As you probably know, we have a tenant. A visiting teacher who is teaching a nine week unit of dance to the children where our kids go to school. It's been interesting.
When we agreed to give up our guest house to this young man, we figured that would be it. We would see him around occasionally, and all that would be different is that the kids couldn't play in the guest house until December. We would be nice landlords with noisy kids and a lumbering dog. We would stay out of his way and give him his privacy. And he would give us ours.
The first night I asked Bob if we should invite him in for dinner. He had no food, other than the snacks I had supplied in the mini-fridge for him, and he seemed daunted by the prospect of driving to the grocery store. Bob agreed, but was clearly a little pained. However, his nice guy side won out.
"Would you like to join us for dinner tonight? You must be tired from traveling, and it will save you a trip to the store until the morning."
"Hmmmmm. Is it spicy?" There was a note of concern in his voice.
I was making arroz con pollo, but with a moderate amount of cumin, and it takes a lot of heat for us to call something spicy.
"Not really. Maybe a tiny bit."
He thought. "All right, yes."
Dinner was uneventful, and later that night, as we relaxed on the couch I looked at Bob. "This is going to go well, I just know it." He looked back at me.
"Jen, just remember, he's not our foreign exchange student, and we're not his host family. Okay? He's a grown-up, and he's renting our house. Period."
We both looked up as the kitchen door opened and the teacher walked in.
"What are you two watching?"
As Bob got up he turned to me. "Tenant. He is not going to Disneyland with us. He is not snuggling on the couch," he whispered.
In order to get to school, Bob has been leading him in each morning as Bob drives the kids into town. After the first day, when he was lurching along the highway at 42 mph in a 75, it became clear to my husband that he couldn't drive.
"Andrew. Do you know how to drive?"
"Mmmmm. No. I have always had friends take me places."
"Do you have a driver's license? From anywhere?"
He has been driving all around in a borrowed Subaru, one lent from the music teacher at my childrens' school. It explains the fact that he can't get the car out of third gear, and his fear of stoplights. At each stoplight they encountered on the way to school, Bob would look in the rear view mirror and see the teacher literally pounding on the steering wheel in frustration.
After speaking to the principal about this, we all decided he might be a lot happier if we could somehow find him a a place in town. He needs to be able to walk places, needs young people around him, and a family of six with a schedule that doesn't include playing Scrabble with the tenant doesn't help things.
Everyone is on the lookout for a place for him, and I was telling this to a girlfriend of mine who owns a gallery in town and knows the place like the back of her hand.
"Tell him he could stay at Charly's, he seems like he would like it there."
So yesterday, while picking up the kids, I went up to the principal. "Hey, I was talking to someone and she thought we should see if Charly's might have a place for him." I was proud of my intel, happy to contribute to the hunt for better lodging.
He looked at me with a funny expression and then said, yeah, maybe Charly's has rooms above it, he would look into it.
Okay, or not.
Come to find out, Charly's is a gay bar.