“Ok, that’s about it; we can go back upstairs now.”


One time during my post-college struggle years, I went to inquire about a lower basement rental in Silver Spring, MD, a suburb right outside of uptown DC. From the pull-up, my eyebrows raised slightly because the house looked eerie, being it was small grayish-white and surrounded by skinny trees with no leaves. My first thought was to turn back until the back-neck soreness kicked in from too many long days on my friend’s couch convinced me otherwise.


As I approached the House on Haunted Hill, I couldn’t help but notice the Walking Dead decorum surrounded by skinny pale-looking trees with no leaves. As I walked up the broken concrete walkway, a slim white woman wearing red glasses, a white T-shirt & pants with short, bleached blond hair greeted me at the front steps. “Howdy,” she said while holding a coffee mug in one hand and master lock in the other.


The inside of the house looked pretty ok, and besides seeming a tad bit neurotic, she was lowkey nice. After a bit of small talk, she says: “Oh well, let me show you where you’ll be staying.” I followed her lead and, and after two steps towards the basement, she turns and says, “Oh, hey, do you like rabbits?!!” For a split second, I said nothing and awkwardly continued to follow her thinking what she said was just some off-brand joke until I reached the bottom of the steps to be amazed beyond comprehension. There I stood, surrounded by multiple cages that held various rabbits.


“Yea, so these woods have lots of rabbits, so I sometimes feed them, let them go, or eat one in case there’s no food left in the fridge. Ha! Ha! Ha! Just kidding about that last one!!!,” she says. I swear as she begins to show me the washer/dryer, bed, etc. I couldn’t focus because as we moved, the rabbits kept looking at me all in unison. Each movement, whether left, right, up or down, the rabbits altogether moved their heads to my every step, twitching their noses with ears that standing on high alert.  My brain only checked back in when she said: “Ok, that’s about it; we can go back upstairs now.” I eased slowly passed each cage as Bugs Bunny’s family reunion looked at me with a “Who invited this guy to the cookout,” expression.


I reached the top of the stairs when she turns and says: “Oh my boyfriend is home,” and sitting at a work desk was a brother drinking a Slurpee wearing nothing but a white tank top. I mean, NOTHING else!!! He was straight Winnie the Pooh bottomless with a MacBook on his lap annoyingly sipping on an empty Slurpee cup staring at me unfazed.


At that moment, I faked like I received an emergency text and had to leave. “Oh well, before you go, take this application to fill out,” she said. But alas, it was too late because as soon as I hit the door, old track star instincts kicked in, and I straight dashed to my car, peeling off knocking over three trash cans leaving smoke in the rearview.


If I have to tell you that I never followed up, then you missed the point.





J hall