The Beginning of a VERY BAD Idea
Chapter 9 – It Sounded Like a Bad Idea
“She wants to move in as soon as possible,” said Maureen, breathless. Okay, as breathless as someone like Maureen could be.
“I’ll let Sinead and Declan know,” I replied. “But could I get one of those things known as a date?”
“Oh, yes, of course. June 15th.”
“Too bad she didn’t find the place last month.”
“Yes it is.”
“I said too bad she didn’t find the place last month.”
“Her name being May and all that.”
“Oh, yes. Funny.”
“I’ll call you back.”
“I’ll get the lease to you.”
I hung up. I had to call Sinead as soon as possible. It was already the first week of June. They wouldn’t have a lot of time to move out, but both were such troopers I knew it would not be a problem, but the more notice the better.
I called and, of course, got her voice-mail. Left her a message and texted as well.
She got back to me.
“Hey, got your message,” she said. “Can Declan and I have the weekend to get out of the house?”
“That’s more than fair. The 18th?”
“Yep. If you really need—”
“Sinead, you’ve been a good caretaker of our house. I think asking for the weekend to pack everything up is perfectly reasonable. Where will you go?”
“We were going to stay with my uncle in San Rafael, but a friend of mine called. She wants to know if we can apartment sit for her while she’s out of the country.”
“Things do happen for a reason. How long?”
“Sinead, that’s great. It will give you two an opportunity to find something long-term. I assume you want to stay at Google.”
“Yes. It’s been a really great job, and I am starting to feel comfortable here on the West Coast. I just miss my father.”
We both paused.
“I’ll be out on the 18th, Sinead,” I said. “I’ll meet you at the house on Monday morning. I hope that will help.”
“Are you going to meet May?”
“If all goes according to plan, yes.”
“Great. I think that will help.”
“Also, on Friday the 15th I’ll send Ilsa in to clean the place. Just leave the front door unlocked.”
Chapter 10 – The Front Door . . . Just the Beginning
I left New York on June 17th and traveled back to San Francisco for the first time since February when I departed and put the dogs, Zeppo, our 13 year old golden retriever, and Mister Moose, our black lab stray mix on the same flight. It would take 16 hours by the time I finally parked the rental car in front of the apartment building on West End Avenue.
This time I traveled alone. Lee had to stay behind to deal with the dogs and her latest contract employment.
I arrived at the Brisbane (California, not Australia, where they pronounce Bris-Bane as Bris-Bin) condominium of my best friend (except for Lee, of course), Dan Ogawa late Sunday evening. He hadn’t returned from dinner, but I had a set of spare keys. I pulled the car into his spare parking spot, which sat underneath the three-story building.
I let myself in, and dropped my bags in the spare bedroom, which also served as Dan’s home office. The editorial set-up in the room now included two late-model iMacs, both of which had been mine up until I decided I did not want a desktop computer anymore. Dan was only too happy to receive $4000 in hardware to help his Final Cut Pro System.
I called Lee to tell her I had arrived in the proverbial one piece.
“What’s the plan?”
“I’ll head over in the morning, but I’m going to stop by where Ilsa is cleaning tomorrow and give her the money for coming in. She told me it was very dusty.”
“At least she didn’t have to deal with dog hair.”
“I’ll meet May and go through the house’s systems such as the heater, the washer and dryer, and the irrigation system, but that last one is a maybe. I think that’s more of a Rock & Rose issue. Also, I’ll see if anything needs repairs.”
“Oh, are you anticipating anything?”
“With Declan in the house? No. You know he repainted a lot of the interior and did all the window trim on the exterior? We’re actually going to owe him some money, since he did work that would carry them through July.”
“How will you pay him?”
“I’ll take a look at his estimate and deduct May and 60% of June from it. I’ll pay him the balance, plus some money for the paint and those shipping supplies he purchased for you back in January.”
We told each other how much we loved each other, and I hung up. Dan, someone I’d known since 1985, arrived a few minutes later.
“Ya-Hey,” he said, quoting a greeting from Midnight Run, one of our favorite movies.
“Did you get in okay?”
“I meant into the garage.”
“Oh, yes, sorry. Not a problem.”
We had a glass of wine and stood in the kitchen talking.
“So, what’s the plan?”
“Have you been talking to my wife?”
“No. I don’t believe I have.”
I exhaled and took him through the day.
“Sinead took this all very well,” said Dan.
“I agree. I feel somewhat bad about the whole arrangement.”
“Oh, come now. She lived in a 3400 square foot house in San Francisco for what she was paying for a small one-bedroom in Brooklyn.”
“You’re going in at what time?”
“I’ll leave shortly after rush hour. I believe Sinead said she and Declan would be out the door by 10am. I would like to see them and then meet May when she gets there.”
“What’s that mean?”
“What’s the problem?”
Dan took another slug of wine and put his glass down, refilling it before it hit the kitchen counter. It was a graceful move borne of some practice, though Dan used to be a hard alcohol drinker.
“This is a big move for me.”
“Yes,” he said. “You’ve lived here for 30 years. In that house for 22.”
“You getting sentimental on me, Ogawa?”
“Yes, I do believe I am.”
“I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
We hugged; stepped back in our homage to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure; and laughed.
“Fag!” We both said it at the same time.
“Good thing we’re inside.”
“Oh, shut up. Don’t go all P.C. on me now.”
We laughed more; drank more wine; and I trundled up to the spare bedroom and crashed, not knowing 310 Twin Peaks was plotting a surprise.