Moving day has come and gone, and I’m now permanently living in the Sharpmans’ pool house.
We spread the moving of my furniture and shit into Maya and Robert’s storage unit over two days. Keaton went over the Uhaul place Thursday morning to get us a truck and some more boxes, since I didn’t get enough of those when I went earlier in the week. Both Keaton and Sandy warned me that you always end up needing more boxes than you think you’re going to…and, ok, they were right.
The tricky job was sorting through everything deciding what I was going to take with me to the pool house and what I was going to send to storage. (Keaton, when we went to check out the unit on Monday: “you’re shit’s gonna fit, bubba…but we’re gonna need to pile it to the fuckin roof…so, if there’s something you think you’re gonna need, take it with you now.”) That’s stressing me out. (Keaton: “dude, what could you possibly need that you don’t have over there already?…stop acting so fuckin gay about your clothes.”)
I’ve actually accumulated a lot of shit since I moved here. The apartment was pretty empty when I first moved in, and now it’s full. It’s not super full, but, if you open any cabinet in the kitchen, there’s shit in it. Mom was sending me pots and pans and appliances in the hopes that I’d learn to cook more than breakfast, but I haven’t gotten much use out of them. And now I’ve got to pack them up and put them in storage.
In terms of furniture, I’ve got a davenport, a coffee table, an armchair, a bookshelf, a dining table and four chairs, plus a bed and a bureau in the bedroom. There’s plenty of smaller stuff, too, like books and sports equipment. I had a hard time choosing what shit I want to have with me (like my complete Shakespeare, my copy of The Science of Hitting and a couple bats I’m gonna need now that we got the pitching machine delivered), and what I can live without for the time being (like the 30 chicks/30 days glove in its case.) I managed to fill three boxes with the stuff I want in the pool house…and 21 boxes with shit that has to go to the storage unit.
Keaton’s said “bubba, you got a fuckin lot of shit” a few times, but don’t forget that, when he moved at the end of 2019, he hired professional movers. Then, after he said “fuck my back hurts” for the twentieth time (and he’s the one who says it’s gayass to complain…), I decided to ask him to come over to the Sharpmans’ and use the jacuzzi after we were done on Thursday. I reckoned it was the least I could do.
It was the first time he’s been over here, and, yeah, he was impressed.
“No wonder you’re moving your pretty boy ass in here,” he said, taking a look at the pool house. “You get all of this to yourself?”
“Well…yeah,” I said. “Is it so much bigger than my apartment?,” I asked, feeling a little embarrassed.
“Bubba, you really have problems visualizing dimensions in space. First you get the boxes wrong, then you don’t see how full the unit’s gonna have to be…and now you can’t even compare the places you’ve been living right. Fuck yeah it’s bigger. And don’t get me started on how gay that bathroom is.”
Ok, he’s right about that. Gold mosaics are totally gayass lol.
The apartment was almost on our way from the storage unit to San Marino, so we stopped off so Keaton could grab a pair of boardshorts from his place. It was a pretty cool day for Southern California, and it was starting to look like rain by the time we got to the Sharpmans’, but that wasn’t gonna stop us from taking advantage of the jacuzzi.
While we were in the water and Keaton was making sure one of the jacuzzi jets was aimed directly at his lower back, the boys came outside.
“Watch your language,” I whispered to Keaton when I saw them coming our way.
“What kind of a fuckin jerkoff do you think I am?”
“Hey y’all,” I called, “c’mon over and meet Keaton. I told him he could and use the jacuzzi.”
“If bubba was gonna break my back moving his stuff” – I was impressed that Keaton was able to turn off the language. If he’d been talking to me that would have come out “if bubba was gonna fuck up my back moving his shit” lol – “it was the least he could do.”
“Hi,” said Jacob.
“Hello,” said Matteo. “Your haircut isn’t as bad as Hunter says it is.” Then he turned bright red.
“That’s because his hair’s wet,” I said. “You should see what a mess it is dry.”
Keaton splashed me. I noticed that he did it so that the boys wouldn’t get hit by the water. He was taking Maya’s rule about it needing to be 70° for the boys to go swimming way more seriously than I would have.
“Belen wants to know if you’re going to have dinner here,” Jacob asked Keaton. “She says there’s plenty. Spaghetti with basil and tomato sauce,” he added.
Keaton shot me a look that kinda said “who’s teaching those kids to call food by such gayass names?”…but very politely said he’d be pleased to have dinner with us.
“Ok, bubba, I won’t lie,” Keaton said when we were back inside the pool house. “That was pretty fuckin nice. Good thing I changed out of my sweaty moving clothes, though. I wasn’t expecting to get to stay to dinner.”
“I reckon the boys are curious about you. They’ve read some of the blog.”
“Then why did you tell me to watch my language? They know how I talk.”
“Yeah, but it’s one thing to read it and another to hear it. You took care of a kid, you know how it is.”
“Yeah, I do. Now show me how this fancyass shower you keep talking about works…”
I demonstrated all the different shower heads to Keaton, then left him to it while I opened up a beer in the living room. He must have liked the shower, since he was in there for almost 15 minutes.
“Ok, I’ll grant you that that’s one fuckin cool shower. And the shower gel’s nice, too…even if it smells gay.”
“That’s supposed to be the unisex fragrance,” I explained. “But Joyce didn’t like it either. I think she said it was nice ‘for something you buy on television’ or something like that.”
“You realize she’s jealous of Maya, right?,” Keaton asked me.
I looked at him.
“You can be so fuckin clueless sometimes, bubba,” he said. “Go get changed. I don’t want to be late for dinner and make a bad impression.”
I told Keaton where I kept the beers and got in the shower. Getting dressed, I decided I’d put on jeans instead of shorts, since we were having company.
Dinner was real nice. I’ve never seen Keaton with kids before – all I knew was his story about Charlie when he was living up in Alaska – but he was real good with Jacob and Matteo. I could tell they thought he was super cool (Jacob asked if he really beat guys up for a living at one point lol), but then I don’t know too many other bodyguards/gigolos/cowboys/oil platform workers/truck drivers/bouncers/delivery guys. And, yes, we left out the gigolo part (the one Keaton calls his whore phrase) when telling the boys about all the jobs Keaton’s had.
Before we were done, Maya came into the breakfast room, which is where the boys eat, and so she got to meet Keaton too. She wasn’t there for much more than a minute, but she seemed interested in him and asked if he wanted to be on the show. (Maya: “we might be able to find some kind of activity for you and our resident baseball boy to do.”) Keaton said he’d think about it, but I knew he wasn’t gonna say yes. Although he’s pretty sure that the drug dealers he worked for aren’t looking for him anymore, he still likes keeping a low profile when he can. And getting your ass on TV ain’t keepin no low profile.
Then Keaton said good night to the boys, and I walked him back to his truck.
“You’re right about three things, bubba,” he said, as he opened the door.
“The first is that they’re not giving that boy enough to eat. The second is that Maya’s still smokin hot…and the third is that that perfume fucks with a dude’s head big time.”
So it wasn’t my imagination, I thought.
“And if I were your girlfriend, I wouldn’t be too thrilled about you having a boss like that.”
“C’mon man…Maya’s married…and I take care of her kids. Nothing’s gonna happen…”
“Fuck no, of course not. But I’m not surprised that Joyce puts Maya down when she gets the chance. Just be careful and be sure they never meet.”
“There’s not much chance for that,” I said.
“Ok, bubba…I’m fuckin exhausted and going straight home to bed. I reckon we can finish in a few hours tomorrow. Have your ass over at my place at 10. I’ve got the day off, but I’m gonna need to take the Uhaul back and shit after we’re done.”
“Sure, man…see you then. And thanks for today.”
Keaton growled, like I expected him to. Then he added: “say thanks again for dinner. It was cool getting to meet the boys.”
The second day of the move – Friday – was something of a bitch because it was raining. Keaton was pissed off at himself for not having finished on Thursday, but it was ok. What we had to move was furniture, so there wasn’t any trouble with getting cardboard boxes wet and maybe getting mold in the storage unit. It really wasn’t all that bad though: the only piece of furniture that was hard to manage was the davenport, but we got it in and out of the truck in one piece.
Keaton was right when he said we were gonna have to pile the storage unit almost to the ceiling to get all my stuff in alongside the whole mess of things Maya and Robert have in there. I know it’s none of my business what kind of stuff they have in their storage unit, but it was hard for me and Keaton not to start making fun of some of the shit they’re keeping. There were a lot of boxes, but also some totally random shit piled on top of other totally random shit…like a birdcage on top of some lawn chairs on top of some old pool toys and a whole mess of cartons of what I think was a discontinued fragrance from Maya’s QVC line. I guess the storage units are an alternative to throwing shit out you probably should throw out…but I should just shut up and be grateful that they got one bigger than they need so I can stash my shit in it without having to pay for it every month.
Me and Keaton were done at the storage unit before 1, then Keaton drove off to take the Uhaul back. It was weird saying good-bye to him…since it meant that I wasn’t gonna see him when he got back to the apartment. I know, I know…he’s already come over once to use the jacuzzi and there’s plenty of chance for us to see each other…but it’s not gonna be the same thing as living next door to each other…and I really did like that while it lasted. I think I’d have gone fuckin nuts during the quarantine without a neighbor I could visit.
I’ll also admit it was a very weird feeling closing the door of the apartment behind me when I left. I’ve been living there since I moved here in 2017…and 4 years is a long time. It’s also the only place I’ve ever had to myself, and I liked it, even if I rented it off of a phone app sight unseen. Oh, well…not much I can do about it, since the brutal truth is that I can’t afford to live there.
And, hey….look where I’m moving. I’m even getting a swimming pool about six steps outside my front door. That’s been a dream of mine since the first time they put me in the water. This could have been a whole lot worse, not being able to afford a place to live…I mean, I wouldn’t have been on the street or anything, since I still have a home to go to back in Tennessee, but I’m happy in California. And thanks to Maya and Robert, I get to stay here.
That’s definitely something to be grateful for, and I was definitely feeling plenty of gratitude towards them as I turned out the light and went to sleep for the first time in my new home. I know I’ve been sleeping here practically every night since November 30, but it was different before, since my apartment was my real home. Starting last night, the pool house is home, and not just someplace I’m staying. And that made it feel very different. I reckon its normal that part of me was wondering if I made the right decision to move in here…but, on the other hand, it was pretty much a no-brainer I didn’t have a whole lot of choice about. Maybe it was time for a change anyway, who knows?
In any event, I’ve gone ahead and made the change. Now we gotta sit around and see what happens next. One thing I’ve learned from the past year: don’t expect anything to turn out the way you planned it to.