The Bitter Rental History of a Blind "Loser"

来源:有人杂志   作者:杨青风   2015.04.29 17:08  浏览1319
摘要:Renting a house is a microcosm of a blind man’s social life. As a confident blind "loser", I had always believed that as long as I worked hard, everything would turn beautiful some day.

"Losers" like me are humbled by financial difficulty before the RMB gods. We get up earlier than a whore and go to bed later than a whore (for reference—no discrimination intended!) We cram onto buses, eat instant noodles, wear jeans and watch pirated porn. Inevitably we rent rather than buy our homes. So some landlords summarize our lives as either at home or in the process of moving; either at the rental agent's, or on the way there. Usually we're moving out because heartless landlords raise our rent, or other tenants want our apartments. As a blind loser drifting in Beijing, my moves are mixed with bitter tears for different reasons.

I joined my current company after college seven years ago, moving into a staff dorm with two other blind men. Five years ago, the landlord bought a TV for the dorm with the purpose of raising the rent. According to his words, “This is a 21-inch color TV with a large screen!” Three years ago, the landlord said that his relative was going to live here, so we all had to quickly move from our home of four years. But two weeks later, a neighbor told us the new tenant wasn’t related to the landlord. So we asked about it. The landlord's answer shocked us: “I wanted to raise rent but you can't see the TV. It's hard to bargain with you, so I had to……” Hearing this, I had mixed feelings. Is this a sort of kindness or heartlessness to a blind man? For sure, we can't see the TV, but the rent will still be paid fully. However, this wasn't a rational situation, so I felt like a totally helpless blind loser for the first time!

Two years ago, I decided to leave the company dorm and rent an outside flat. To save money, I chose to live with roommates. So I searched and for nearby rentals. Finally we selected a house near our company. When I went to inspect the place after work, the landlord greeted me. When I said I might rent the house in a few days, he said “OK.” Then when I called several days later, he told me the house had already been rented. Searching online again, I called another phone number and unexpectedly heard the same landlord's voice. I asked, “Isn't it already rented out?” He answered, “I don't want to rent to you.” I followed closely: “Why?” His answer of “You don't know you are inconvenient?” left me speechless! Oh my God! Since I was young, I went to school, lived in dorms and even washed clothes by myself… so at that moment, I couldn't handle his question. After a silence I retorted: “I can handle everything by myself, without help from you. You don't need to worry about it!” He didn't listen, hanging up with a sharp “NO!” Holding the phone, I was quaking with anger for a long time even though this landlord and this house had already made me feel disgusted.

I also heard another rental story. Several blind folks went to a rental agency. Negotiations went well and the contract only awaited payment. But the agent let slip that the renters were blind, the landlord was shocked and required the renters to sign an extra agreement that the renters were liable for the original price on any damage. Damn it! Of course we're liable for damage. But sighted people don't sign such an agreement! The blind renters felt humiliated and unhappy, and of course they decided not to rent the house-- no matter how good. But what can we say? Will society change because some blind guys got angry? The more this happens, the more my generation's blind losers will feel tossed about.

Renting a house is a microcosm of a blind man's social life. As a confident blind loser, I had always believed that as long as I worked hard, everything would turn beautiful some day. Well, now I admit I was wrong, at least for us losers. Unfortunately, the blind are among the stronger losers. Blind people striving for social integration need to challenge not only themselves, but also society's values.

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