Your lease is binding and unbreakable. Because your unit is designated low-income housing, your rental agreement was signed with the understanding that you lack sufficient funds to live in any housing situation which requires you to pay rent in money. If your circumstances change before your lease is up, even if you fully extricate your person and all material possessions from your unit, your rent will still be collected. If your circumstances do not change, but you fully extricate your person and all material possessions from your unit in order to voluntarily pursue homelessness, your rent will still be collected.
Rent will be paid on the first day of every calendar month, in music. When you wake up on the first morning of each successive month, you will notice that your rent has been collected. The cadence of your movements and spoken words will become less rhythmic, and your ability to distinguish between tones will fade. Music will be collected from your person and from your perception of the world around you simultaneously, in equal proportion. If you endeavor to create music using either your person or any instrument, each successive rent payment will make this task more difficult to perform and to understand. Your ability to understand and appreciate music in the world around you will diminish and your memories of music will lose their significance.
Please note that your rent payments take the form of music, not sound. Your ability to hear will remain the same after each rent payment, and any hearing loss incurred over the course of your lease will be considered neither our fault nor our responsibility. Inducing deafness will not end your lease prematurely. Without hearing you will still experience music, and deafness will neither affect the pace of your rent payments nor, according to the testimony of previous tenants, make the payment process more bearable. Music, according to the terms of your lease, is defined as a hyperobject which you may perceive in sound, movement, color, shape, the positioning of objects, or the passage of time; your experience of music is defined as your ability to recognize, appreciate, or knowingly or unknowingly produce this object. Previous tenants describe the experience of the loss of music in their lives as profoundly noticeable.
Symptoms associated with tenants who pay or have paid this form of rent include: diminishing enjoyment of social activities, loss of interest in one’s own thoughts, difficulty improvising, decreased awareness of one’s own body, dissociative states, and a feeling of decay. If you find yourself experiencing the feeling that society at large is in decline, or become drawn to conspiracy theories over the course of your lease, contact us for a list of mental health counselors who accept non-monetary payment plans.
Rent will be collected on the first day of each calendar month while you sleep. Our rent collector has been enfolded into your unconscious mind and will be able to collect from any location. Failure to be asleep at midnight on the first day of each calendar month will not prevent rent from being collected on time, however it may result in you perceiving our rent collector as a physical being and feeling the rent collection as a tactile process. You may find this process unpleasant or the rent collector’s physical appearance alarming. We are not responsible for any lingering psychological effects this experience may have on you.
Because your unit is designated transitional housing, your lease is finite and cannot be renewed. You should know when your lease expires and plan accordingly. The music collected from you will be a fixed proportion of the total quantified amount of music you perceive and experience in your life, and your lease will end when that amount has reached zero. If by that time you have not acquired sufficient funds to enter into a monetary rental agreement, you will have the opportunity to reapply for low-income housing on a non-monetary payment plan, however this payment method will no longer be available to you.
Previous tenants have expressed dismay at the apparent loss of music from the world, and made baseless claims that a crucial part of their lives has been removed for no benefit to anyone else or to the world at large. This is blatantly false and does not merit an official response, but we have decided to provide one of our own volition: if your financial circumstances improve by the end of your lease and you no longer require low-income housing, you may apply for the opportunity to meet your unit’s immediate landlords. These individuals receive your rent, and each month their lives gain a fixed proportion of the music collected from yours. After your lease has ended, you may find it difficult to appreciate the full scope of what they have gained, but it should become obvious to you that your rent provides a tangible benefit to their lives.
Please note that your payment method was selected for you based on a list you voluntarily provided of methods you would consider acceptable. It is unrelated to the address or geographical location of your unit, and you may find yourself sharing living space with other low-income tenants on differing payment plans. Your payment plan is constructed so that you are unable to miss rent payments or pay rent late, but this may not be the case for your neighbors. Rent collection processes and penalties for missed or late rent may appear alarming to you, and if you suspect any of your neighbors are likely to miss rent payments, we suggest you talk to them in advance about their payment plans with intent to discuss what penalties they might incur. These conversations will serve to discourage them from missing payments by reminding them of the consequences, while also providing you with advanced warning that may allow you to avoid potentially traumatic encounters.
Your building and all units within it have been inspected and deemed safe. If you find your neighbors in any state of apparent distress, this distress is most likely an expected part of their lease and we advise against any attempt to help them. Signs of distress commonly observed by previous tenants, on various payment plans, include: sobbing, screaming, sudden changes in appetite, rapid weight loss or gain, and sudden changes in appearance or mental state. If your neighbors become disillusioned with life, are exsanguinated, appear inhuman, or fail to recognize you or their loved ones, do not be alarmed. They entered into their own leases voluntarily and of sound mind. Distressing individuals whom you do not recognize in your building may be rent collectors for payment plans other than your own, especially if they appear distinctly uncanny, malevolent, or determined, or if you find their appearances difficult to remember.
Your building and all units within it will be cleaned frequently and thoroughly. Rent payments on other payment plans may take physical forms, and any stray or broken objects found in hallways and communal spaces may be rent payments. If they remain in one place for more than twenty-four hours, they are supposed to be there. Substances such as ash, tears, oil, or blood which remain in communal spaces for more than twenty-four hours are supposed to be there.
Your unit is meant to house you and remain structurally sound for the duration of your lease, and nothing within your unit or your building is determined to be a threat to your health or safety. We are not responsible for any undisclosed health conditions you suffer from, nor are we responsible for the consequences of any high-risk behaviors you choose to engage in. You are expected to remain alive for the entirety of your lease, and if you die before your lease ends any and all unpaid rent will be considered a debt owed in quantified music to your immediate landlords. This debt will be transferred to and promptly collected from your next of kin, which may include children, parents, siblings, loved ones, or friends. If there are others in this world who you value, we will be able to find them and collect. If there are no others, dying before the end of your lease is strongly discouraged.
Thank you for choosing to live with us. We do not anticipate any troubles or complications and we look forward to receiving your music. Welcome home.
Sean Noah Noah is a non-binary writer and stand-up comic living somewhere between New York and Massachusetts. Sean studied creative writing and theater at Hampshire College and is an alum of the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio. You can find their other work in Bizarro Central or Plus Literary Magazine, or follow them on Twitter: @SeanNoahNoah.