The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 40
“It’s who has a small apartment. It’s who,” he said. “I require proper English from all my employees. Let me see, there is an older couple that just placed an ad. They have this big old house. They have an apartment in it for themselves. Then there’s another on the ground floor and three on the second floor and one in the attic. The one in the attic is the one open. It’s nothing more than a room with a shower and toilet. If you want to take a look at it I’ll give you the phone number and address.”
“That will be good,” Rich said.
“Wait a minute,” he said, it’s in the paper.” He grabbed the paper from his desk. He looked for the ad in the paper and circled the number.
“Go ahead, use my phone,” he said.
Rich dialed the number and made arrangements to see the apartment immediately.
“Do you want me back before five,” Rich said leaving the office.
“Quarter till will be fine,” he said.
Rich shook his hand, “Thanks, I really appreciate this.”
“See you at a quarter till five,” he said.
Rich peddled his bike seven blocks from the newspaper to the address of the apartment on Ocean Street. It was a large white I-house style home. He knocked on the door and a thin short white haired man came to the door. He smiled broadly and invited Rich in.
“You must be the gentleman that just called,” he said.
“I’m Albert Crawford,” he said and politely extended his hand to his living room. An older lady sat in a cushioned rocker.
“This is Mrs. Crawford, my wife,” Albert said.
She was frail, but smiled, “Afternoon to ya. Forgive me for not getting up but this damp weather is hard on my joints. I’m Alice Crawford.”
“My name is Richard Larsen, it’s nice to meet you Mr. and Mrs. Crawford.”
“They call us Al and Al,” he chuckled.
“Well let me show you the place. We got to go to the third floor.” Albert said.
Rich followed him through a door to a hallway and up flight of the creaking steps.
They got to the second floor and Albert said, “A married couple and two widows live here. Another older couple lives on the ground floor.”
We climbed another set of smaller stairs to the attic. There were cardboard boxes and various items stacked neatly. He walked over to a door and unlocked it with a key. “Now this isn’t much but it’s a place to stay and keep warm and dry.”
It was a narrow room with a slopped ceiling and full window opposite the entrance. On the left was a closet with no door. On the right was a bathroom with a toilet and shower. Next to the closet was a small sink. Next to the sink was a small table with a double hot plate on it. The table had two chairs. Opposite the table and sink was a small antiquated refrigerator. To the left of the window was an army issue bed and on the other side of the window was a rocking chair and end table with a lamp on it. Between the foot of the bed and the refrigerator was a small chest-of-drawers. Beneath the window stood a silver hot-water radiator.
“It can get cold up here, but it’s livable,” Albert said.
“How much a month?” Rich asked.
“Oh, I suppose thirty a month,” Albert said stroking his chin.
“Can I move in now?” Rich said.
“Sure,” Albert said smiling.
“All I got right now is just the things on my bike,“ Rich said. “I rode here from Ohio.”
“You don’t say,” Albert said.
“How much do you want now?” Rich said.
“Oh this month is almost done as far as I‘m concerned.” Albert said. “How ‘bout just give me November’s rent now.”
Rich reached for his wallet and counted out thirty dollars.
“Rent is due on the first. No parties, loud music, smoking and the rent covers only one person,” Albert said.
“Is there someplace I can keep my bike?” Rich said.
“The garage if you like,” Al said.
“That will be good,” Rich said. “Any extra for that?”
“No,” Al said. “Let me go down stairs and write you out a receipt and get you a key.”
Rich hauled all his gear to the apartment and overheard Alice scold Albert for not collecting a weeks rent for the rest of the month. Rich stopped knocked on their apartment door to get y receipt and key.
“You know I don’t feel quite right about staying here for a week for free. How ‘bout I just give you another seven fifty,” Rich said.
“That’s not necessary,” Albert said embarrassed.
“I insist,” Rich said.
Albert winked and said, “I suppose you’re right. That keeps things on the up and up.”
Rich peddled to a local grocery and bought a bar of soap and few food items and rushed them to the apartment. He found a five and dime and purchased a few sets of wash cloths and towels. He bought a teapot a couple of plates along with silverware and some other kitchen items. He rushed back to the apartment and showered. It took a while for the water to reach the third floor, but when it did he lathered until nearly half the bar of soap was gone.
Rich quickly dressed. He combed his hair in the mirror over the sink. He paused and thought, “I hope the rest of my life is this easy. I can’t believe I’m here and settled in before the first sunset.”