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A man of many words. Profane, profound, loyal to a fault and a right rat bastard. I love the finer things in life: expensive cigars, cheap women and all the salted, cured meats I can eat. A friend to dogs, lover of humanity and despiser of people. If I were King the world would be a better place, because, well...I would be King! Oh, and I like ice cream.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It Was Either the First Day of End of My Life or the Last Day of the Beginning of My Life...

It's been about five days since the big auction went down. I'm still recovering from it. It's a little eerie to walk through that big EMPTY place and hear my footsteps echo. Fortunately one of my yoga friends has lent me a spare bedroom to crash in until I blow out in six days.

Before the auction even began I knew it would be an odd weekend. Friday, the day before the sale I get a phone call about a quarter til two in the afternoon. This lady wanted to know if I was available to show her the house since she had called the realtor and he was otherwise occupied. I said sure, when would you like to see it? She says now. Well, I had a 2:00 o'clock appointment to have the car touched up, but she said she'd follow me in her car and give me a ride back to the house. It was raining anyway, so I was good with that.

I proceeded to show her around the place. We spent about two or three hours. She's telling me she is opening a specialty bakery in Columbiana and has an extended family AND a live-in nurse for her health problems and needed a big house pronto. the bakery would be walking distance from my house. After the tour we are standing in the living room talking and I can see she's wanting to talk turkey. So she asks me what is the lowest price I'll take for the whole enchillada. I'm thinking this ain't how you do it. So I threw it back to her. What's the HIGHEST price you'll pay. And she says "I'll have a certified check in your hands tomorrow morning at 8AM for $250,000 for everything, including my chattels (that's all my stuff I had out for auction!). I was stunned! But not stunned enough to talk her up a few thousand more. But I'm thinking if I can get out of this at one fell swoop for that price I can go to Botswana clean.

So I agree. She says she has to get a hold of her financer/boyfriend (I think) to get the go ahead, but she'll see me in the morning.

As I said I'm stunned. Of all the scenarios I've run through my head this wasn't one of 'em. I call the auctioneer and ask him what would we do. He said he'd never had this happen before, but we could stop the auction and wave everyone off if need be. But until we see the green we'll go ahead as planned.

Good thing. She never showed, never called. Nothing. Admittedly entertainment is hard to come by here in Columbiana. We don't even have a movie theatre. But that was a lot of work for a few hours modest entertainment.

Nonetheless it was a bit of an adrenalin rush.

So now comes Saturday morning. The auction started at 10AM. People were snooping around at 7:30! By 10 there must have been at least 300 people there. Folks were bringing their own lawn chairs and setting them up in front of the auctioneer's stand. The auctioneer starts off by saying for those without chairs I have several on hand to sell. So the first thing he sells (for $2.50) is a couple really old folding chairs with nylon backing. The lady who got them happens to come right beside me to set down. As she sat the dry-rotted webbing gave out and she dumped her ass SPLAT on the driveway. Even though I was cracking up it wasn't a good start.

So the sale gets started in earnest. Things are moving apace. I sell my trumpet for $420 netting me a nifty $35 profit after owning it a mere 44 years. My Nissan XTerra goes for $6100. But, to tell the truth, even though it's all my stuff, I found the thing incredibly boring. I can't imagine wanting to root through other people's junk hoping to find some kind of treasure. I'm sure it happens, but all in all it's still ends up being junk for a new owner.

My yoga instructor canceled the Saturday morning class so everyone could come support me. In fact we all went out for coffee. I was growing ever more nervous because at noon the house would go up for auction.

Comes the witching hour I am so nervous I could chew iron. The auctioneer is giving the run down on the particulars. How it's appraised at $350,000, but the owner is asking only $295 and will offer a bridge loan until financing is secured, the recent values of neighboring property, etc., etc. I tell my dad I can't believe all these nights of sleeplessness worrying comes down to this.

So the bidding starts at the appraised value. Nothing.
It drops to my asking price. Nothing. I'm not too worried, because I figured no one would jump at that level.

Then it drops to 250K. Nothing.
Two hundred. Nothing.
One fifty. Nothing.
A hundred thousand? Finally a nod from someone in the crowd. OK, now we'll get rolling.

One twenty-five? Another nod.
One fifty? One fifty? One fifty? Nada. Nil. Nyet.
$125 grand is the top bid. I'm in shock. Sick to my stomach. In two days I've had two scenarios that I never imagined.

We stop the auction of the house and go back to selling the rest of my junk. I'm wondering what the Hell am I gonna do now? I have ten days to maybe find renters, get the dump cleaned up...CRAP!

About an hour or so later a couple comes up to me and asks to look around. The guy's uncle was at the sale and called him on his cell, telling him to get down here ASAP.

Loooooong story short, they fall in love with the place. Even as I write this they are setting up their finances to buy at a price I can live with. Happily live with.

It won't close until after I leave next week. But, Inshallah, my accountant, who has my Power-of-Attorney, can get it done.

People expressed to me that I would have a hard time emotionally seeing all my belongings leave my life. But to tell you the truth, it hardly bothered me at all. Things I'd owned and enjoyed for over thirty years went out the door without a twinge.

Except for one thing. When the buyer was loading up my beloved Dagger Crossover kayak onto his truck I got a little choked up. I had paddled that thing everywhere. Spent MANY wonderful hours beneath the stars and on the open rivers in it. Great memories. That surprised me.

But when I come back I already have plans to get a new ocean kayak. Which means I must be going to live near a sea...

But for now I haven't got a pot to piss in nor a window to throw it out of. It feels like freedom.


Anonymous said...

Mike enjoy your freedom and what life has yet to show you..keep me informed..ok Thanks for stopping in for lunch I 'm glad I got to say bye
Love Shellabella

Jennifer Marie Jordan said...

Mike, I feel like I just lived that whole process with you. Thanks for sharing! It's a wake up call to read about what the other PVCs are going through...I don't have it so bad after all!

~ Your future friend, Jen

TammyShilling said...

Mike you have me sobbing at work! I wish you all the best my friend. I always say it's just stuff but i'm not sure how i would handle your same situation. I didn't know about the auction till it was too late or i'd have showed up to party! You don't know how much those you leave behind look to this blog for your wisdom and sarcasm. I LOVE IT and I know your adventures are just beginning! God be with you!