Room To Let

Dearest Rachel –

I wasn’t entirely prepared when, upon informing Daniel that I was on my way home from the ‘office’ (and thus asking him whether and what I should pick up for dinner), he responded with the news that Logan had come over for the afternoon and evening, and he (Logan) had something in mind, but it wasn’t as if that posed any hitch in my plans for the evening as such. It’s not as if I ever really have any plans as such these days, apart from my usual weekly commitments – and Mondays in summer don’t contain any of those. I might’ve had an idea as to what I wanted for dinner, but I always give Daniel veto power before initiating anything – that it was Logan that came up with an idea hardly matters to me. Besides, I’d need to do some shopping before trying to put together whatever it was I had in mind.

Interestingly enough, I was all but asked to do just that; I was, per usual these days, leaving the ‘office’ early – which is to say, before five o’clock. I never did that back when I was actually in the work farce; why, I almost never left before five-thirty, and six was pretty common, as you’ll recall. But when there aren’t any pressing duties to attend to – or those that are require responses which aren’t likely to be forthcoming any time soon – what’s the point of sticking around? This is what happens when you don’t answer to anyone; I wish I’d been able to do more of this while you were still around, so we could have had more time with each other. As it is, my getting home so soon poses a problem for a couple of boys who expect to be plenty hungry some time in the evening – just not at four in the afternoon. So, Daniel gently requested that I not hurry home, which gave me a chance to go shopping to prepare for that ‘some other time’ when I could fix what I wanted because I’d have what I needed.

I still got home with the selected fast food order before five, though.

***

Much as I’m glad for Daniel having a close friend in Logan, his presence does pose a bit of a difficulty for me; what do I do with myself while the boys are together? They hold the family room, of course, so I need to make myself scarce from there, as well as the adjacent rooms – even the kitchen seems to me like I’m too close to what’s going on.

It used to be that the two of us would spend time together in the bedroom – nothing too incriminating, since we could still be heard; just watching our own stuff while in each other’s arms – while the boys occupied that main area, but that hasn’t been the case since the accident, for reasons both seemingly obvious and obscure – more on that another day. These days, I have myself the diminutive ‘man cave’ upstairs, but that’s about to no longer be a thing these days.

Because – and I forget if I mentioned it to you before or not – it would seem that Logan’s parents want him to live on his own, and he’s asked both Daniel and me whether he could possibly rent a room – most likely, that room, as we’d originally set it up as a guest room in any event – while he continues to make his own way in the world. He’s looking into getting a new job these days – an actual office job a step or two up from the retail work he’s currently doing (although there’s no real shame in that sort of thing, but the hours are more consistent and the pay is better, so there’s that) – so it’s not like he isn’t already making his way, but I guess they’re wanting him to be that much more independent.

Besides, it’s not like we haven’t done this before…

***

Indeed, I’d wager you remember it better that I do, considering that you stayed at home while I went to work in those days, so you dealt with those kids on a much more regular basis. But there was that time when you were visited by some representative of Southwestern Publishing company, asking if we could put up one or more of their college-aged sales staffers while they spent the summer canvassing the neighborhood, selling the company’s encyclopedias and other educational works throughout the area. Since we had the room (although even then, you showed the representative the state the house was in, to warn them what these kids might be getting into – surprisingly, they didn’t seem to have any issue with the mess that you admitted to), and could use the stipend from the company – not to mention, we had plans to visit Disney World that year, and might appreciate having folks housesitting for us – we accepted. Things were different back then, weren’t they?

We were lodging as many as four kids at one time, although I’m fairly certain the girls didn’t stay as long as the boys. They also spent a fair amount of time in the yellow room with the door closed – which, while unusual for us, is more than understandable for strangers in a strangers’ house. The boys, quartered as they were in the basement, spent most of their time elsewhere in the house; even then, that area wasn’t exactly a place one would expect to stay during one’s down time.

I found it curious that all of their sales team seemed to be composed of foreign nationals; why would a company need to import college students to sell their products? It wasn’t as if there was any lack of such individuals here in the States. Or was such a form of summer employment considered beneath the typical American student? If either of us considered these questions, we either never bothered to ask, or assumed the people we were dealing with wouldn’t know the answers in any event. They were just here to do this job.

At least, Ross was. He was from Ireland, and blessed as he was with his native accent and the gift of gab, he appeared to be fairly successful at the task at hand. Karl, on the other hand, started out with a moderate amount of enthusiasm, but as he struggled with the language – being from Estonia, his English was not the best – and I’m sure it impaired his performance significantly. Over the course of the summer, he began to spend less and less time in the field, and more in my office, playing on my computer. Not that I minded, so much – it was meant to be used, after all – although it, too, developed performance issues once he installed Kazaa on it for file-sharing purposes.

I think you had intended to serve as a small-scale mission to these kids as well, but I don’t think any of that actually ‘took’. Still, I suppose you could be given credit for the intention, even though we know where those often lead to…

***

With that being said, I find myself with some intentions toward each of the boys as well, but not entirely sure if they will cause their own set of problems. You might recall how, even before the accident, Logan would speak of our family as being ‘welcoming’ in a way that I guess he never experienced with others; I’m still trying to be like that, even if I have to do so on my own. Meanwhile, I’d like to think that Logan’s work ethic might just inform Daniel of how to be a productive member of society, even if he may not technically have to work in order to provide for himself. This could be the best of both worlds.

But existence tends toward entropy, you know, and it may well be that good influences may well be drowned out by the bad. Indeed, by accepting him as a tenant, I may very well be thwarting his parents’ wishes, by offering a place to stay at below market cost. The folks have suggested that, to preclude this, I should only make this available to him for a relatively short span of time – maybe six months, but no more than a year – so he doesn’t get too comfortable with the place, while he saves up for better opportunities elsewhere.

Even as I was explaining this to him – since, when I arrived with dinner, he asked to speak with me about my decision on this matter – he already seemed to be agreeable about the short-term nature of this situation, and suggesting to Daniel about the two of them renting a place somewhere down the line. Not sure how that will work out, given his lack of employment history, but maybe the two of them will find out how compatible they might (or might not) be as roommates over the next few months.

In the meantime, honey, keep an eye out for us, and wish us luck – we’ll really gonna need it.

Published by randy@letters-to-rachel.memorial

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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