Home / by Vanessa Fiola

**The next 27 days I'll be posting 500 words a day here as part of a creative writing challenge. Join the FB group.  Often I phone it in.**    

Los Angeles is a weird place. Or, as my friend Kirk likes to call it, "a veritable shit hole." If you know Kirk, then you know there's zero chance* he said "veritable," though he did say it was a shit hole, so I'm mostly telling you the truth.

I often try to get him and his lovely bride, Alexis, to move here (like, literally here), and not just because I like to be right or because she is an amazing cook and they are funny or because okay please watch Jonah. When we bought our house it had been split into two during a renovation, so that the downstairs has its own entrance below us. This sounded really great to me at the time. I dreamt about having an office I could steal away to; one which didn't involve muting my conference call every 15 seconds, because a rabid tree rat** is more domesticated than my toddler in the morning. But then Ryan's friend moved in for a while, and I ended up going into the office every day all day, and the next thing I know, a year has passed and college dorm rooms look more pulled together. 

Recently, Ryan had this "genius" idea to Airbnb our downstairs. He met someone on the street who has since become a friend (per ush), who Airbnb's their Silverlake GARAGE and brings in like $35k-$40k a year. Ryan and I used to live in opposite states. To fund our traveling, we'd surreptitiously rent out our super cute apartment in Seattle's Capitol Hill on the weekends where he was visiting me in LA. It was all going really well. A few months in, three girls booked the weekend. They sounded really sweet, and they were, until they spiral-texted me at 4 in the morning because they were too drunk to figure out how to open the front door. When we (I mean, Ryan) cleaned after they left we (he) found a 12-pack of Rainier beer in the fridge and a bloody hospital bracelet discarded atop the bathroom trash. I think the most unsettling thing about that whole experience is that they were Canadian. 

Anyway, you can understand my apprehension to opening up our downstairs to randos. Also, even on the very best days, you try sleeping beneath a 3-year old who doesn't understand why he can't eat syrup straight from the bottle at 7 a.m. People would hate us. So, despite how theoretically great another revenue stream would towards building our dream house in Topanga, we'll be right here selling our out of town friends on a visit to the city with the world's worst traffic and the promise of duck for dinner. 

*perjorative. Plz come back.

**Rats, in fact, do carry rabies, in a world in which only creative license matters.