The Return of Spiderhead
He’s been here.
How can I tell? The patchouli lags behind him for at least a couple of hours. It’s hovering outside my door now, in the tunnel leading up to my hidey hole.
I knew he was going to raise the rent as soon as I let his henchman in to repair the glass in the window. It got broken two years ago when his other henchman, working outside the window-well, impaled it with his shovel handle. Not wanting to break my chain of thought, I didn't say a word -- just calmly brushed away the glass and kept writing. I never once asked him to fix the star-shaped hole. In fact, I enjoyed the thin stream of air it provided, given that I can’t open the window without being pelted with mud-infused rain drops.
He kept threatening -- or as he might put it, offering -- to repair the glass. I told him it didn’t bother me. Another tenant had begged him for two years to fix a leak in her ceiling before he got around to it, so I thought I was safe. But I hadn’t decoded the formula yet: You want something, he can’t get to it. You don't want something, he’s all over it.
Too late, I realized I should have been begging him to repair the window all this time. But I couldn’t stave him off any longer. I ran out of excuses and finally had to let the henchman in to fix it. And now, sure enough, the rent is skyrocketing.
The window in question, post repair -- lower left pane.