Saturday, July 19, 2008


I'm the opposite of homeless. I'm homeful. This hasn't made me feel more at home, however. It's made me feel at loose ends. Like I'm on an odd working vacation in old haunts.

I feel like I'm on a trip and I keep losing my luggage. As I predicted, things are always in the wrong place. Need to write a check at the house? Checkbook is downtown. Come to the house and get a shower after tennis and then try to find a pair of loafers you like in the closet. Things I like to wear keep migrating downtown. I have to carefully sack up my sweaty tennis clothes, however, and take them downtown to launder them so I'll have them when I head to tennis.

When we are at our 'big house' we will go to places in the 'hood like we are folks returning to an old neighborhood where they once lived. Downtown we feel at home in the neighborhood and in our place but we have so little stuff down there that it is exceedingly odd.

There is still enough stuff at Shoal Creek to lead a life. I have a set of toiletries, a few clothes (although besides the loafer shortage I find that I never have a belt and keep going through ones FFP obviously hasn't worn in ages looking for one I can steal).

We keep thinning the stuff. Shredding ancient financial statements and business records. Putting out our 'free' sign with junk at the curb. FFP took another load to the thrift store, several boxes of kitchen stuff, clothes. I don't miss any of it when it's gone. Of course not. In the wake of all these departures, however, the stuff seems to be blooming and growing. Maybe it's dragging open cabinets and drawers and places of refuge. Maybe it's that there is some secret river of stuff that flows through this house.

I feel like I'm on a trip. I've taken along some old clothes and hope to just leave them behind as they get dirty. I haven't actually done this in the past, leaving behind worn out underwear and jackets and shirts with elbows almost (or actually) worn through. I wouldn't do this now if I were going on a real trip. Heck, I might get something new to wear.

The picture above was taken two years ago when we took a car trip in our old Accord. We'd driven straight through until we got to Baltimore where we stayed an extra night so we could have a look around, go to some museums. I don't know that we'd even thought of moving out of the house then. Forrest was settling into retirement. We wanted to go somewhere. And we did. I feel like a lot has changed since then.

Since I have so many places that I randomly find myself these days, I've been having a rather eclectic reading list. Our papers are delivered downtown, dropped in front of our door by the concierge. Sometimes at night I read them there. I have taken a couple of books down there that I'd been trying to finish forever. I have been reading Tobias Wolff's "In Pharaoh's Army" in Forrest's car. (And also when we are out in his car and we go somewhere to eat, just the two of us, which is a time when we read and only converse if the reading leads us to something we want to discuss.) I found myself reading magazines still scattered around the house when I'm there or a section of newspaper from months ago. While eating a sandwich in the kitchen of the house the other day, I read a little booklet of Globe Facts that turned up somewhere and that I was about to toss. The earth is almost a perfect sphere. However, the diameter from pole to pole is twenty-seven miles shorter than the equator diameter. This isn't stuff you need to save a little booklet for reference. (The booklet probably came with a globe I bought at some time in the past.) I should throw it away. But here I am reading it while eating a Thundercloud sub. We never seem to have food at the house and we have gone to the nearby Thundercloud for sandwiches several times. We have revisited Fonda San Miguel Restaurant, Billy's, Blue Star and Mother's in a similar sort of goodbye gesture. But we'll probably still go to these places. We went downtown when we didn't live there, after all.

There are so many things that need doing that I'm often paralyzed from it. I run away to the other house or suddenly 'have' to blog or do something on the computer. Inch by inch I get things done, though, or by power of suggestion FFP does them for me.

One thing I haven't found time to do is keep up my personal journal. I'm sure I'll regret that one day. I'll be trying to figure out exactly when something happened and then information just won't be there. Meanwhile, a pile of hand-written journals awaits the thinning in the storage room at the house. That's a tough one. I get set adrift on a river of memories and can't find my way back to shore.

In a way, when I'm not worrying and obsessing and trying to figure what the heck to do with something, I'm enjoying this. It's like being on vacation in two spots in my own town. I've become used to the keys and access cards for my hotels, found my favorite coffee spots and yet I'm distant enough from work and duty to just enjoy reading for pleasure. Then the work and duty comes roaing back.

Everyone says I will look back on this with amusement, that it will all be over one day. I guess. It seems to have become a permanent lifestyle.

1 comment:

deb said...

Love the ethereal quality of the reflection in this photo.

Anyway, thought I'd better let you know that I'm still around! Reading I can seem to find time for, commenting - not always.

Sounds like leading a double life, of sorts, could become addictive.