Another Life – Chapter 12

Uncle Ray was really considerate. He and his girlfriend Karen offered me a place to stay. I truly appreciated their generosity. Their apartment wasn’t big enough for three, but they put me up while I looked for a place.

Real estate prices were nothing like they are now – but neither were wages. The problem was simple: I couldn’t afford a one-bedroom anywhere near the garage. But I didn’t want to give up the best job I’d ever had.

I was really surprised when my cousin’s girlfriend called me.

– “Hey dickweed.” she said.

– “Laurie?”

– “The one and only.” she said. “Listen, I heard through the grapevine that you’re looking for new digs.”

– “Wow.” I said. “Word travels fast.”

– “So it’s true?” said Laurie. “Hey – Ron and I are at the Lion.” That was a pub, not too far from the garage where I worked. “Can you meet us there? Like, now?”

I rode my bike, wondering if Laurie really did have a solution to my problem. She and Ron were already there. I’d always liked the Lion. It was typical English pub: dark wood, a great selection of beers on tap, dartboards, and a collection of eccentric regulars.

– “Good timing.” said Ron. We were about to go have a look.”

– “A look? At what?”

– “At the apartment we’re thinking of renting.” said Laurie. “Ronnie and me, plus Rose – but it’s a four-bedroom. Split the rent four ways instead of three, and it’s a bargain.”

– “You’re kidding me.” I said. I had met Laurie’s friend: Rose was a big girl, but nice. If this was possible, it could solve my immediate problem.

I didn’t even order a pint. Ronnie and Laurie drained theirs, and we walked around the corner – two blocks away.

It was a massive old house – the ground floor was now a lawyer’s office. The second floor was for rent. There was a door on the side, which led to a set of stairs, completely separate from the first-floor office.

The landlord was waiting, and took us in. The house was old, but it did have some character. The stairs led into a good-sized kitchen, with a sloping ceiling. There were two bedrooms at the back of the house, with a small bathroom between them.

The main bathroom was on the other side of the kitchen, opposite another bedroom. The last bedroom was a bit bigger, and there was a living room, with a small balcony, overlooking the street.

I had never looked at a place with a mind to renting it before, but Laurie was no fool. She quizzed the landlord about utilities, noise during the day, parking, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

The landlord informed us that no pets were allowed.

– “He’s not a pet.” said Ronnie. “He’s my cousin.”

I was more concerned about how clean it was, and the water pressure in the shower (excellent). On top of that, I was trying to picture how four people could live together, without driving each other nuts.

Ronnie asked the most important question. “How much?”

The price was ridiculous – for one person. Split four ways, it was incredibly cheap. We excused ourselves, and went to talk it over.

– “Whaddya think, Joe?” said Laurie. “Could you handle living with us? And Rose?”

– “Could you guys live with me?”

I was already sold. It was two blocks from the Lion, and exactly six blocks, in the opposite direction, from Uncle Ray’s garage. I had to get out of my house – and here was a heaven-sent solution.

“Thank you, Laurie. Thanks, Ron. This looks great. Count me in.”

 

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Chloe – Awkward Coffee Date

So I met a girl on OK Cupid a while back, let’s call her Chloe. Nice lady. Not the most attractive woman in the world, but enough for a date. I message her a bit online, we trade Facebooks and have some pretty intriguing conversations about psychedelics and the human psyche. Our thoughts and our dreams and other cool stuff. I think, wow she’s a deep thinker like me, I bet we are really gonna click!

I ask her out to get some coffee that week so I can bail just in case it gets bad, but fully expect it to go well based on our conversations. Oh my naive heart.

I arrive at the coffee place where we agreed to meet and I take a look in the window. Don’t see her in there. I look around a bit, no doubt coming off as a lost idiot until I notice a girl leaning against the building next door.  There was an overhang so it was darkened (this is like 6pm at night because I work full-time 9-5 mind you) and she steps forward and I recognize it as her.

Red flag number 1. But I shrug it off. Okay it was just a little weird. Nothing too bad. We get in line and I try to strike up casual conversation. She responds kindly, but with as little effort as possible it seems and in very awkward utterances.

We sit down with our drinks and I redouble my efforts, touching on things that sparked conversation before, but it’s almost like she’s a different person as she seems completely apathetic to the entire situation regardless of what I said.

I ask her if there’s something wrong, and she apologizes saying that she smoked a little weed before coming over and was more high than she was expecting to be.

As I continue to try to salvage any conversation at all, I come to realize that she is completely fucking blitzed out of her mind.

Like sink into a couch and not speak for 3 hours blitzed. On a first date. Needless to say, I was very eager to get out of there, and luckily the coffee shop closed at 7.

We said our goodbyes and parted ways. When I got home I had a message from her talking about how she would be starting to sell shrooms soon after getting a connect from her ex-bf in a very not so passive attempt to push on me. Haven’t talked to her since. Fuck. That. Noise.

 

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