I’m exhausted. You’d think I just fought the Six Day War. I don’t understand it. My people did so well in the desert… they wandered for 40 years. I only went for four hours and I think I need a blood transfusion. Jews and the Desert, it’s supposed to be a match made in heaven… all I did was go to Palm Springs and I think I want to kill myself.
I’m old. I don’t look old. But I’m old. How do I know? The people I went to high school with are moving into nursing homes. That’s an indication I shouldn’t go skate boarding. It’s time for me to find a place to retire to and possibly die in my sleep . Have you looked at California real estate… if you want to live by the ocean you had better be a seagull… not a Siegel cause properties are so god damn expensive you’d think the ocean was made of gold. So I looked for an alternative…the anti-ocean…the desert.
I had heard from several people that Palm Springs is very reasonable… sure it is… it’s an oven with a toll road. Who wants to live where it’s 120 degrees in August? No one… so it’s reasonable. However, I looked on line and found some wonderful places… big spacious places… three story townhouses with two car garages and exterior spaces… 20 foot ceilings… fireplaces… 3 bathrooms… and they are in my price range, entry level poverty. So I called a real estate broker and I drove the two hours to the desert. We went to my dream home. I opened the door and I looked at her and said, “Are you kidding me?” It was like Barbie’s Dream House and just about as big. I said to her, “Who was the architect, Billy Barty?” It was literally the smallest home I had ever been in. I walked up the stairs, my elbows rubbed both walls. I took out my iPhone and looked at the website. Yes, this is the same unit but in the picture the living room looked like a bowling alley. In reality it was a little larger than the box they give you at J. Crew for your socks. (Yes, that’s right I buy my socks at J. Crew..wanna do something about it?)
It was then I learned that they shoot these places with a fisheye lens. It make them look larger. What it actually does is false advertise them. It Bait and Switches you… it makes you drive two hours. I was furious. But I had been warned by the real estate broker that the places were bad… but I poo-poo’d that… after all I had seen the website…these place are huge. “What does she know.”, I said to myself. Turns out…she knows a lot.
We were walking back to the car like we had just buried a relative when we were approached by, how can I put this… Belle Barth in a muumuu. And in a cigarette graveled voice said, “Want to see my unit?” The very thought brought my lunch up to the back of my throat. “Oh wait… she means her house.” So we went inside where I just don’t know how to describe this place to give it the right amount of disrespect. It was sort of a cross between THE GOLDEN GIRLS meets MIAMI VICE meets NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. Everything was power blue and pink. EVERYTHING!!! It looked like a flamingo had thrown up in there. And just as you couldn’t believe how horrific this room was there was that room… a room that had been sand blasted so the walls looked like they had been in a nuclear explosion. It’s at this point the owner points out the white Formica built-ins. “There are sixty thousand dollars in built-ins in this place.” To which I whisper to no one, “How unfortunate for you. It’ll take eighty thousand to jack hammer them out.”
We couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I was getting seasick. We thanked the owner and with a straight face the real estate broker says, “You have a lovely home.” This negated everything she ever said to me.
We look at eight homes in two hours. I’m wearing long denim jeans, which are heating up like a ceramic kiln. The last house we saw had lots of potential… I’m interested but the complex keeps screaming, “assisted living”. I’m not sure that I should buy this one and I have to think it over. I have to ask my friends. I have to get out of the desert and into my air-conditioned car.
I head back to LA… the drive is uneventful until I make a wrong turn and am taken to downtown LA where the freeway is literally at a stand still. Three hours later I make it into my home. I am exhausted. I have never been this exhausted in my life. I crawl into bed at 8 p.m. and open my eyes at 8 the following morning. I am drained, like someone has taken my blood and given it to the Red Cross. I take two more naps… and have a tuna sandwich. As I write this I’m still feeling woozy… it’s like all the energy has been sucked from my body. But I have to go back… how can I? How can I face the Golden Girl Suite? I’ve been back and forth with the broker all day. I’m coming back to Palm Springs in a week or so. I’m going to put myself through this again… or… I could just come out of retirement, go back on the road, pretend I never had to retire…. And live out of suitcases for the rest of my life.
No, that won’t happen. So… in a week or so, I’ll go back to Palm Springs and find a place I can call my home away from home, my place where the dish washer doesn’t work, where the ants have set up an express lane from the outside through my kitchen into my freezer, where lizards sit on rocks going, “Fuck it’s hot.” Yes, I will return to the desert and find my retirement villa…. I will… and when I do… you all have to come and visit me…and bring furniture because who can furnish two whole houses?????
Goodnight my Tesla Dream where ever you are!