I sent ian the following smackdown email, and now I feel much more at peace.

“You are good at the histrionics thing. First the ‘throwing everything all over the kitchen twice’ thing, then moving out on 4 days notice and going nuts over the fact that we took more than five minutes to pick someone, and now this. Look- of course you’ll get your deposit back. We are good people, and it is the right thing to do. You going to a lawyer changes this in no way (especially since you have no case, I’ll explain that in a little bit).
However, you gave us all of 4 days of warning, and less than 2 weeks to find a new roommate. You moved out barely two weeks ago, and already you’re howling? You never told us you were having trouble getting in touch with Mike, you never asked for his phone number, you never asked us if we could talk to him. We would have been happy to do any of those, since we want this resolved as quickly as you do. Given, too, how late you often were in repaying Madeline and me for bills, I suggest you exercise a little patience.
About us doing the picking, and therefore all of it is our responsibility- we wanted to pick the person coming in. Sarah Jane picked you, and look how well that turned out. We did not want to live with some one so clearly uncomfortable with our household again. We never took financial responsibility aside from Rob paying you the 133. Note- Rob (who you didn’t even email) not Madeline or me.
You paid rent when you moved in. You never paid last months rent, and you did not pay the deposit for several months. This was largely Sarah-Jane’s fault for not informing you, but we did tell you about it by the time you had moved in (you would not have been able to afford to move in had we enforced those. Similar to how you couldn’t afford to move this time. Notice a pattern?). You moved in in mid June, and in September when the lease was renewed we decided that you would pay the deposit and last months rent to Madeline, with the landlord keeping those from the last person. You paid only the deposit several months later. Quit lying about that.

You are still on the lease. I believe that means you are responsible for rent. As a leaseholder, you are already in violation of several things. a) you broke lease (not only broke, but broke with less than a months notice, as our lease agreement stipulates) and did not inform the landlord. He found out by chance. b) you are subletting without written permission from the landlord. Our lease has a clause specifically stating that written permission is required. I believe that given those two points if this were to go to small claims court, you would likely end up responsible for continuing to pay rent through the end of the lease term in September (and that’s without mentioning your destructive behavior (the kitchen incident) or your borderline harassment (chasing me down the hallway taking pictures after I said no, and stop)). Lucky for you, Mike has paid the rent, the landlord is easy going and satisfied, and none of us are so petty and vindictive as to carry that out. 
Miss Rachet? I assume you mean Nurse Rachet, from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. That reference does not carry the insult that you mean it to. I suggest you research your lease agreements and check your literary references before you call me stupid.

Just for fun, I’ve forwarded this to your lawyer (I think he should have a better picture than whatever one you’re giving him, especially in regards to your insults to me. Mr. Katz, see below in Ian’s email to me) and to one of mine. Lawyers everywhere!
You are now in my killfile. You have no further business with me or with Madeline, only with Rob and Mike, and I’m sure that will be concluded soon.”

I did put him in a spam filter, but of course checked to see if he wrote back. He did, in a subdued sullen way, saying “i don’t care about all that, I just want my deposit back, and I’m getting no response from madeline or him” and then “PS You’re an idiot”. Jesus. I can tell at least that he got told, and knows it, so that’s good. It does bug me a little that he persists in thinking, or at least saying, that madeline has anything to do with it. And of course he calls me an idiot. The great refuge of the wounded. Clearly, I’m not an idiot (despite any stupid decisions or actions on my part), and he’s feeling a little cornered.

I feel much better. Woork in general is picking up and looking good. I’m still having a hard time going in to the office, but it’s happening, and I’m getting stuff done. I like my projects a lot more than the day to day operations, so I’ve been concentrating on those and acting a little busier than I am. Not that I’m not busy, but none of these projects are really time sensitive.

I’m rereading TimeQuake, by Kurt Vonnegut. I had it in my head that it was my favorite of his book, but aside from a general plot outline and general sense of liking his writing, I couldn’t remember why that one in particular. I was right, though, it is my favorite. It’s so good and sad and hopeful and fond of humans and despairing of them and clever and all good things Vonnegut. The plot is looser than most of his books. He wrote it, and realized it was terrible, and so rewrote it, or rather, wrote this book which is bits of the first version with all sorts of his thoughts and views over it. He’s a character, of sorts, and Kilgore Trout is there, in the same world, mostly. It’s shifting and fluid and has a heartbeat. That’s the best way to put it with all him pauses and shifts.

I just reread Huck Finn, which was also fantastic to revisit. I’m now immersed in Vonneguts language, which makes it harder to recall Twain’s, but they share a wryness, in a way. In a lot of ways, it seems to me that Vonnegut and Huck are the same basic person in different times and lives. This is a new thought, so I might be totally off base, but they share an appreciation of nature and straightforwardness (and Vonnegut and Twain share a side of humor), and both are disgusted in similar ways at the meanness of people. Interesting idea. Who knows. Before that was Life of Pi, which was great, and had almost nothing in common. But was a fantastic book. A little disjointed, it seems to me now, but all parts were good to read, and fit as I read them. I’m glad to be reading again, I missed my ficticious worlds.


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