True horror of exploitation of the young by the old in Paris part 23


In hindsight, there have been many clues, but you do not want to admit that you have misjudged your friends.  Your sense of loyalty forbids you even to suspect them.  Those hyenas are gifted in appealing to your noble streak by throwing in noble statements here and there.  However, their actions betray their words if you allow yourself to scrutinize them.  And I first questioned Mme HARMONY's integrity when I witnessed how she treated her gay tenant JUPITER.  He was that kind tenant who did not mind me sitting out on the stairs when my apartment had become a death trap, electricity overflowing from the restaurant kitchen in episode 16. 

Mme HARMONY was of the generation still unaccepting of love between two souls unrestricted by physical gender.  And yet, she outwardly behaved tolerant of the gay movement and rented one of her apartments to JUPITER.  He responded to the outward kindness of Mme HARMONY by regularly giving her advice on IT technology or any issues that were too modern for this old lady.  Relation between the two deepened to the extent that Mme HARMONY suggested to Jupiter to renovate the kitchen to his taste.  Jupiter was tempted because her kitchen was old and outdated.  However, it would cost him a lot of money to remodel.   He hesitated.

Then Mme HARMONY confided in him that she was considering selling her apartment.  She needed to concentrate on her cancer treatment for the time being, but someday… 'Would you be interested in buying my apartment?' she asked Jupiter.  Yes, he was because the location was perfect.  Mme HARMONY smiled and assured him that he would be the first to know when she was ready to sell.  Thus, Jupiter decided to invest his money into updating the kitchen, style-wise and appliances-wise.  He was made to believe Mme. HARMONY would offer the apartment at a fair price minus the renovation expenses.

A month later, the kitchen looked brand new.  It was about this time I first spoke to Jupiter.  He was ready to buy the apartment—however, Mme. HARMONY told him that Jupiter would have the priority if he offered the same price as the top bidder.  What?  So, there was a chance his investment in renovating her kitchen would end up being wasted if someone with more money appeared?  Jupiter reminded her that it was not their arrangement, but Mme. HARMONY insisted otherwise.  ???   Jupiter bitterly accepted that it might be her age that was messing with her memory.  She was still a lovely lady on the inside, right?  He would still have two more years left in the contract to enjoy his new kitchen, which he would have to leave behind most of.

However, a few months later, Mme. HARMONY told Jupiter to leave as she was selling her apartment for her family…or whatever.  Jupiter asked to be reimbursed for the kitchen renovation cost, but NO.  Mme. HARMONY coyly smiled and said she was actually doing him a favour because he was bound by the contract to return her apartment to its original state before the renovation.  She would not be so heartless as to demand Jupiter to rip out the new kitchen counters and appliances.  However, her eyes turned cold, and she added.  'I found many other problems with the apartment you must fix.  I will send my tradesmen and send the bills to you.'

Jupiter found out the hard way that Mme. HARMONY changed her story by pretending to be senile.  Reverse-ageism attacked Jupiter and later me.  Mme. HARMONY was no better than Mme HEART.  They both took advantage of young Parisians.  Oh, yes, of immigrants too.

The real estate agent of Jupiter was indignant that Mme. HARMONY was not only kicking Jupiter out way before the date agreed in the contract, but she was also stealing from him the kitchen renovation expenses AND dared to spend Jupiter's money to retouch the rest of her apartment to get a better price for it.  Mme HARMONY needed to sell her apartment before the extractor from Hell's restaurant was attached to her wall, which would have reduced the price of her apartment.  For once, the real estate agent was on the side of the weak, and a new room was quickly found for Jupiter.  With their endorsement, Jupiter left the apartment immediately, taking all the new electric appliances with him,

This enraged Mme. HARMONY, and she immediately demanded Jupiter to buy her a new set of appliances.  Jupiter reminded her that her old appliances, such as a refrigerator, were stored in her basement.  Jupiter had carried them down there by Mme HARMONY's request, but she now complained that the basement humidity had damaged them and held Jupiter liable.  She bombarded Jupiter with emails after emails demanding that he own up to his obligation and that he owed her the brand new set!   However, she would not tell me this.  She acted as a feeble old lady whose faith in Jupiter, despite having been kind to his being gay, was cruelly betrayed. 

Mirror that reflects your soulOne day Mme. HARMONY asked me weakly to accompany her to plead Jupiter to honour his obligations to restore her kitchen, bathroom, and the rest the way it was before the renovation.  I would not dream of doubting Mme. HARMONY then, I turned to Jupiter with reproaching eyes when he walked in.  He looked more sad than awkward by my presence as her ally.  I could not tell you what was said during the heated communication in French between the two, but she remained imploring, which raised my sympathy for her even more.

Jupiter left the apartment looking very pained, and Mme. HARMONY's voice cracked, explaining to me that he agreed to reimburse her only partially.  How she detested the black wallpaper and the modern shelves that he had installed in place of her classic style kitchen…a lie it turned out to be, but only later.  Feeling sorry for the old lady, I offered to help her paint her apartment.  I had no idea the price my sympathy would cost.  I was going down the path that many immigrants, whom she had befriended to exploit, had fallen before me.