Open Letter to the Couple Whose Apartment I Rented on Airbnb Last Weekend

First of all, we're all adults here. Before this gets out of hand, let's just agree that a situation developed, a situation involving mistakes. To declare that those mistakes were the fault of one side alone would be folly. There would be no point. The proper course is to own this situation, you and I together. Let's have no more finger-pointing. Let's have no more cries about, and I'm quoting here, "you fucking destroyed our fucking apartment." Here are the facts:

Approximately ten days ago, I searched Airbnb and found your listing, which offered the use of your apartment on Grand Street, in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan, for $85 per night. The listing stated that the apartment would be available for the duration of Thanksgiving weekend, as you would be, quoting again, "surviving another roast turkey with the fam in Chicago." I booked the apartment, arrived on Wednesday evening, and departed Sunday afternoon. These appear to be the only facts on which we agree.

However, because we are are all adults, I will take responsibility for certain aspects of the situation. In return, I only ask that you do the same. Allow me to begin.

• Yes, there was some damage to the front door. This is normal when a person has to pick some locks to gain entry at 4:00 in the goddamn morning, a time that is not blessed with natural light. (Or do you plan to argue that as well? Was the sun up in the middle of the night?)

• I will admit that I overreacted when the neighbor's cat crawled down from the fire escape. Okay, fine. Who am I, Temple Grandin? The animal is perfectly alive, and you can paint over those burn marks on the ceiling. On the plus side, it is safe to assume that the cat will not bother you anymore. You're welcome.

• "Excavation" is a strong word, but yes, I wound up conducting more exploratory digging than I anticipated. The note I left on the counter clearly offered a 60/40 split of any valuables I found, which I still think is crazy generous, though it was thoughtless of me not to have it notarized. (Besides, if that kind of exploration bothers you, go live in a newer building.)

• Four homeless people was probably three too many.

• Likewise, I should have touched base with you before offering use of the apartment as an Occupy Wall Street staging area. You guys clearly aren't in the One Percent (I'll pretend I didn't see the FreshDirect receipt in your trash), and those guys did leave a bunch of Quizno's wrappers lying around. Not cool.

Now then, let's start solving for X on your side of the equation, shall we?

• Picking the lock(s!) on the front door would not have been necessary if your hellhole shithole of a hole of an apartment weren't locked down like the Federal Reserve. Are you guys guarding gold bullion? The answer is no, because I would have found it.

• The toaster was like that when I got there, so either someone else has keys to your place or you should be profoundly ashamed of yourselves.

• I get creative when I drink and I drink when I'm angry, so on Thanksgiving I got very creative indeed. What you label vandalism, I label art. My sincere apologies for making you confront a world of color and shape. Installations like that go for millions, and now you freaking live in one. No one will miss your dumb clothes or your dumb dishes.

• Is one of you an Orioles fan? How does that even happen anymore? Jesus. If you're from Baltimore, just stop liking baseball and take this shit down off your walls. If anything, you should be thanking me for dousing those posters in hydrofluoric acid.

• By the way, have you even so much as offered to return my excess barrels of hydrofluoric acid? Nope. Funny how your voice mail rants have been nothing but tearful gurgling about security deposits and lost heirlooms, with ZERO mention of returning my property.

• Okay, for real? Soho? FULL of bridge & tunnel poseurs on Saturday afternoon. I understand that there is both a bridge and a tunnel nearby, but my God. You could have said something. You leave a note about jiggling the handle but you don't leave a note about that?

• Just admit you like the new bathtub.

• If you were so concerned about identity theft, maybe you should have traveled with your documents securely in tow rather than leave them behind where anyone might stumble upon them. That safe was a total joke, I watched Ripshot Jimmy tear through it like a cellophane bag. The man's an artist, honestly I should have put the whole thing on YouTube. Identity theft isn't even that big a deal anymore — just go to the FTC website, there's like a whole info packet on there. Or, here's another option, cry like a fucking child. Right, because that helps.

Anyone reading this will clearly see that my case outweighs yours. I don't even care at this point, it's obvious that I'm not getting an apology from you. My goal here is simply to walk off the field with a draw. Can we do that? Can we call it even and go our separate ways? Because if not, go ahead and call the cops. Call your uncle the lawyer. Leave a bad review for me on Yelp or Foursquare or whatever the fuck.

Merry Christmas to you too.

Hugs and candy,

-LH