Priced to Sell

Blake Kimzey

First of all, they’re Polaroids Frank had to scan at his muffler shop so we could upload them to the realtor’s website. That’s why they look like ghost-hunter photos. But the realtor, Cammy, said if we wanna sell the place we gotta have photos to show. So here they are with short descriptions. Cammy said descriptions would give the photos character, which I don’t really buy, and besides, writing isn’t my strong suit.

I know people will ask, why are y’all leaving, Glenna? I’m surprised it isn’t obvious. We don’t have a choice on account of the adjustable rate mortgage that’s been yo-yoing for too long and now we can’t afford. So we’re leaving. Got a good deal on a new singlewide with an asphalt slip off the interstate just south of Dallas. It’s something, a roof. I don’t think Frank is as embarrassed as he is resigned. I’m simply fed up.

I know there are only six photos here, but that’s better than none. That’s what I told Cammy. I said: everybody knows what a house looks like. But she just smiles with lipstick on her teeth no matter what I say, so I don’t really trust her. She drives a Lexus that looks like it has never driven in weather.

​Anyway, let’s get on with it:

Living Room: That is Frank with his mouth open on the sectional. I wanted the living room to have that lived-in feel and I wasn’t going to wake him. We’re at our best when he is asleep. When Frank is not at work he is in his undies. Those are his favorite pair, and one might think his only pair. We don’t have a moth infestation; the holes in his undies are from wear and tear. That is a plate of cookies resting on his gut. I put them there for when he wakes up. But look at the sunlight flooding into the room, giving the walls a natural bleached look, which has also given the six mounted deer heads frosted tips on their face fur. We would be open to letting the eventual homebuyer keep the deer heads if negotiations come down to it. The carpet looks brown in the photos, but if you were to vacuum you’d see that it is actually a vibrant orange. Frank had a hard time finding studs to hang the 75-inch flat screen, which is why there are so many hammer holes in the wall. Your choice of spackle should take care of the holes.

Master Bedroom: The wet towel on the end of the bed, that’s Frank’s towel. We’ve been married 36 years and he still leaves his wet towel on our bed. Or on the floor. If you can get cancer from being annoyed with a man, I’m marbled with it. No, we never put up curtains. I sewed four of Frank’s XXL undershirts together and voila: curtains. It’s better than putting tin foil on the windows. Admittedly, the bunny cage at the foot of our bed should have been cleaned before I snapped the photo. But I’m not trying to sell you a mirage. That is a disco ball dangling above our bed where a fan should be. Frank was heavy into the 70s and I don’t like a draft pushing through the room, so we compromised. You can get a replacement fan at Home Depot. That is a clothes monster spilling out of our closet, but believe me, it is spacious.

Bathroom: There is nothing wrong with the mirror. Those are just bits of food Frank has floss-flicked at the mirror. He likes to stand right up next to the mirror and floss. He’s an animal. If Frank isn’t gonna Windex the mirror neither am I. They’re his shanks of food. We’ve never had a shower curtain. It’s not missing from the photo. And we don’t cook meth in the tub, either. The pits of Frank’s white tees are the same yellow as the soap scum you see there on account of Frank soaking every night when he comes home from the muffler shop, greasy as an oil-soaked seal. All you’ll need is a little elbow grease to right the tub. You’ll need to replace the toilet as it lifts on one side on account of Frank leaning into his movements.

Guest Bedroom: I know it is just a picture of the bedroom door, which is closed for a reason.

Kitchen: The dishes in the sink aren’t not washed, it’s just that we’re soakers. When they’ve soaked long enough we’ll wash them, okay. That is a mamba-line of black ants, but what ant doesn’t like a decomposing bowl of fruit? Waste not, want not. That is another bunny cage where the dishwasher should be. When the dishwasher broke Frank suggested we expand our bunny farm, so we did. There is room for a refrigerator, but we don’t have one. We opted for a large chest freezer instead since we mostly eat frozen food because the Schwann’s man is Frank’s brother and now we’re bi-monthly with him. That is a FOR SALE BY OWNER sign leaning on the freezer. Frank was too lazy to stake it in the front yard, but as you can see, the house is for sale. Call the number on the sign if you’re interested.

Backyard: I know the ring of dirt looks like we’ve got a mule tethered to a post walking in a circle all day, but that isn’t the case. Frank likes to use his metal detector and has dug up sections of the yard. We don’t believe in wasting water on grass, which gives the backyard the dead look you see. Nothing a little sprinkler system won’t fix. The wooden tombstones by the back chain link represent our last six Chihuahuas, all named Frank. All died of something. At present we are waffling on getting a seventh Chihuahua. Also, that is the broken dishwasher in the back corner of the yard. We’re throwing it in with the house.

Front yard: I don’t have a photo of the front yard. We ran out of Polaroids. But you’ll know the house when you see Frank’s dinosaur muffler sculptures out front.

Bear in mind the house is better when seen in person. Priced to sell. The schools are 4 out of 10, which is the way the country is going anyhow. If you’ve got a loan guy and he tries an Adjustable Rate on you have someone bigger than him knock his teeth in. That’s what Frank should have done with our guy, but as you can see he didn’t.


Blake Kimzey has an MFA in fiction from UC-Irvine and is the Director of Writing Workshops Dallas. Find him on Twitter at @BlakeKimzey and his short fiction in Tin House, McSweeney’s and elsewhere.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.