The FBI Knocks On My Door
I managed a hotel in Santa Monica for about six years in the 2000s, as well as the apartment building where I lived, which was across the street. It was a super-easy commute, which is particularly great when you live in Los Angeles.
You meet a lot of interesting people when you manage a building. For example, there was a retired couple living in the unit next to mine—the Gaskos. The first time I met the husband, in 2007, I was playing guitar in my apartment.
There was a knock on the door, and I opened it to find a man in his 70s holding a black case. He told me that he heard me playing music, and he liked it. He thought I could use a black stetson cowboy hat.
I thanked him for the really nice gesture, and he said his name was Charlie.
Fast-forward four years, and I’m taking a nap on my couch. I’d been working for two weeks straight, on call every night. But this particular Wednesday, I was taking off early to see a band in Hollywood. I was meeting a friend. It had been all planned out.
At 2 p.m., the phone wakes me, and it’s my co-worker calling from the office—with the FBI. Before I know it, I’m speaking with an agent, and he says, “I need to talk to you about a tenant in your apartment building.”
I’m on my couch, so I ask, “Can we do this tomorrow?”
He says no. “Where are you? Come here now.”