The meeting ended with Marty’s promise that Mike would be calling me to arrange the camera work. I presumed that Mike would also be occupying the last of my apartments. Jen worked out an arrangement so that the rent payment and the release fee went directly to my bank account. I trusted her to take care of those kinds of details.
Since all my tenants had moved into their apartments, activity around Casa Del Aster was minimal at best. I could have returned home and just slept all day, but I chose not to do so. What I did choose to do, was to go looking for Helen’s food truck.
The purpose of the search was to introduce Lois to Helen’s food, and to see if any sparks flew between them. I figured Helen needed help and Lois was going to be bored pretty soon, so maybe it would be a match made in Maxine’s heaven. Alas, it was not to be love at first sight.
Lois loved the food, but we caught Helen in a bit of a lunch rush. She was slinging brown bags as fast as she could. At the rate she was going she would be out of food pretty quickly, but I could tell Lois wasn’t interested in hanging around to meet the owner. Since no one knew that I was playing matchmaker, it was a no harm, no foul kind of thing. I didn’t write it off completely, but I did move it to a back burner.
When Lois was tucked safely back into her apartment just after noon, I switched the cruiser for the bike and my Eskimo look. I really just wanted to get out of the apartment. I had been playing dead so long I was getting cabin fever. The bike was the perfect cure for it. I had finding Helen a spot in mind as I rode all over the downtown.
Helen had explained to me a couple of months before, that she and Jack had to invest in a commercial kitchen. Partly it was because they needed to produce a lot of food in a short amount of time, but mostly it was the county health department. She had just gotten too big to work from her home kitchen without some serious renovations. The food truck business had been so good to them, that they chose to renovate Jacks house to convert the home kitchen to meet commercial standards rather than invest in a restaurant.
Helen’s corner of the food industry was catering and she loved it. I was probably the only one pushing for an indoor location. I wanted to sit down to breakfast like I did at Hardee’s but I wanted Helen’s food. In other words, I wanted what I wanted, and when I wanted it. Typical female you say, and I ask, “So what? We control half the worlds resources, and we control all the world’s pussy, I think you guys better learn to live with our little idiosyncrasies.
The bike ride proved futile. There just didn’t seem to be the perfect spot for Helen’s Place, as I already begun to think of it. I tried to stay busy. I took the cruiser out to a flea market looking for a chest of drawers. I knew that I didn’t need to do my shopping at the flea market, but I enjoyed it. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a thing.
On the way home I passed a salvage store, so just for the hell of it I stopped. He had three matching very old wooden filing cabinets from a business that went belly up when the owner finally died. I saw no reason why they wouldn’t work for clothes. The drawers would be a bit deep, but what the heck. I bought all three for 50 bucks. It’s a lot more than I want to pay, I thought. Then again, I knw that it could be a lot worse.
Getting them into the cruiser was a trick but the salesman and I managed. Getting the file cabinets from the cruiser, and then to the apartment took some doing as well. Even without help I managed it.
I suppose the desire to finish furnishing my place came from watching everyone else work on their apartments. By far the person with the newest and nicest furniture over all was Cheryl. Her furniture all came from one store and their delivery people set it up. Johnathan Hunter wasn’t messing around when it came to his mistress, if that was indeed the relationship. Only time would tell unless someone asked, and I had no intention of being the someone. As long as they didn’t cause me any trouble, I just didn’t care.
Speak of the devil, I thought as I looked out my spy hole in the door. “Why hello Cheryl, what can I do for you?” I asked.
“I was wondering could lower the heat in my apartment just a little?” she asked.
“Tell you what I can give it a try. If it gets too cool let me know and we will try another setting. I start everyone one out at full heating, but I can lower it quite a bit. We should do it a little at a time. though. You can always open a window, if it gets too warm. If it gets too chilly over all, we will be back resetting the heat over and over. All that said, lets see what I can do.”
She followed me out the rear door and into the utility room. She stood by while I cut the flow of hot water to her radiators by 10%. “Now that should make a difference.” I said.
“So you are the one with the motorbike? I hear it every mornings lately?” she informed me.
“Guilty as charged,” I replied.
“I bet that is fun,” She looked whimsical as she said it.
“It’s got plenty of gas, would you like to try it?” I asked.
“Could yo u wait while I get a heavier coat?” she asked.
“Sure, just come back when you are ready. Dress warm.” I advised her. It was almost 5PM, so it was still a little warm, but starting to cool down. She was still likely to find it too cold for more than a minute.
A half hour later I stood in the alley and watched her return from her first ride on my bike. “I love it. I want one right now.” She said it laughing.
“If you are serious, I can get you one right now,” I said with a grin.
“How much are they?” She asked
“Anywhere from $300 to about $600.” I said. “That’s a lot for a toy.”
“Not really, can I keep it in the store room and have it be just be our secret.” She was serious. She didn’t want Johnathan to know. I wasn’t sure what that meant. I agreed to the secret toy probably because I didn’t care for Johnathan Hunter.
I even put Cheryl into the cruiser with the bike rack on the rear and drove her to the Laboring Few’s bike shop. The drive took about five minutes since it was on the opposite side of the little town. Everything the ministry did was within walking distance of their storefront church/ The old motel I bought was not within walking distance of the other ministry entities, so it was sold off. That was my take on it anyway.
“Cheryl This is Bob. Bob is the manager of the Laboring Few Bike Shop. Bob, Cheryl is interested in a motor bike.” I explained.
“Then Cheryl, you should just look around and find the right bike first. Then we can talk about the right motor combination for it,” Bob informed her.
Bob went back to working on bikes in the rear while Cheryl and I looked over the stock. Cheryl picked out a cruiser, which had no doubt previously been owned by a teenage girl. It appeared to have been stored in he basement, since there was almost on sign of wear or rust anywhere.
“I really like t his one and it’s only $75,” Cheryl said.
“Well there is going to be an addition charge for the motor. Let’s get Bob back out here and do the rest of it.” I said to Cheryl. She agreed, so I went to the back and brought Bob out with me.
“So how much do you know about motor bikes?” he asked her.
“Just that I rode Maxine’s and I really did enjoy it.” she said.
“Max has a motor set up she designed for us. It is a quick release model. Do you need that?” he asked.
“Do I Maxine,” she asked me.
“Well with the quick release you could store the bike inside your apartment, if you were to move somewhere else. Otherwise no, you don’t really need that.”
“Then no, I don’t think I need it.” she said.
“Did you like pedaling the bike now and then?” Bob asked.
“You mean like helping it up the hills and starting off?” Cheryl asked. “I didn’t mind that part at all. It made me feel like I was getting some exercise.”
“I can put you onto a centrifugal clutch setup like Maxine’s. It would have just a little more power, since you don’t need to take it off the bike. That set up would run you $250, since Maxine brought you in. Add the price of the bike and its $325 plus tax.” Bob stated flatly.
“Would it be $300, if she wasn’t a friend of mine?” I asked with a chuckle.
“Nah, we give all your friends a discount. Its a $400 dollar set up for Joe off the street,” Bob said. The question was really helping him sell it, and he knew it.
“Then I’ll take it,” Cheryl said. “Is there anything I need to know?”
“Yeah, I’m going to send along a booklet. Maxine can fill you in as well.” He admitted.
“I have a gallon of premix, so you can use that to start out. When we need more, I’ll show you how to mix it.” I informed her.
“So when can you have it ready?” she asked bob.
“In about fifteen minutes. That’s the beauty of these things.” Bob said rolling her bike through the rear doors. Bob was as good as his word. We were back home and getting her bike ready for it’s maiden voyage a half hour later.
With her blond hair flying under the bike helmet, Cheryl was going to be quite a traffic stopper. She might be close to my age but she was a much more attractive woman. Even if she was sneaking into middle age. We rode the bikes around the downtown then back home. I was getting cold, and it was getting dark, when I caught up with her at a stop sign.
“God girl, I’m freezing we need to go home,” I said.
“I know, I’m cold as hell but I’m having so much fun.” she said.
“Well, if you wake up in time, you can come along on my morning outing tomorrow.” I suggested.
“You tell me what time, and I’ll be there.” Cheryl said still grinning ear to ear.
“Let’s talk about it at home, I am about to become maxie pop,” I said.
It was dead dark when we stored the bikes and arranged a time to go to breakfast the next morning. Then she was gone. Mike finally called an hour or so later.
“I got a reservation for a flight on Wednesday. I’m going to be having equipment shipped in UPS, but it won’t be there till Thursday.” He said.
“Mike are you going to be sleeping in the apartment, or is it just a production space?”
“I’ll be staying there, is that a problem?” he asked.
“How about Gwen?” I asked.
“I figured she and Lucas would be staying together. I know you two don’t get along.” Mike said.
“Sounds like a good plan,” I agreed without commenting on my dislike of Gwen.
“You know she will still be following you around shooting imagine for the show. I will try to keep her out of the editing as much as I can. Having people. who don’t like the actors. can make editing pretty scary.”
“You know best about that. I just didn’t want to have a knock down drag out fight in front of my other tenants.”
Since Mike wouldn’t be in until Wednesday, I had one more day of total boredom. Maybe I could find something to do, I thought. I do have a new playmate, it seemsed. I will have to keep it just friendship. I is what I promised myself when I bought the apartment building.