My husband and I live in a one bedroom condo in downtown Denver with a single parking space. Our second car, a 1992 Subaru, sits in the street.
This car looks like it has been through Armageddon. It's 18 years old, has chipped gold paint, massive dents, ripped upholstery, and rust damage. The car has no hubcaps, locks, or seat belts. My husband walks to work and I drive the first car, so we hardly ever use it- only on the occasional weekend. We named the car 'Piggy' because it's in such bad shape and is trashed. But we keep her because she's been paid off for more then a decade and really, has become a member of the family.
"I think a vagabond is living in Piggy," my husband announced one day after coming home from work and slamming the front door behind him.
"Come again?" I was sitting on the couch, perusing US Weekly (Spencer and Heidi divorced!) and drinking a glass (bottle) of white wine.
"I found some empty bottles of Jack Daniel's in the front seat of the car," he replied.
"Those are mine."
My husband adjusted his glasses and continued. "I also found an old sleeping bag, some men's shirts, and a pair of shoes."
"Oh wow," I said, intrigued. "A homeless person moved into our car?!? We're landlords!"
My mind raced as I thought of all the possibilities. Like, could we charge rent? Is our new tenant going to put a bag of ice in the glove compartment and call it a refrigerator? If we had to use the car, could he sit in the backseat and wrap his arms around the driver, thus saving us the expense of having to replace the seat belts?
"A vagabond is living in my car!" I excitedly announced the next day at work. I loved saying the word 'vagabond'. It was 100 times more sophisticated than 'homeless person', 'hobo', or 'crack head'.
"Oh..." my coworker Stephanie, cooed in awe. "Are you going to call the police?"
Of course I wasn't going to call the police. First of all, Piggy doesn't even have locks on her, so it's not really 'breaking and entering'. And secondly, having a hobo live in my car is.....fucking awesome. I would be the talk of the town for weeks!
I left bottled water and sandwiches in Piggy for my tenant, eager to make his stay more comfortable. We made sure to never drive or move the car, as we would be taking his personal belongings with us. I just kept hoping I would run into him, but never did- we just found traces of his existence. A few paperback novels would show up in the backseat, a pile of peanuts would appear on the dashboard, and at one point our car battery died when he left the lights on in the car.
"I had to jump Piggy because our vagabond left the dome light on," my husband grumbled one day.
"He is so absentminded, our vagabond," I said, fondly. "I hope he enjoys that organic raspberry cheesecake I left in the trunk for him."
Eventually, to my dismay, our vagabond moved out. I was horrified when I stopped by his place, opened the car door, and found his clothes and shoes gone.
"He moved out!" I sobbed to my husband that evening.
"What! Our front seats fully recline!" My husband shouted indignantly. "Did he find a fancier vehicle to squat in?"
"Our neighbors have a 2002 Outback," I pointed out. "Maybe he moved into theirs."
"I really didn't take him for a snob," my husband said, insulated.
I really do miss our tenant, and would love to invite him over to our car for some coffee sometime. I just wish I could find the license plate he lives at. Sigh.
Quarter Life Whatever
4 years ago