Nope, I don’t make enough to pay my six hundred dollars of rent. I make enough to pay about $250 worth of rent. The rest I pay with a mix of savings and help from people that would rather not see me walking the streets. It sucks. I don’t even make enough to feed myself. My savings are dwindeling. My debts grow larger (and I don’t even have a credit card). My dreams of traveling and actually pursueing the work that I want to do are fadeing. The most I can do is walk to the beach everyday, and look at all the people that are able to pay for their lives, and wonder if I am ever going to be able to get my self together.
Why do I pay $600.00 in rent? I go to school in this town (Santa Cruz). The rental market here is insane. A studio goes for about $800-$1,000 a month. One bedrooms go from $1,000 to $1,500 a month. While my place is sunny, livable and close to the beach, it is hardly a palace. It is small, dirty, old and falling apart. It is on a busy street that keeps me up at night and covers all my stuff with a greasy black film. Yesterday morning, I was woken up by an exterminater who wanted to make sure that the rat problem our place apparently has is under control. The rent on my place is not a bargain, but it is pretty standard for the area. I can’t live in outlaying areas (not that they are cheaper) because I can’t afford a car, insurance, or the five hundred dollars it takes to get an on campus parking permit. But the rental prices arn’t even the hard part.
The Santa Cruz rental market is very very tight. There are very few open units, and many people will not rent to students. In order to get a place to live, you have to go through “renters rights” workshops and create a lengthy application packet, complete with resumes, letters of reccomendation, and even photos. Even with all that, getting a place is often a matter of being at the right place at the right time. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time, and that time was June. I couldn’t really pass up a secured place to stay. The other option would be to take a four hour bus ride here every weekend in Auguest, sleep on peoples’ floors, and hope that I found a place to live before the school year started. Some people don’t. They end up paying out the nose to live in hotels, illegally sleeping in their cars, or hiding away in the woods. It happens a lot. Some people turn around and go back to their parents’ house, their studies thwarted by lack of houseing.
So no, I am not living the market economy lifestyle. I am trying not to be homeless, which is a very real threat.
Like I said, I am literally a commie, so I am allowed to be opposed to Blockbuster because it is a corporation that makes a profit. Beyond that, I am a commie film geek, so I am really opposed to their censorship. Blockbuster sucks, and I help them continue that.
And my piercings are three dicrete small hoop earings, all in the standard earing position. Eatch one has a sentimental meaning, and associations with different periods in my life. And without them I somehow look very different. Blockbuster, however, allows only one earing per ear.
Enough defending myself!
It’s not too bad. The work is easy and time goes by fast. Plus, I work with other UCSC film major who are stuck without real jobs (makes me worry about my future), and I am actually making connections that I can use later. Plus, if I can get scheduled more than forty hours, then I might even be able to live without dipping into savings!
I think I am going to go cry now, read Marx and drink some (red) wine made by an organic workers collective.