This winter in Dickinson was kind of unpleasant for me. My work was not busy in Dickinson, and I was not making very much money. I would have liked to have tried to make the best of it, to read, write blog posts, watch movies, go to the West River Community Center, and socialize with people.
The person who owned the house where I had been living for the past three years in Dickinson was having his own problems. No job, shortage of money, poor physical health, no friends, depression, and mental problems. With no job, he would get up late, not get dressed, and sit in the living room all day. With not very much money, no friends, and no place to go, he would start drinking in the afternoon, which made his physical and mental health even worse.
In the past I had been a caregiver for disabled and terminally ill adults for two years. My current living situation was much more unpleasant and far more depressing than the two years that I spent doing this for a living, because now I couldn’t go home and get away from it and have some peace and quiet. Nor could I invite anyone over to the house.
When I got hired to work at a second job in June, I told my room mate that I had to be at work at 4:00 a.m. in the morning. My room mate stayed out in the living all night ranting and talking to himself, like a crazy person, making it hard for me to get any sleep. When I was getting ready for work at about 3:00 a.m., he was still ranting and talking to himself, muttering comments that were directed at me.
With the two jobs that I now had, I could demonstrate to a landlord or property manager that I had enough income to rent an apartment. I wanted the least expensive apartment that I could get. I did not know if I would stay in Dickinson, and I did not know how my new job was going to work out, so I did not want to get on a lease for an expensive apartment.
The property manager that I met did me a favor, and they rented to me a very nice two-bedroom apartment in an older building for not very much money. When I had been living at the house north of Dickinson, I had had two extra trucks, and two equipment trailers, which was what had been preventing me from renting an apartment. Things got so bad at the house, that I finally accepted that I was going to have to rent a separate location to keep my extra trucks and trailers, and move into an apartment.
I hadn’t lived in an apartment for fifteen years. I had sworn that I would never ever live in an apartment again. But here I was, not only was I back in an apartment, I was in a low rent apartment. The common hallways had a very strong odor of ethnic cooking, from India Indians, Africans, Hispanics, and Asians. The odor was not present in the apartment, thank God.
The residents who were immigrants from Africa were fairly friendly and polite. The India Indians and the Asians I hardly ever see. The Hispanics are somewhat noisy in the parking lot, and on the way to and from their apartments.
The American blacks have the irritating and annoying habit of playing ghetto music too loud in their vehicles when they are coming, going, and parked in the parking lot. The white trash are aggravating in that they honk their car horns in the parking lot at any time of the day or night, and screech their tires when they come and leave.
There is a lot of drug activity. There are about three apartments where they are dealing drugs. You can smell marijuana smoke all day throughout the building. There are all different kinds of poor people that are coming and going throughout the day, who are not residents of the building. Some apartments typically have five guests every night. Some guests are in a stoned stupor. Some guests go crazy and start yelling.
The police have been to this building at least twice this week. The young lady that the police took away today, I have been hearing her yelling for the past several days. When the police came to get her, she began beating her head against the wall, and then beating her head against the police car in attempt to injure herself. She was yelling at the police that she was going to get them fired. Inside the back of the police car, she was kicking the partition behind the police officers’ heads as hard as she could trying to break it.
I am surprised that I have not gotten into any trouble yet here where I live. There is a lot of trouble going around here. People arguing in the parking lot over parking spaces. Boyfriend-girlfriend squabbles. Room mate arguments. People slamming doors, playing the television too loud, video games too loud, stereos too loud. People complaining to their neighbors about the noise. Drug fiends on the premises throughout the night.
I kind of don’t even care. There is just one thing that I am worried about, and I don’t want to write what it is, because then someone will do it. I have had plenty of time to think about it, and none of the things that I described above are the property owner’s or the property manager’s fault. This is just what poor people do and how they behave. They can’t evict 70% of the tenants.
There are about twenty other apartment buildings just like this one in Dickinson. In these twenty apartment buildings, I would estimate that only about 10% to 15% of the residents are from Dickinson. I believe that these poor people mostly come from Idaho, Washington, Michigan, Minneapolis, Rapid City, and Sioux City.
There are very, very few job openings in Dickinson right now. I believe 100% that I made a very good decision in renting the least expensive apartment that I could find. I am making very little money right now, and I only have a small chance of getting a well paying job anywhere in North Dakota now. Even if I began making $5,000 per month or more for quite a while, I would still probably stay in this apartment because of the uncertainty of what is going to happen in North Dakota.