Let The Packing Begin
CLH and I have begun the process of packing up our belongings in preparation for our move from the house in the flight path of an international airport. Tonight we took our first load of books from the bookshelf and put them in the staging area in the garage. It’s a strange thing, this move. For one, it’s not exactly full of the hope and excitement that usually accompanies a new start. I’m feeling more like I just want this to be over, like I just want to let out the giant breath I have been holding for about two years now. This isn’t going to be the clean break I was hoping for. This house, and all the responsibility that comes with it, has the potential to be a whole flock of albatrosses around my neck for the next few years here.
I haven’t written much about the house because, well, I just haven’t wanted to talk about it. Sure, I can write about our racist neighbors (charming!), or that time my battery was stolen out of my car while I was asleep 50 feet from the door (hilarious!), or how CLH saw a coyote in the neighbor’s wild, abandoned lot of a backyard (sounds safe and fun!), but I can’t seem to find the humor in any of this. All I can think of when I think about this place is the enormous burden I took on because I was one of the idiots who thought home ownership was something I needed to cross off my Great American Dream List (as if I’ve ever done anything in order on that list in my life…). There is, of course, much to talk about, given just how freakin‘ weird this whole arrangement is. And it really is weird. It’s only occurring to me now that maybe I should talk about it because it is so weird and people are just dying to know how i do this. I just don’t think I’m quite past the hump in this whole saga where the insane and tragic things that have happened here finally become, in retrospect, laughable. Right now, everything just seems raw and uncertain. And there’s nothing really funny about uncertainty.
So, I’m just not really ready to talk about it. When my friends and clients ask how are things with the house, what they’re really asking is, “What in the holy hell have you done with your life? And thanks for letting me watch while you figure it out”. This whole experience has been a weird, slow motion train wreck; everyone who sees it pretty much says the same three things, in this order: “Wow. What a mess. Thank god I wasn’t on that train.”
And, really, I guess I can’t blame them. I mean, if someone had said to me, “I am going to buy a fixer upper, in the flight path of an international airport, in a town with no sidewalks, and live in it with my two friends, and then try to move out after two years… during the biggest economic downturn in American history”, I would have told them good luck and then laughed at them as soon as their backs were turned.
It’s tough to tell the train wreck story over and over and over without wanting a happy ending. I mean, if it always ends in gore, you start to feel hopeless every time you tell it. So, I guess that’s where I am right now: sick and tired of talking about the gore. I want to start talking about how the paramedics arrived and med-evac’d everyone to safety. I want to start saying that everything worked out; less people died in the wreck than initially believed.
I keep telling everyone that I think this is all going to work out; I believe it when I say it, though, lately, my belief fluctuates hour by hour. I wrote the “for rent” ad last night, and a lady at the office I was in today overheard me talking about it to my client, asked me to forward on the information, and she’s totally interested. When she asked me for the info, I felt like this whole transition might be easier than I had planned. But, here, hours later, as I go over the idea in my head of having to be someone’s landlord… of leaving my friends here to live with strangers because I just couldn’t hack it in the suburbs… I get all down about it again.
I know I’ve made the right choice in leaving this house. I know that even this worrying will be funny one day. But, I just had to be honest with myself and admit that this process is weighing down a HUGE part of my soul. The release will come. And then I’ll finally be able to tell the story of the house that nearly broke me.