The time had come to make the move. I had resided at the corner of Grant Street and Nicollet Avenue, Apartment 302, since September 1994. In early January, the possibility of moving to Apartment 305, the original model at The Loring, became very real.
The Loring has always been on the cutting edge of efficiency living. While most builders constructed rows of identical one-room boxes, this building offered its residents several floor plans. In 1994, I selected the Versailles Plan, a homey rectangle with room for a window.
At the time, I was not in the position to indulge myself with any of the custom upgrades. I saw the apartment as simply a Bohemian backdrop for a life of ascent. That viewpoint would change, however, as the climb leveled off immediately after a successful series of cathartic wails in 1999.
Since then, I have quietly envied the occupant of Apartment 305, Bo Polanski. He grabbed that unit as soon as it became available, and wasted no time implementing the “designer package,” which included a closet, window, and second electrical outlet.
For the past 16 years, a day hasn’t gone by that Bo hasn’t flaunted his exalted status within the complex. I’ve constantly been put in the awkward position of having to say, “I’m sorry, Bo, I can’t put that in my closet, because, unlike you, I do not have one.”
This is why, when word surfaced that Bo was moving, and 305 was available, it was time to act. I put in a call to Harv Wembley, the property manager, to sniff out what rent they were seeking, and to see if that number jibed with the figure I had in my head, which from a recent shoe purchase was 10 1/2.
Wembley, as always, was delighted to hear from me. He said, “We’re still trying to get a guy out to look at that.”
“I’m not calling with a complaint,” I said. He seemed moved, on the verge of tears—another Kodak Landlord/Tenant Moment.
“How can I help you?” he asked.
“I understand Bo’s moving out of 305,” I replied. “I’m calling to express my interest in the opening.”
Wembley got my tenant records of the past 16 years, and noted, “I have down here that in August of 2008, you complained of headaches from an experimental bedbug pesticide we vented into Apartments 303 and 304.”
“I acted rashly,” I said. “Eventually, the headaches subsided, and my sense of smell has been supplanted by an acute sense of doom.”
“Can you handle the rent in 305?” he asked.
“How much is it?” I queried—the only question I’ve asked more often than “How can that be?”
“$575,” he said. “And another $575 for security, and another $575 for first month, and another $575 for last month, and another $575 for a leather jacket I’ve been eyeing.”
“I can pay you $575 now, and the rest when galaxies collide,” I offered.
“Very well,” he said. “Can you move in on the 1st?”
I looked at my calendar. The only thing I had scribbled in for the 1st was “in like a lion.”
I told him I could make the move.
Wembley seemed happy to extend The Loring’s relationship with a valued tenant.
“Do you know how to work the closer?” he asked.
I told him that Bo, being Bo, always made sure to describe every step of it.
Wembley invited me to his country club for an afternoon of lease-signing and old Scandinavian folk tunes. I declined, opting to forge ahead with preparations for the move.
My initial instinct was not to hire professional movers. But I’d forgotten that I indeed owned numerous weighty possessions, in particular the floor, which The Loring did not provide in its basic package.
It does now. In 2002, an out-of-court settlement resulted in a $44 million windfall for the attorneys, and autographed Vikings jockstraps for the claimants.
I leafed through the old-fashioned Yellow Pages, which had long served as a dependable TV stand, to find movers. Instinctively, my eyes have always drifted toward the red print—the “we’re not interested in your past” print.
And there it was, an ad for Zendel Brothers Moving & Storage. Their motto includes the word: “We’ll move you regardless…”
Oh, my dears, consider the source here, but I burst into tears at the thought of finally having a closet to come out of. Padum-pum.
Bye for now.