Seven months later we were sitting in Michael’s apartment in D.C. sipping cocktails.
“Let’s take another shot at Vieques,” he said, completely out of the blue.
Vieques had barely been mentioned since we’d come home in late February with our tails tucked firmly between our legs.
“Oh, come on,” I said. “Let’s not put ourselves through that again.”
He took a sip of his drink. “It wasn’t that bad.”
I went into the kitchen to make us a second round. “Are you kidding? The realtors of Vieques practically got a restraining order against us.”
He laughed. “Well they better dust it off, ‘cause here we come.”
He wandered into the kitchen waving a sheet of paper. “I bought the tickets yesterday.”
I spent the week before our return calling every realtor in Vieques. After all, this was it. Either we scored this time or we walked away forever.
The response was mixed.
Most seemed puzzled by my determination to make an appointment. “Sure, give me a call when you get down, I’ll check my schedule.”
“No, I want to book something now.” Dead silence. “Is that possible?”
Not really, it seemed.
After some thought and a couple of stiff drinks I called Suzanne, the realtor who seemed to have no interest in selling houses whatsoever.
“Sure, I remember you,” she said. “Short guys from Boston.”
I swallowed hard. “Not exactly. We’re kind of tall—actually Michael’s very tall—and we’re from D.C.”
“Right,” she said. I could hear her tapping away on her computer in the background.
“Can we make an appointment for Friday morning at ten?”
“Sure,” she said. “But I still don’t have anything to sell you.”
“Look, Carl, there’s nothing out there.”
“That’s kind of hard to believe,” I protested lamely. “And by the way, my name is Patrick.”
“Right,” she said, tapping furiously. “I’d love to sell you a house, Paul, I really would, but I just don’t have anything on my books right now. Try me again next year.”
Uh, I don’t think so.
Next, I tried a realtor named Clara we’d heard about from a friend of a friend.
She answered the phone herself. “I’d be happy to show you around,” she said politely. “I’ll see you Thursday afternoon.”
This sounded promising though vaguely reminiscent of Melinda, the woman who had stood us up in February. On a lark, I decided to try Melinda again. Yes, I know, this was somewhat pathetic, but we needed at least one more option, and frankly I was out of ideas.
“Si, I remember,” said her assistant. “The men who wasn’t here when Melinda come.”
I pondered this interesting interpretation of events.
“Right, that’s us. Can we make an appointment for Friday morning at ten?”
“Okay,” she said. “I tell her.”
A long silence, punctuated by chewing sounds. Finally: “Que?”
Oh, what the hell.
Read Full Post »