So I told Juan Diego that I was moving out. His answer was “hehe…East Pasadena’s not good enough for you anymore now that you’re a TV star, eh?” I’m not the only person in our complex who’s been having trouble paying the rent, so he totally understood. It’s not easy making it in the situation we’re all in with COVID. We can’t all get vaccinated soon enough so herd immunity’ll kick in. I’m so done with this pandemic shit.
Maya and Robert’s storage unit isn’t too far away from where I live – which I reckon now is where I used to live – and Keaton’s gonna get us a UHaul to get my shit out of the apartment. (I’ve never driven anything that big, so it’s good that I’ve got Keaton – who apparently drove a truck at one point as one of his bazillions of jobs.) I suggested maybe we should get a Mexican to help us with the move, but Keaton torpedoed the idea, saying our backs were strong enough to move the contents of one apartment. Moving day is set for this Thursday (the 28th), although Keaton said we should be prepared for it taking into Friday. He got two days off from work (“I’m glad to do this with you…but I ain’t starting at 7 in the fuckin morning just so we can say we did it in one day.”)
As for my clothes, I’ve been taking them over to the pool house gradually. I’ve only got two suitcases, and I’ve been shuffling them back and forth in the shitbox. The pool house has good closets, but I’ve got a lot of clothes. You end up with a shit ton of stuff if you’ve worked in clothing retail as long as I have, so it’s gonna be a tight fit. Of course, I can also box up some stuff and send it to the storage unit with my furniture…the question is what. It’ll be nice having something to wear besides my ‘work clothes’. Don’t get me wrong: tshirts and basketball shorts are super comfortable, but Maya was right when she said it might be nice to see me in pants for a change…
Since I’m going back and forth between my apartment and the pool house, y’all have probably figured out that the Bedrossian Bubble is over and done with, and that we’re back to normal coming and going at the Sharpmans. That’s a big relief to all of us. We were in there from November 30 until January 10, which was a dang long time, even if it was a super nice place to be holed up in. The only times I got to go out were Christmas and New Years, which makes 2 nights out of 40. I reckon I understand why we had the bubble, but, on the other hand, I don’t exactly get why it ended when it did. If you ask me, it was pretty random, since there are still tons of COVID cases in Southern California, and, if I’m not mistaken, the ICUs are still at capacity. But 40 days was a long time to be cut off from the outside world, and I think Maya and Robert just decided it was enough.
The really good news is that Dr. Peterson is back. That’s a huge relief for everyone. (I know Maya made sure he was taken care of while he was sick, but I reckon he’s glad to have his life back to normal.) He looks a little thinner, but he told me he was plenty sick, not just from COVID, which he said was completely weirdass, especially having no sense of smell or taste, but from the bad case of bronchitis he had after he was done with the virus.
I was a little nervous about what he was going to say to me after I took over his job for over a month, but it turns out he was totally cool with what I did, especially as I’d never taught before and he left no lesson plans. He liked my Bill of Rights idea, and he said he’d finish up teaching the boys about impeachment. He found this thing online that explains all the procedures the senate goes through when they’re having a trial; I think I’m gonna hang around the schoolroom to hear what Dr. Peterson has to say about it. Truth is, I’m also kinda interested to see him in action and to find out what it’s supposed to look like when you’re teaching the boys.
The one change I guess I made to the way Dr. Peterson’s teaching is that I’m gonna stay in charge of teaching the boys Shakespeare.
“What gave you the idea to go with Shakespeare?,” Dr. Peterson asked me when we were having what I reckon is a teachers’ conference in the schoolroom lol.
“Because I know a lot about it…and I needed to teach them something.”
“I’d have started Jacob on it,” Dr. Peterson said, “but I’d have thought that Matteo was still too young.”
“My Mom taught us that you’re almost never too young for Shakespeare…and that you have to start reading it with kids before they ruin it for them in school.” Then I realized I may have said something wrong. “I don’t mean you’d have ruined it for them, of course…”
“Don’t worry, Mr. Block, I know what you mean. I remember what a long slog they made out of Hamlet and Othello when I was in high school. Bad teachers ruin a lot of things for their students. I try to be better than that. It seems like you’ve been doing better than that too…and I don’t just mean with the Shakespeare. You make a good teacher. You’ve got a talent for it.”
“Wow,” I said, certainly not expecting that.
“You should teach.”
“That’s what I’m trying to do…although I mean to teach baseball, not school.”
“Teaching is teaching,” said Dr. Peterson. “You have to be able to reach kids to pass along knowledge. Teaching baseball takes the same talents as teaching school…plus you have to know how to hit a baseball and all the other things that go with the sport. I think you’re on to something.”
“Wow,” I said again. And to think I was worried about what Maya said – that Dr. Peterson was gonna be jealous of me because I get on so well with the boys.
“So we just have to figure out when to schedule your Shakespeare class.” It sounded weird having a teacher say that I was teaching a ‘class’. “But I understand the whole schedule may be up in the air if you need your afternoons for your other pupils and decide to work with they boys in the mornings.”
“Let me get more pupils before we worry about that,” I said. “For the time being, I’ve only got two other pupils, and I see them Wednesday and Friday…assuming I can go back to the old schedule before the last lockdown and you getting sick and the bubble…” I’m not even sure that I still have Noah as a pupil; I haven’t spoken to his dad for a while. I did speak to Simone last week and she and Daphne can’t wait for me to start working with Cody again. Apparently he’s been very restless without any baseball activity lol.
Meanwhile, y’all might be wondering what Joyce thinks of my giving my apartment up and moving to the pool house. I broke it to her over facetime a couple days after my conversation with Keaton about it. I wanted to be absolutely sure about it before telling Joyce, since I was a little afraid she wouldn’t like the idea.
Turns out she didn’t exactly hate the idea, but she wasn’t totally thrilled with it, either. I could tell by the look on her face, although I think she realized that it was the best offer I’d gotten in a long time, and that it was only temporary…although nobody has any clue how long temporary is going to be in this case. But it means living in a place I can afford to live, and it’s not as though Maya made such hard and fast rules about when I can go and see my girlfriend. I mean…it doesn’t have to be 2 nights a week…I’m sure it might be 3 every once in a while…and it doesn’t have to be the same nights every week…which is good, since me and Joyce like to mix up when we see each other so we don’t end up in a Netflix-and-sex night rut like I did back when I was seeing Monica. I know Joyce says some bitchy things about Maya when she’s watching the show (like how much plastic surgery she’s probably had – chick stuff like that, which is not how Joyce usually is), but I think she sees that Maya’s given me a big opportunity here…and she’s definitely encouraging me to talk to Destiny to see how the show might help start…what did Maya call it?…Baseball Boy’s Baseball Academy, I think lol.