something in that sofa positioned in a corner and in a completely different perspective from the television, because we should admit that it’s quite malicious to allow the use of tv to your hosts just through contortionism from the sofa. Alas! It is easy to be wise after the event..
And when there were new hosts coming to the house, her back a bit curved seemed to set upright for the excitement. Then, a catlike reaction and she shake off the visible dust, moving the shutters and carpets through the blink of her eyes. As a merchant praising his goods to impress all the uncertain buyers, she showed the house for rent and it started to brighten and smell good at the sound of her flatteries, magically, until you entered the next room, but after the magic disappeared.
After maternally discouraging the use of the diabolic dryer, as it was a hungry monster mashing clothes, and the use of all the other electrical appliances, directly or indirectly parented to the dryer, she was enough satisfied to come back home (alas! just the opposite house in the same street), where she could stay for a while, until it was time for the next visit/inspection to be sure that everything was working as she expected, especially her beloved electric counter.
It was unclear if the temperature inside the house was maintained (extremely) down to safeguardpeople inside from a deep jump in temperature compared to the outside world, with the result that you could not distinguish who was going out and who was staying, since scarf and coat were the common uniform for that home.
In fact, there were some profound crisis touching periodically all the heaters and the antique chimney. The term “antique” is here in the sense of “being used in a remote time”: as far as the hosts could know, that lovely chimney could even be just the result of their own imagination, never and ever used during their stay.
A sad destiny relegate both of them to the world of superfluous, of forbidden: even with many degrees below the zero, the landlady was used to do her best with hundreds of stratagems so that the hosts of the house could forget about their presence.
The bravest hosts worked hard in a secret internal fight, a “battle of thermostat” fought until the very last day of their permanence: who could imagine the expression on the landlady’s face discovering some poor heater working? The heaters couldn’t have the time to get warm that they were turned off firmly, at least until the next rebellion aimed by the fearless host, who decided to wear out the penny-pinching of the landlady.
Considering that the house had several floors and several rooms, this combination was intended as cohabitation: same species, even tough with some reserves.
The house was quite variegated, often crowded by a melting pot of customs, habits, strangeness and odd varieties.
“The princess and the pea” was of course amongst those. A few days in the house and she was immediately renamed with that epithet not for a kind of royal allure, but for her mannerism, her custom towards every thing.
One of her habits was this: knocking to the toilette’s door, over and over, fearless that someone could tell her to take a long walk off a short pier, but even in a ruder language (in that case, they needed to set free the toilet- she thought).
Sometimes, it seems that she was waiting to see that the bathroom was unavailable just to start knocking breathlessly and if someone decided to give up and free la salle de bains, then.. there she was, in front of the door with the expression of someone finding herself nearby for a strange coincidence.
Then, there was the “earphone’s couple”. The “earphone’s couple” was an irreverent couple of girls, living in a total symbiosis with their earphones. Their age was an unknown age.
They were not used to talk or to eat, and it seemed that they were not living in that house or into this world. When they went out from their nest, they walked with a huge stride and a great exhibition of their earphones, taking even the laptop with them, on the top of a hand as an amulet useful to hide themselves or to mask the face of the other hosts.
Every kind of approaching was useless: they denied every form of greeting or cordiality.
Sometimes, one of the two talkative girls gave a unique exhibition: with her head downward, she released the hair to wave her head up and down, as in a tribal ritual. After a while, she suddenly lifted up the head and then she went away satisfied, walking as a peacock.
The only moment when it became clear what language they talked (or better, that one of the two girls was able to speak) was because of a dog: one of the two walkman girls had a dog and this dog stayed in the house for one night and so there was a (quite) short verbal exchange between dogs’ lovers. It was a fast wagging until the dawn of the following day, but after every courtesy disappeared again. Invisible, again. But that dog was so festive at every encounter and so genuine that he was an ideal house mate, but unfortunately he left early in the morning.
Then, there was a funny Korean girl. She was used to spice everything with a laugh, just to avoid any mistake. Her way of speaking was funny as well; sometimes, her reply to a question was a prolonged “oh” of authentic astonishment, similar to children.
She often asked about Italy because she loved it, giving the precious chance to a native Italian person to see her homeland through the naive and curious eyes of a foreigner. Moreover, she asked about Italian receipts and places to visit and she improvised some Italian words just to prove her true love for Italy. Easy to trust her, it was true love.
And then, the “comic girl”. She didn’t talk so much; her movements seemed coming out from an Asiatic comic, she appeared to do everything by sequences. The girl had a silent step and a soporific menu. Inhaling those smells in the kitchen could lead to many and contrasting reactions. Maybe these reactions were connected to the hours of the day, or the mood, or maybe just to the storage of odourless air.
Probably she discovered such a way out to save the planet since she was used to wash the dishes and everything else rigorously without soap, scaring away the filth by using the dishwasher’s brush, even if it wasn’t clear if she was cleaning or dirting the dishes. She was so busy that she couldn’t perceive the astonished glaze of the unlucky audience, changed forever by a scene that even a river of soap couldn’t help him to forget, not in a lifetime.
A strange event happened when the hosts were leaving the house: the landlady hypnotised the unlucky person so that he or she “spontaneously” decided to leave a positive review of the house in the site of houses to rent. This happened especially with those “short stay” in the house, because this kind of stays were more distracted and careless. In this way, her house could proliferate with positive reviews. When the hosts were leaving the house it was common that they left some food and other stuff that the landlady vacuum-cleaned and located inside her drawers. Then, she “offered” generously to the new host, as those things belonged to her, earning the gratitude of the new host, unaware of what he was going to experience.
Protected by ubiquity, it was common to leave the landlady in the kitchen to find her upstairs as she could materialise herself or, worse, she mysteriously appeared in the shady basement, where she was used to glare at you in the same moment you were collecting your laundry from the dryer machine: yes, from the dryer machine, because after many efforts and attempts to dry your belongings by the foggy air of the basement (transferring a decaying and impressive smell on your clothes), you had to turn your fidelity to that machine. Unfortunately the landlady smelled every intent, because she devoured the stairs and arrived in a flash to: watch the scene, glare at you and disappear.
Sometimes the visit/inspection happened during the dinner or while chatting to someone, but she was used to stay at the door silently, a shadow in the dark, until she started to move her tiny head and all the hair attached to the multi-coloured head and at that very moment you could perceive her presence. The end. There was no way out: she started to bother the unlucky person with strategic questions to get the answers she needed to get or to press that person to do something, for example a “spontaneous review”. Later, she was involved in the count of toilet paper used by the hosts and many others delicate and funny activities.
So, when in the same season it happened a new house for rent in less than a month since an adventurous move, well.. a new crazy relocation turned into a pure pleasure experience, because moving even just a street over could lead to a priceless freedom. Because you know, freedom is truly priceless.
Moral of the story: all that glitters is not gold. And most of all, before thinking that it glitters (for example a house for rent..), check under the carpets!
the end (?)