Showing My Serial Killer Apartment

A living space says a lot about its owner. The past three years I’ve occupied this apartment, I’ve made a point of having it reveal absolutely no trace of a personality. My goal is for visitors to enter my quarters with the understanding that if I were a piece of art, I would be a blank canvas.

not a serial killer apartment
Like a white canvas at a gallery, people will try to derive something meaningful out of me when there’s nothing actually there.

Lately, quite a few realtors have been entering my undecorated, couch-less, TV-less, serial killer apartment to show it to prospective tenants. Our realty company usually has this place squared away by January, but the coronavirus has them scrambling to find new student victims. At first all the people coming and going from my apartment generated a lot of anxiety, but similarly to how I one day found myself enjoying the reality show Love Island, it’s incredible what you can let yourself get used to.  

Two weeks ago, I’d agreed to a 9AM visit, giving me just enough time to wake up and hide everything incriminating, by which I mean items that say too much about me. The same four T-shirts I’ve had out in rotation since March. The five-pound dumbbells on the floor. The mirror I keep on my desk to make eye contact with myself like I’m on The Office. AKA things that bring me shame. (“Myself” would be a contender, but unfortunately someone has to let the people in.)

The realtor, a middle-aged blond lady who somehow looked like every English teacher I’ve ever had, stepped inside. Two guys, probably students, followed. I led them two steps into the hall that’s also the living room and started showing them around, pointing out serial killer apartment features. I do the realtor’s job not to be helpful, but to a) remember every surface they’ve touched and b) help sell off the apartment so people will stop disturbing my peace.

Me: Yeah, there’s also a loft up there you could use for storage.

Realtor Lady, contemplating me: So, the international students are going through a really tough time right now.

(For context, this was around when ICE issued the directive prohibiting international students from staying in the US to take fully online courses, despite the pandemic. The policy has since been rescinded.)

My Asian American ass, seeing where she was going with this, wondered if I should nip it in the bud. But part of me—the same part that stares at an impending trainwreck or ingests inhuman amounts of cheese before important functions—was here for the chaos.

Me: Yup. That really sucks.

One of the guys shifted uncomfortably.

Realtor Lady:

Realtor Lady: *unintelligible string of letters and numbers*

Me: Sorry?

Realtor Lady: So you have a work visa?

Me: Oh, I’m a citizen.

Realtor Lady: Sorry, I didn’t mean to assume.

Me: Oh, no, you’re good.

Realtor Lady:


She was a nice enough lady, so I wasn’t offended or anything, just thinking about how rare it was for me to be on the other end of an uncomfortable situation. Realtor Lady practically teleported outside my apartment. I watched as one guy put on his shoes, and when he straightened, we made eye contact and he pulled down his mask to mouth “I’m sorry” before covering up again.

They were gone in less than a minute. Amused, I shut my door. Given that I haven’t heard from her since, I think I’ve learned a new method of getting realtors to stop visiting my apartment. Repel them with my heritage.

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Last post: Even My Sleep Paralysis Demon Is a Disappointment

8 thoughts on “Showing My Serial Killer Apartment

  1. Yay! I can now like your posts in my app! Thank you WordPress for finally doing the job you’re actually paid to do. Here’s hoping this comment registers as well…
    Love your work, Nicole. WordPress needs a bit of work. 😉


  2. I love the story but I’m a little confused as to the nature of the realtor’s visit: Is she showing the place because you’re ready to move out? From some of the elements, it sounds like you own the place. Or are you subletting it? Or is there a second apt adjoining yours that the realtor is showing?


    1. Yes, she was showing it because I’m moving out of here in a week! Graduated in May. As for me owning the place, I definitely don’t (just have lived here for 3 years.) I wrote that I was essentially “showing” the place to the prospective tenants because I wanted to help a realtor succeed in getting someone to lease. That way everyone would stop visiting me. Hope this explanation clarifies the story a bit!


  3. “there’s also a loft up there you could use for storage.” – storage of what exactly?…is this one of the “serial killer” apartment features? 😂


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