everything is for the future

the apartment hunt continues. it is really stressing me out. i don’t like looking for apartments. i talked to one of the guys that lives in my current building, & he said that everyone except jared & i got letters from the landlord asking if they want to renew their leases or not. & that they are all planning to leave because the landlord is jacking up all of their rents. the smaller apartments are going up by $50 (about 15%) but the three-bedroom on the first floor is going up by $300–more than 30%. though the landlord was initially trying to rent it out for the increased price last year & could not find tenants. the dudes who lived there now talked him down a few hundred dollars. so maybe the landlord is just trying to get them on board with his ideal rent now that they live there.

but jared & i have not received this letter, so we have no idea if the landlord wants to raise our rent, or by how much. it would definitely help me make a decision about how seriously i should look for a new place if i knew what the landlord’s plan was for us. we’ve kind of been operating with the belief that it’s okay if we don’t find something else, because our current apartments gets the job done. but i don’t know if i will still feel it gets the job done if it costs $100 more.

so we’re looking at two places this afternoon, a place tomorrow, & a place on friday. one of the places we’re seeing today is the tiny house we already saw once last week. it’s pretty much ours if we want it, & i really like it, but jared is concerned that it’s too small. especially if we are going to be adding a baby to the mix at some point. i think it is quite small. i think it might be especially small for a rambunctious toddler. but rambunctious toddlers are still a couple of years away. in the meantime, it could be a cozy place for a pregnant lady & later a little baby to hang out in. that’s why we’re looking at it again. i have spatial issues & often think things are bigger than they are. no dirty jokes, please.

i am also learning how to drive, which is also being compromised by my spatial issues. i got my permit almost two weeks ago & have driven five or six times since then. i feel like i do a little better every time, but i also feel that every increase i experience in one skill set (like parking, or turning) is off-set by a decrease in another skill set (like braking, or changing lanes). i can’t seem to do it all competently at the same time. but i guess it just takes practice. so far the limits of what i feel comfortable trying are pretty limited. i’ll try pulling out of our garage (which is super-narrow), but i’m too scared to pull in. i don’t want to drive at night because managing anything other than the basic tasks of driving (ie, adding headlights to the mix) is too scary. the idea of ever driving on the highway scares the crap out of me (even though it was my favorite thing to do when i was 16 & learning how to drive from my dad).

i drove myself to the hospital the other day (with jared in the passenger seat, of course) for a “preconception counseling” session. just to run some tests & make sure my health is okay before i go compromising it in some significant way by getting knocked up. it was kind of weird. i was like, “i have arthritis,” & the doctor was like, “cool, we’ll sort out your medications when you become pregnant,” & i was like, “i’m not on medications,” & she was like, “um…why are you here then?” i mean, not really, but…i’m not on medication because i don’t want to bother trying something i’ll have to go off of right away because it’s contra-indicated for pregnancy. i’d hoped that an ob-gyn could give me some pain management tips that were pregnancy-safe.

then i was like, “i have vaso vagal syndrome, so i probably will not handle labor very well,” & she was like, “oh yeah, you just pass out in response to pain?” & i said, “yeah,” & she said, “that’s cool. you’ll probably just pass out in front of all the other women in labor & you’ll really freak them out,” & then she laughed this awesomely wicked laugh. i thought that was pretty cool. then she said that maybe i can just get an early epidural & not feel any pain & be awake for the labor. beats being unconscious & having to have an emergency cesarean, right? i am really not sweating the natural birth thing. if it happens, it happens. if it doesn’t, oh well. i care more about trying to be a halfways decent parent than having an idealized hippie birth. nothing against idealized hippie births. they’re cool if you can get them.

anyway! all of this is way far in the future. it’s just on my mind because i feel like everything i am doing right now is this vague, ineffectual attempt to plan for things that are way in the future. where will i live? will i be in kansas this summer? when do i really need to make the effort to pick up pre-natal vitamins? there’s not much going on that is grounding me in the moment, unfortunately.

i am thinking about making a new zine. one of the folks that distributes my zines wants to get into selling at shops & is putting together a small catalogue of some of the zines she’d like to feature in her wholesale pitch. she included “love letters to monsters”. i kind of feel like that’s a pretty cool distribution opportunity & maybe i should make a new zine in order to seize said opportunity. i keep feeling like i am retired from zines because my life is kind of boring (in a zine sense) & zine culture is something irritating & maybe i want to use my writing energy for other things. but i wonder if i will ever really quit.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

4 thoughts on “everything is for the future

    1. i know, right? i scoured the kansas landlord-tenant act looking for a rent increase cap, but they don’t exist in kansas. the only rule is that you have to give a tenant 30 days’ notice if they are on a month-to-month lease, & you can only raise the rent on folks with leases when their leases expire. but there’s no limit to how much you can raise it by. there’s also some stuff about not being able to raise the rent for six months on tenants that have called the city to complain about you. that’s it. there is almost no legal protection for tenants in kansas. all you can hope for is that a landlord charging crazy rents won’t be able to rent his property & will have to lower prices back down to something reasonable.

  1. My stepdaughter is 18 and learning to drive. She got her permit about four months ago. Most of the time her mom takes her but sometimes I take her. Unfortunately it’s pretty anxiety-inducing for me. Although I try to hide it, she knows, and that feeds her anxiety.

    Parking and backing up are the most difficult things for her. It’s really hard for me to explain how to do it. I have a hard time translating muscle memory into language. She also finds it extra difficult when she has to use the windshield wipers or headlights so right now we stick to daytime.

    I would love to see another zine from you. I know you mentioned a possible self care zine. I love the logic puzzles too.

  2. I hope you never do quit! As you mentioned previously- a self-care zine, especially with arthritis & pregnancy issues in the mix, would be really interesting with your signature snarky critique.

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