I’ve tightened this story up considerably. It certainly reads better. Here is an small piece.
“Friend of yours?” He heard a man’s voice behind him.
“Yeah and I am a city inspector. Landlord?” Chris turned around.
“Uh huh. Gary Pace, Pace Enterprises.” The man was a slumlord and looked the part, he was wary of Chris.
“This place is a real crap hole, you know?” Chris said.
“Yeah. I’m having it taken down, brother. Hardly charging the guy anything, he watched the place for me. He could have got all of this junk out of here.”
“So could you. Could have fixed the gas before someone died.” Chris turned back to the room.
“Needn’t break my balls, brother. Don’t no one know what happened here. I’m letting my lawyer handle it.” The man said.
“You should.” Chris gestured to the bookshelves. “What about his stuff? You have a family contact for him?”
“Nah man. He didn’t sign anything. I got his name and cash for rent. He drops it at my office every month. I pay utilities.”
“Tearing it down? When?” Chris asked.
“Soon, brother, soon.” The man said.
Chris turned back to the room, put his hands on hips, and sighed. “I’ll come back with my truck and load what I can. The junk stays. You want any of this?”
“Maybe a painting. I like his paintings. He gave me one once.” The landlord said. “Look, I’m sorry about your friend. I liked the guy. Doing him a favor letting him stay here for almost nothing, he was living in his car.”
Chris nodded and thought a moment, then spotted La Bohème on the shelves and picked it up. “Bohemian.” He chuckled to himself.
“What’s that?” The landlord asked.
“Bohemian. It’s what he called himself.” Chris started making his way through the refuse of the narrow passage.
“Sure, brother.” The man answered behind him.