By Pete Moss
So I'm living in a house. It's been a long time.
I've got a bathroom, indoor plumbing. I can wake up at nite and just walk into the bathroom and go. I don't have to worry about dumping my pee jar at 4 AM when the neighbors won't notice.
I've got a kitchen, not just a little butane stove.
I've got electricity. I can charge my phone as long as I want, anytime.
The list goes on.
I only have to keep up with the property taxes, which are about $50 a month.
Kate owned the place free and clear. She left it to Donnelly, as the lawyer explains.
Donnelly is my absentee landlord and I pay the rent into a bank account at a Wells Fargo in downtown Oakland.
The neighborhood my new house is in, is a mix.
A few years back it was kind of rough, compared to your average suburb.
And there's still a few houses on the block that look ghetto. But there's a few houses on the block that are pretty flash.
There's young professional families, and old remanent blue collar people and some sketchy renters.
Then I meet Ohanian.
He parks his Cadillac SUV in front of the house and comes up and bangs on the door.
"Hi," he booms "I'm Oscar Ohanian." He sticks out his hand. He seems to think he's some kind of celebrity, that I should already know who he is.
I shake his hand. "Oscar Ohanian?"
"?" I say.
"You renting here?"
"Well I already did a title search. I know the owner is Dennis Donnelly. He just inherited the place from Kate O'Hanlon."
"Don't know anything about it," I say. This Oscar dude is kind of greasy and I instinctively distrust him.
Oscar stares at me like I'm a half-wit. "Well, whatever. I'm prepared to make a very generous offer on this place. I understand Dennis Donnelly has some legal issues, maybe needs some money to deal with those? If you are in contact with him pass that along!"
"Oh say......half a mill."
Half a million dollars, that's something to think about.
I should call Donnelly and let him know. But I don't have any contact info. Once he gets settled in Ireland we'll set up an account on Skype or whatever, but that could be weeks. Or never. Donnelly wasn't ever too up to the minute with stuff like that.
He'll be more likely to call me collect from a pay phone, if he can find one.
So there's nothing I can do for now. Anyway Kate seemed pretty convinced Donnelly would be back and I'm supposed to hold the fort until then.
I decide Oscar Ohanian can pretty much kiss my ass, half million dollars or no.
Then a U-Haul truck pulls up out front.
It's YoYo.. She hops out of the truck and comes charging up to the house, she swings open the door and walks right in, no knock, no prelims. She goes walking around the house exclaiming and examining.
She gives me a big hug and kiss.
"Hi Honey," she says.
"What's in the truck?" I say.
"Your stuff? So you fixin to move in, that's it?"
I walk out and swing up the rollie door on the truck. It's packed to the roof with all YoYo's stuff.
I roll the door back down and shake my head.
"You can move in, if you want. This stuff of yours can't," I say.
Well you can bet there's an argument about that. Finally YoYo drives off in a huff.
But she's back the next day, contrite and without a truckload of stuff, just a couple of large rolly bags.
And a little dog.
I'm about to say no to the dog but then he gives me a present, a tennis ball. I look at the tennis ball and toss it away then start to tell YoYo the dog can't come in, but before I can get it out the dog is back,tennis ball in his mouth, standing on his back legs, looking at me all happy.
I take the ball and toss it away again and the dog runs and gets it.
"What's the dog's name?"
"Alright, I guess he can stay."