Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Moving again. Part 4. Friday night.

A little while later, there was another knock on my door. I opened it, and nobody was there. I looked in the living room, and Jeff wasn't there, either. "Hey," he called to me from the other direction. "Do you want some sausage?" "No thanks," I said. "I just had that sandwich." (He knew I had.) "Oh. I just wondered if you or Carlos wanted some sausage." I told him I would go see if Carlos wanted some.

I went through the house, downstairs, and met the neighbor, who was fixing our washing machine. Or trying to, anyway. I knocked on Carlos' door a couple times, but he didn't answer. The neighbor was more normal, so we chatted for a bit. We talked about what I'm studying, and his niece, and what was going on with the washer. While we were chatting, Jeff came downstairs to his room or the bathroom or something, and then he went back out to the barbecue.

I went out and told him, "I don't think Carlos is here. I knocked but he didn't answer."

"He probably isn't," Jeff said. I turned to go back to my room.

"Hey!" he said. "Do you know what my name is?"

"Jeff," I answered.

"No." He said. "It's s*** on a stick. Get it?"

"No," I said. I looked at him blankly.

"I catch on to people real quick. I catch on. Do you know what I'm saying?"

"No." I went back to my room.

He knocked again later. (GOOD GRIEF! How often do I have to talk to my landlord?!!) Nobody was at the door. He was still outside.

"So you're moving out on the first, right?" he asked me.

"No..." I said. And he said something about my ad at the Institute, looking for an apartment (Aha! It suddenly made more sense. But, weird that he was residence-board-stalking me.) I explained that it was my ad from before, and that that was how Courtney had found me, and that that was how the girl who had called me that day had found me also. He understood. (He was like ohhhhhh, so that was your ad from when you were looking for an apartment? YES, I said. I told him that I had the girl take it down. I told him I hadn't been to the Institute much within the past couple days and I hadn't posted an ad for the house yet.)

And then he wanted to talk all about how he wanted to be sure that we all felt safe at the house. He said that our neighbors were not too great, and that since we had riffraffs on both sides, that was why we needed to be sure that everyone got along in our house. He said he thought what he would do is make a copy of the keys for his red car out back, and that way, if I ever felt unsafe, I could drive his car away. I told him I didn't feel unsafe, and that he could make keys if he wanted but that I wouldn't use them, so whatever. And thanks, but no thanks.

And we talked about his business. I was very very very curious how someone like him owned a rental property. He said "and another thing. I'm not the landlord. Don't call me the landlord. I'm just one of the people living here." "But everyone has to sign contracts with you and you're the one they pay rent to, right?" I said. "Well, yes," but he's not the landlord. One of the girls who was living here before wanted him to come clean the vent in her room, and do some other general housekeeping thing for her, and he said that wasn't his responsibility. He said if we have a problem with the power, or if something needs to be fixed, we should come to him, but we shouldn't consider him the landlord. That isn't what he does. He has a real job, and this isn't it. He works in [and here he listed off several western cities including Las Vegas and LA], and this is just where he lives, so we shouldn't call him the landlord. Okay, I said.

But what is it that he actually does? Excavation. He has an excavation business, and a big office in...Sandy? He rented out part of the warehouse because they didn't need all of the space, so someone who does electrical stuff (?) rented part of it. And that's why he has two computers at our house. AND THAT, is why we can't bring riffraffs like Courtney did, because all of his important data is on those computers. But I hadn't seen any computers, I said. That meant they were in his room, right? And I don't think Courtney's friends would have gone into his room. I think they would have left everything alone. Well, but there are other things too, like the TV.

And when we were talking about his business, he said he was from LA, and I said, "Oh! Where in LA?" and he said Pasadena. I told him I was from the LA area too, and he said we California people have each other's backs. He said his family was still there, and I told him mine was too. And he said, "OH! That's why you're not afraid of the neighbors! If anyone tried something, you'd pop 'em one!" "Mhmm," I said. "Maybe."

We chatted for a little while. And it seemed like he thought we were great friends. And I excused myself to go to my bedroom (because I was in the middle of reading New Moon). And he apologized for bothering me, and I said no problem, and he reminded me that we should talk to each other by telephone instead of knocking on each other's doors. "Uh huh," I said and closed my door.

I read for a bit, but I was tired and I knew I needed to get up early for a hike, so I took out my contacts and went to bed.

1 comment:

Olympus said...

I'm thoroughly disconcerted by your landlord. (read: "freaked out") And, also, this is a fantastic story and I can't believe you don't have a billion comments.