Last night was one of those toss and turn nights. Insomnia, my old friend. Back for another round of fun with me. Maybe it was the bug with a million legs crawling across the floor right before bed. Maybe it was the midnight wind that howled. Maybe it was the dream of him. Doesn’t matter which. Sleep was gone.
Okay, so there weren’t a million legs on the bug. More than eight is more than enough legs for me. When it came running out from under the cat I was running for higher ground, screaming like the girl that I am. Kisa killed it with knightly heroics. I still crouched above the toilet while brushing my teeth, afraid to let my toes touch the tiles.
Then, there was the wind I didn’t know was coming. Who ordered this wind? It banged up against the house and made the strange sounds of an unfamilar place that much weirder.
But, the dream was the weirdest of all.
I remember telling him all I wanted to do was tell him this one thing. Just one thing, I kept saying. We got tangled in a wedding procession. Joyous music crashing around us. Noise. Lips moving without sound. Really, all I wanted was a quiet place to tell him this one little thing. He disappeared for awhile and came back wearing excuses, babbling reasons. Really, I didn’t care. I just wanted to say one thing and let him go. It took forever and when, at last at last he was standing quiet before me, I couldn’t get the words out. I couldn’t say that one little thing I wanted to say which was to say No one talks to me the way you do. But, like the bug and the wind, when I woke the words were gone. Gone daddy gone.
“Chocolate for cheaper” is what my husband sang when we drove away from just making a huge deal. We were both happy, giddy even, to have found exactly what we were looking for – for less. Don’t you just love a bargain and the way it makes you feel when you score one?
Let me put the reverse lights on – several weeks ago we went on a hunt to find furniture. We couldn’t remember exact colors so we played it safe and just searched for style. What we would like to sit on, lay on, jump on, make out on, even sulk behind if need be. Some style that would fit our lifestyle. After a full several days of sitting, laying, testing, and deciding we thought we knew what we liked. Finally we moved in and could decide on color as well: chocolate. Something rich, something dark. Everything was coming together until we visited Rayless and Flan-again. We liked the sales woman. I will say that. Donny and Marie couldn’t have been more helpful. She bent over backwards to help us…until the manager stepped in. “Can’t get that style in that color. Never mind what the tag says. It’s another $100 to get that color. It’s brown sugar or nothing. The brown sugar is the only thing on sale. Get it in another color and you pay full price in addition to changing the color and that’s another $100, remember? No ifs ands or buts. That is it.” With heads hanging low and exhaustion nipping at our heels, we took the defeated road home.
Three days later Kisa says to me, “I think I solved our problems. Get in the truck.” So, off to LazyGirl we went. As soon as we were in the door we asked, “Do you have this style? In this color? For this price?” Yes. Yes. Follow me. No. Cheaper. Weaving through the aisles of couches and recliners we stopped short. Made the sales woman turn around. “What? What do you mean cheaper?” When she was done explaining we exclaimed, “that’s $700 cheaper than Rayless!” We know, she said with a smile. Are you still interested?
Like children playing hooky from school we ordered the furniture. Feeling like we got away with something we signed on the dotted line before the numbers could change. We hurried through the paperwork thinking it was too good to be true. We waited for the admittance We Made a Mistake. None came.
“We got chocolate for cheaper. We got chocolate for cheaper!” my husband sang as we drove home. Yes, we did.
As you might have guessed, we have started living in the new house. It doesn’t really feel like OUR house yet. The cat won’t come out from under the bed. In every room there seems to be a reminder of the old owner. Behind ever closet door a secret dying to be told. To date I have found 21 cans of diet soda, ten rolls of Christmas wrapping paper, 5lb hand weights, eight bottles of beer, three pairs of sunglasses, a model corvette kit, binoculars in a fancy case, all kinds of baskets in different shapes and sizes, a Mickey Mouse phone, four Christmas plates, a huge Italian style serving tray (that spins!), an Easter basket (literally), a Halloween dish, tons of gift bags, spare change, bags of epsom salt, coat hangers, large bike hooks…Curtains stayed on some windows. Candles still stand silent and dark in the fireplace. Expensive phones are still plugged in. When someone asked me what kind of housewarming gift the sellers left I didn’t know what to say. These people didn’t want to leave. Why would they want to thank us for moving in when they obviously didn’t want to move out?
On the other side of moving in is moving out. Middle Street is still a mess. We made a mad late night dash to retrieve a few things. Clothes for work. Hoses for the washing machine. Wrenches for the treadmill (that’s another story altogether!). Contact lens solution. Indiana’s favorite toy. My ipod. tivo box. The coffee maker, milk, sugar, coffee and (forgot the) coffee scoop. Coming back was like thieving. We snuck in and scrambled to take what we needed. It felt furtive. We rushed around stuffing bundles of things in bags without really knowing what we were taking. “Entering and breaking and taking in every room.” So we were. It looked like miniature bombs had exploded in every corner. I couldn’t find more than one spare pair of underwear to save my life yet I found a toe ring embedded in the bedroom carpet.
Later, much later exploring the aisles of a super-scary Super Wal-Mart I felt criminal. In my coat pockets I had a cordless phone, a cell phone, nail scissors, nail clippers, tweezers, a cat toy, a head of garlic, one pair of underwear, a box of picture hangers, a box of thumb tacks, an ipod, a toe ring, a receipt from Starbucks, a to-do list from last year, a wallet, two sets of keys, a wad of cash, and two days worth of mail. I’m surprised I wasn’t searched on the way out.
It will be awhile before I feel that there is a place for everything and even longer before everything is in its place.
We don’t know when we will close. How silly is that? The biggest purchase of my entire life and I don’t know when it will happen. I knew there was trouble last Thursday when kisa said there was a “miscommunication” with the seller’s lawyer. Whatever that means. Unprofessional moment #1. It was hard to go to bed not knowing the plan for the next day. No idea of the walk-through; no idea of the closing. But, I had a good idea it wouldn’t happen at all. A feeling of helplessness was mounting and all I wanted to do was vent – to cry on someone’s shoulder. I’m at the point where I just want to be done with this whole thing. Anticipation is giving way to frustration.
Friday comes and goes. Kisa and I are at the mall. Anxiety is creeping in and people are starting to look stranger and stranger. I couldn’t admit to being okay. We try to stay busy to stay focused. I’m buying candles to light the gloom: gardenia, tea & honey, cedar & pine, and HomeSweetHome (as if!). When we get home every time the phone rings I retell the story and it gets funnier and funnier. It all comes down to a bad boob job. Suddenly, I’m making breast jokes like a guy.
Finally, it’s Sunday and we are back where we started. It’s Thursday night in reverse. We don’t know when we are closing. We don’t know anything. It’s as if we are on a plane, sitting on the tarmac. We are about to embark on a fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime vacation. There’s nervous energy in the air. We are excited. We’ve planned for weeks. But, we’re not moving. Minutes turn into hours and there is no explanation for the delay. The idea of going anywhere seems slim, yet we do not understand why. The captain comes on and to say there has been a miscommunication with the tower. Whatever that means. All we know is that we aren’t embarking on that fabulous vacation. We’re stuck looking at the airport terminal. Our bags are packed – have been for days. Yet we cannot move.
According to the time line we are almost at the end of the ride. This thing I’ve called roller coaster is finally coasting to a stop. We are nine days away from being home owners. Nine days and three steps closer to a new craziness. I’m okay with that because it’s different from the old craziness. Anything is better than the old craziness. All that is left is packing and signing. Packing and more signing. Three days and the ride comes to a halt.
According to the time line I can stop celebrating the craziness that was my landmark birthday. This thing I’ve called turning forty is finally finished. I’m now forty and a few days. Soon it will be forty and a few weeks; a few months. Old news. I celebrated with my husband hunting for house wares and making homemade brownies. I celebrated with the ladies and got to hear my favorite drum solo. I celebrated with my mom with steamed lobsters, chocolate whoopie pies and a big 4 candle. It was perfect – all of it – but now it’s time to move on.
There are other things coming to a halt in my life. Things that have run their course and run out of time. Promises made, promises broken. I should be bothered but I’m not. I’ve been here before. The path is not new. I don’t need a map. While it all makes me sad I am not surprised.
January started off and ended with a head cold (damn you, kisa), a really nice dinner party, a re-commitment to the
houses HOUSE (glutton for punishment that I am), a re-commitment to charities with a big one – training for a 20 mile walk for Project Bread, a huge re-commitment to friendships and huge changes at the library. For books it was:
- Death Comes to the Archbishop by Willa Cather in honor of New Mexico becoming a state in January.
- Red Death by Walter Mosely in honor of Walter’s birthday being in January
- Biggest Elvis by P.F. Kluge in honor of both Elvis and P.F. celebrating their birthdays in January.
- Devices and Desires by P.D. James ~ in honor of mystery month.
- The Eleven Million Mile High Dancer by Carol Hill
- Edith Wharton: a Biography by R.W.B. Lewis ~ in honor of Edith’s birthday on January 24th.
- The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman ~ in honor of Barbara’s birthday.
- The Letters by Luanne Rice and Joseph Monninger ~ a story that partially takes place on Monhegan. How could I resist? This is the blog that was plagarized by some dumb-azz.
- 30 pages of Nutritional Wisdom ~ a Christmas gift from my sister.
So I didn’t get a LibraryThing Early Review book in January. That’s not a big deal. I have certainly gotten my fair share over the course of the program so I’m not complaining. I do have to admit, I feel a little guilty. For the first time ever, I am really late publishing the review for the last ER book. Maybe that had something to do with it…who knows?
ps~ I did get one for February, or so I am told! 🙂
…with flying colors, I might add.
27 days and counting. I now can say with absolute optimism, “On your mark, get set, pack!”