So the flies flew out my friends. I don't even remember the appearance of the man that answered the door, but he seemed 'off' to me. I remember grumpy, terse, rude....those types of adjectives.
Glen looked like he'd seen a ghost. It was Green Acres with no Zsa Zsa Gabor or Mr. Haney. I think Mr. Haney lived down the road. In the 1/2 mile stretch of road that we live on, there were only two other houses. I think we had about five miles of nothing but woods south of our house , and five miles of corn fields north. You have to remember that I was raised in the city, stacked on top of each other, and unable to stretch your arms fully between houses. In the summer, with windows open, you could hear your neighbors conversations, and forks hitting the plates at supper time. I remember a guy named Billy, that exercised every morning faithfully at 5am to the song 'Billie Jean'. I swear I felt like the bass line from that song would eventually knock me out of the bed.
As I walked around, I envisioned chickens scratching, and quilts on the clothesline. Sweating glasses of iced tea and herb gardens. Laughter and memories. Glen envisioned a lot of trips to Home Depot, power tools, and endless hours of hard labor. Go figure.
We went back to the realtor's office with my eyes as big as saucers, pulling Glen behind me. "I'd like to see inside please". She promised me she'd arrange it. This was early March 1988.
I suppose there are such things called 'renter's rights'. This man apparently knew all of them. To the best of my memory, it was nearly the end of March when we finally got to see the house. We were told to be at the house on a Sunday afternoon about 1pm. I guess anyone and everyone that wanted to see the house was going to be there that day. When we got here, we were about the fifth car in line to see the house. I remember being absolutely beside myself thinking that we were too late, that someone else would see the soul of this house and it was going to slip from my fingers before I ever got to raise a chicken, or hang out the sheets to dry.
One by one, the people would go in the house and be out within a matter of seconds. One, two, three, four........within five minutes we were IN THE HOUSE! We didn't leave. We stayed. We looked. Upstairs, downstairs, in each room. I'd never seen anything like it. It was filthy. It had odors I didn't know existed. Led Zeppelin was blasting on a scratchy stereo. Each room had an electric heater plugged in it. The man living here never spoke. I stood in the living room for a moment and blocked everything out. I looked at the way the sun was coming in the windows. In my mind's eye, and in my heart, I could hear the ticking of an antique clock, and smell a Sunday roast. I could hear laughter. I could feel safe. This was home.
We went down in the basement with the realtor. It was damp. It looked like he'd been raising chickens down there. There were bird droppings and feathers everywhere. Glen looked at me and said 'Honey, if you really want it, we'll get it'. I just smiled.
The next installment: I Cain't Get No Financin'