Blowing out a long breath. Frustrated. Maybe I’ll stay where I am. I don’t need fancy. Big fancy kitchen. Fireplaces in every room. Fireplaces? This is New Orleans. Come on.
One bedroom. Bath. OK, living room too. That’s all I need. Kitchen, I suppose, but only a small one. I mean, who cooks anyway. Not me.
And I for fucking sure don’t want an apartment complex. Told the lady that. Twice at least. Guess she doesn’t listen well.
She’s running through her listings. Again. Think she’s as frustrated as me. Gives me that look. The ‘make up your mind’ one.
I shrug. Hey, I’m paying her. She can find what I want.
Then. “That one.” Pointing.
It’s a house. Tiny. What they call a shotgun I think. For rent.
“Thank goodness.” Muttered under her breath. She gets up. Smiles tiredly but still nice. Business women nice.
Ten minutes later. She’s walking me through the place.
Large front room. Well for a small house, large. With a fireplace. Can’t have it all I guess. Hallway to the kitchen. Well not really a hall cause the bedroom opens on to it. Bath off of that. Behind the house a pocket backyard. Del will like that. Smiling to myself.
“I’ll take it.”
“You’re certain?” She’s startled I think. “You don’t want your wife to see it first?”
I laugh. “Even if I had one, it would still be my decision.”
“Now why did I think…” She looks puzzled.
Tempted to tell her she didn’t. Think that is. Admonish myself. Be nice.
“Oh well,” she continues. “If you’re sure, then we’ll go back to my office so I can check your references, you credit, get all the pertinent information. And then in a day or two I’ll let you know if you meet the criteria to rent it.”
Good luck on that I think. I have none of the above. But I’ll deal when we get to her office.
We go back. I fill out papers. She fills out papers. I look up from across the desk at her. Give a small mental twist.
“Mr. Wallace.” She smiles. “All I need it first and last and the house is yours for the next year. The lease will be renewable at that time.”
I take out my wallet. Hand her the cash. She’s surprised. Takes it anyway. Of course. Makes an entry on her computer. Prints it out. Hands me two copies of the lease. We both sign them. Each keep one. She puts all her paperwork in a file like it was all copasetic. Then she gives me the keys.
I now have a place of my own. For the next year at least. Hope I don’t regret it.