Maybe you don't remember the first time we met, but I sure do. I remember it all too well.

I had decided to take an Uber home from the airport. A final treat for myself after a luxurious trip to Toronto. After I ascended the stairs I saw your tiny hermit crab legs sticking out of my apartment door. You wouldn't let me in. You had made my apartment your new shell. You had traded up from an old and broken carapace.

Unbelievable. I had felt so calm after my relaxing trip and your actions undid it all.

So far, the city's staunch laws on adverse possession and wildlife protection have prevented me from reclaiming my apartment. My frequent trips to city hall are taking a toll on my physical and mental health. Each successive visit to my lawyer makes it seem like my goal of going home is getting further and further away.

I cannot help but feel like the law is on the side of the cold-blooded decapods of this world who travel willy-nilly from shell to shell, always on the hunt for an upgrade. Meanwhile, a hot-blooded taxpayer like myself is left to languish without a place to relax after a trip to Toronto.

When I'm not sweating it out at my lawyer's office, I am crashing on my friend Tim's couch. Tim has been very kind to me during this whole ordeal. He's truly been my rock, my much-needed shoulder to cry on. He patiently listens to my many anti-crustacean rants.

It would be a lie to say I wasn't hurt when I found out you invited Tim over to dinner. He told me he'd be visiting my old apartment/your new shell and I had to hold back the tears. I knew you were stubborn, but I had no idea that you would be so cruel. It felt like you were teasing me with this vindictive, overtly personal attack.

What really pained me was that Tim said he had a lovely time. He told me you redecorated the place. He seemed to prefer the new layout. I hear the place is more damp than it used to be and the fridge is fully stocked with tiny shreds of lettuce. My couch has apparently been replaced with a mound of sand.

This is the final time I will ask this: please, I implore you, will you give me my apartment back? It's been three weeks since I've been there. I miss the smooth sheen of my marble countertops. The light switch dimmers were set to the optimal brightness. The water pressure of the showerhead is perfect for my delicate hair care needs. Again, I love Tim, but the thread count of his sheets is laughable compared to my beloved silky satin bedding.

Now that I am completely without these familiar and reliable things, I feel like my body is changing shape. My spirit is weakened. My brain has slowed down. As a whole, I am both brittle and exposed. I hope my boundless pleading appeals to your sense of justice and reason.

In the meantime, I'd like to give you some housekeeping tips. The bird's nest fern on top of the walnut credenza prefers bright light. Also, the rent gets paid on the first of the month. The landlord collects a check that I tape to the outside of the front door. I'll cover this month's rent, but the least you can do is cover next month.

Also, if my wife is still living there, can you please tell her to give me a call? Thank you.


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