Dear San Diego,
There's just silence.
My coffee cup on the counter, my glasses on the table. No dishes in the sink, no mess in the bathroom, no beds to make.
I still sleep on the couch.
Parker's Will read like a Monty Python suicide note. Through investing money given her by her parents she'd amassed a fortune. They thought, in their naive, upper crust, New England way that they were paying handsomely for the family embarrassment to remain comfortably on the other side of the continent. Meanwhile, the embarrassment was living like a pauper and investing in things no one saw coming.
Google, Apple, Facebook, this, that, the next thing, and most importantly - property.
That last one's important because one of the properties she owned was the building we lived in.
Parker had hired a property management company to oversee the place, made Rusty the custodian so he could keep his shop, and they instructed him to deal firmly with the tenant because she was, according to their paperwork, "a financial risk."
Up until the moment I read it I thought Rusty owned the building.
The contents of the paragraph following it made Rusty my tenant while still employing him to demand rent from me, which would be paid from a separate account to continue the rouse.
The day her Will showed up was the first time I'd laughed out loud in years. I laughed so hard at certain points I actually had tears running down my face. It started right off the top - that I be given a copy for "my personal records", her way of ensuring I'd read it.
The shit she'd pulled was genius, bizarre, nonsensical, compassionate.
She owned an apartment building in Boston in which she let select doctoral students live rent free.
She owned two motels and a gas station in three different small towns in Idaho.
She owned an old, rusted French oceanic buoy ship built in 1949 that had been haphazardly converted into a pleasure craft and then berthed at one of the most exclusive marinas in Massachusetts just to piss yacht owners off.
She owned 46 vintage Thompson machine guns kept in a storage space in Texas.
She owned an original Braque - because "Picasso received too much of the credit for cubism."
She donated yearly to thirty-seven different charities, in one instance giving $750,000 dollars anonymously to a mental health program.
She had it all detailed. Left precise instructions, the most hilarious being that if I at all altered the apartment I would immediately forfeit my ownership of the building and the monies paid each month, basically to myself, in rent.
It was Beth Sears all over again.
I went to high school with Beth. She was the sort of girl that was oddly beautiful, but knew how to use what she had to get what she wanted.
Her greatest triumph was Mr. Clark, our twelfth grade chemistry teacher.
It started slow. At first she'd meekly raise her hand and ask him to look at something. As the year went on, whenever he went over to help her, he'd always be standing behind her.
I sat in the row behind her. And for the longest time I didn't see it. But what she'd been doing was spinning on her stool casually so that she brushed her ass against his cock. Eventually she went from just spinning to subtle grinding.
At the end of the year, at a party at Darcy Carr's house, she got lit up and started telling anyone who'd listen how she'd got a B in chemistry without doing anything but making Phil Clark hard.
I don't rightly know why the eccentricities in Parker's Will made me think of Beth. Maybe it was the calculation and subterfuge. Then again, Beth was sort of just a cover of Don't Stand So Close To Me while Parker was pure Rachmaninov.
The day UPS delivered the package I inherited a building, was driven to hysterics, and polished off a bottle of bourbon.
I fell asleep, as I always do, on the couch - thinking about Phil Clark and strong words in the staff room.