The Geek Icon
The dark void that is finding a place to live in Sydney.
At the Rentals of Madness
Note: for some reason I didn't publish this months ago when I actually wrote it back in January. This post has been backdated appropriately.
I haven't been posting much of anything lately since I just moved a couple of weeks ago and have just finally got things to state where I can resume some sense of normalcy. Moving is stressful enough for the average person, but when you add in the craziness of housing in Sydney and a hard deadline for moving (because, for instance, the friends you are house sitting for are coming back from Manhattan), then you are bordering on total nervous breakdown territory.
Long story short, it has not been a fun couple of months.
Rather than relive my full experience in all its horror by recounting it to you, I thought I might give you the impression by comparing the experience to the many dark and fantastical tales composed by H. P. Lovecraft.
Lovecraft's stories are usually told in the first person, and his protagonists often begin their tale with a peculiar and compelling obsession, some sort of scientific study into strange and forbidden knowledge. In my case this obsession was looking at rental properties on domain.com.au. It started with a few searches, then escalated into a full-blown mania, refreshing every few hours, making endless lists. Strange noises and colours were emitting from my computer.
The Awful Discovery
Of course, as Lovecraft's protagonist delves deeper into the unknown, he makes a discovery of some dark, disturbing truth. Late nights poring over old tomes. Research into forbidden knowledge. A burgeoning sense of unease. Then, it becomes starkly, horrifyingly clear: Rent had gone up by over 50% in just three years!
In several Lovecraft tales, non-Euclidean geometry was the mechanism for pulling the protagonist out of the ordinary world into the cold uncaring dark voids of the elder gods. In one story, a mathematics student rents an attic room in a house that supposedly used to belong to a witch. He keeps staring at a weird angle between the wall and the roof. Something about it seems not quite... possible. And then he has horrifying dreams and eventually dies of unknown causes. I was starting to feel the same way after viewing apartments that were advertised with photos that were strangely much, much larger than the place actually appeared when you visited it in person.
Many of Lovecraft's protagonists face severe insanity (if not some sort of horrifying death) by the end of their stories. After my own foray into the world of Sydney suburban real estate, I am still attempting to recover. It's a quiet night, deceptively peaceful. Occasionally I hear a train roll off toward the western suburbs. But I know the dark, noisome horrors that lurk behind every "For Lease" sign in front of a renovated Federation terrace. I know the secretly muttered ejaculations to Nyarlathotep that are made by real estate agents as soon as the Saturday inspection is over. I know--
Did you hear that noise? That strange noise like a haunting screech across the vast emptiness of space and timearghghghghghghhhhhh!