Respite, Return

What to say of the last 5 days? So much snow which gave me a child-like thrill to crunch underfoot. Cold that cut right through the layers of sadness and winds that blew the shards away. And the sustenance…of body and mind. I supped on it like a starveling.

There was more walking than I’ve done for pleasure in a long time. The constant movement of the packing having been the only activity I’ve had for such a long time. Strolling through a town small enough to know you but large enough to remain anonymous to most. And the utterly comedic moment of the deer on the moonlit lawn, and the one that simply had to drop a deuce right then and our pausing in kindness…then the waiting…and the waiting…for a creature that really ought to have had enough fiber. But perhaps it was a private deer joke to keep the humans waiting that they laughed at while resting under the tree at the park later.

There is a college that hugs the foot of a mountain, so lovely in the evening snowfall…

Bear_Snow

…J turns on small streets to slip into the parking space……a recitation of the entire Kipling “Gunga Din” to my heart’s joy…and a hill climb in weather that no sane people ought to have challenged. The wind in the valley gusted to a decent 15mph but up there it was sufficient to move a person several inches. He leapt into the air and landed quite a distance from his starting point. Perhaps 50mph? At one point while fishing in my pocket for a Kleenex my fancy handkerchief was stolen by the winds – I laughed and watched it flutter away, quite prepared to let it become the property of that place and those winds. Then, as if Fortuna herself looked kindly on me, it snagged on the low grasses. My host, reckless with his life on that icy slope, strode off to fetch it for me. My hero!

I am sitting here, cheek resting in my hand, looking out the window but seeing nothing local…mind still in that chilly clime, still selecting coffee, and looking out that window at the lovely hill in the distance. Sunrise_Upstairs

I am trying to be very diplomatic in the things I say and the revelations made. A part of me would stand tall – this is my place and I can say what I like – but another part wants it to remain quite private…as if to speak too much of it would remove the glamour over it – the spell cast on the time so that hours moved differently. And there is a kind of deference to my host – his own preference for privacy matching mine. But I will say that I noted the happy crinkle in the eyes of his good friend when we walked in the shop before the haggling took place. Yes, it was time for a change and I think it was a good one. I understand an inquiry was made later as to his shopping companion.

Shadow_Man

All too soon it was time to return to this place of damp air and green shades peeking through. We hit every red light as if the town itself was delaying the inevitable. And, it being a small airport, he left the car at the curb, taking my bag for me to the counter as I checked in. It was a very memorable farewell for anyone who cared to look. It meant that, rather than run my mind in grooves of sad goodbye, it moved like a skater on ice, a smile frozen on lips, winds rushing by even though still in a seat in a tube on a tarmac.

Ah, but it was nice to have water soft enough to let my hair be something other than a wild mane when I was showered last night. And there is coffee. Lashings of it.

Coffay

I wait in hope that my suitcase will show up before noon so that I can start the laundry task. Yes, the connection time was so tight and the ground delay just long enough that I had to jog through DEN from gate 47 to 20 while knowing the time to depart was already ticking by. But I made it – one of the last few – and sank in the seat with the sure knowledge that the bag would not come with me.

(Oh! Look who just arrived…)

Red_Returns

I cared for nothing but the gazing out the window to a vista not before me but behind me and remembering a farewell to match the hello.

 

The Day for Lovers

It is a strange time of year for those in estranged states. In some ways there is relief that the duties of The Day are no longer really necessary. But there is also that maudlin revisiting of the days past and what they brought – or didn’t. I’ve been trying very hard to not allow myself to be overly emotional these last two weeks – I had so much to get through, after all, and it demanded every stitch of sanity I had left. But now I can breathe…

I arrived at my new sanctuary (it is quite palatial, friends) and it is so nice to just be still for a time. To know I’ve nothing to do but find work and focus on caring for any last details – the remnants of moving. It is difficult to know when to change to my address, though, since I really haven’t one. I have chosen to let some things remain at the old one for now. It is my hope to only change it all once, of course.

It was a difficult arrival here, though, I’ll admit. My truck weighed down like a Bedouin camel, I freighted the Daily Goods with me. Once parked, my head bowed in utter exhaustion as I texted Those Concerned with news of my safe arrival. And then the tears fell like rain as the ability to just stop struck me hard. I finally managed to exit the vehicle and start offloading the stuff and things.

What was worse – yesterday I received the Thanks But No Thanks emails for both roles I had in process. One was a moderate relief as it would have been difficult, indeed. But to not get either…I sat on the floor with the small dogs that reside here and we had a small pity party. I then explained a few moments later that this was the process. You grieve, you stand, you wash your face, and then you start all over again. It isn’t easy – but I guess it gets easier each time. Someone told me last night to see if I could get in anywhere and just move up. I had to explain that I had humbled myself to several minimum wage roles and no one is interested. It is a very strange thing to face that you are extremely intelligent and worthy and yet…worth nothing to the market. I never thought it would take this long. So I will be reaching out to even more agencies to see what can be done – the last three having offered zero roles. I am telling you – baffling. I try very hard to just be patient, try to stay positive but there are some days that it takes all I have to just not surrender. I did manage to get 4 applications submitted today. Not a bad morning’s work. And another 2 or 3 are possible later today once my errands are done.

This morning the internet cast this into my net, though, and it was really quite helpful. Nothing new, of course – the same language, the same things we all know to be true. But it helped. I would particularly mention the 6m 55s mark wherein he states that you must rid yourself of the people around you that aren’t helpful. I learned this lesson a long time ago. But then it can be lonely. I readily admit that. Still, being free of the drama of others, of the trailing miasma they bring to your door…oh, wait. Is that me, now? Am I now one of Those People to others? Well, all the more reason to keep trying to be positive and effectual.

And now I’ve things to get done – I am off to breathe clean air and be scoured by new winds for a time. A respite where I need not think of any of the above – not what has happened nor what is to come. I intend to live in the moment to moment. We’ll see how I manage that task. I just want to lay aside all cares, these last – what? – 4 months of travail and be myself. Not the simulacrum that has stumbled through those days. Not the Strong And Brave version of myself that has been a scrim over the crumbled edifice. No, I shall be the person I once was a long time ago…once upon a time when we all lived in the forest…

“It’s a kind of magic…”

 

What Is There Left?

Here I sit, in my very cute AirBNB home not very far from my own, with a tiny glass of wine to just possibly bring sleep to the fore. I haven’t had much in several days – I wake over and over, force myself to get another hour…this morning I was awake at 4:30 – the alarm was for 5a so I just sat up and waited. I had a fair amount of time at the house when I got there to research for the interview – I hadn’t had a moment prior for it. Who knows how it goes…

Seems my router might have been dying but their Skype call was shite. I finally had them just add ,my cell to the call – it didn’t help that they had two in a conference room on speaker phone which adds its own on and off audibles. I was pretty honest, pretty much myself, because there was nothing else I could do. I was too exhausted to put on a show.

Would you like to see my office for the call? Imagine it with a snow of papers with notes…

NotAWindowOffice

Yep, pretty dang interesting. I hoped it wouldn’t all tumble down in the middle of the call. So…the movers last night were 90 minutes late but they hustled. They actually got a lot more in there than I thought they would. I still had to rush and get a storage space today and then this morning move a few things in the pods to fit in the misc stuff left in the house…but in the end my truck is full, the pods were full, and the things that had to get to storage got there. But this is the reason why. ALL BLESSINGS ON THE HEAD OF YOUNG ZACH! What a trooper – 1st, he showed up on time, 2nd, he listened as I point out preferred items to move, 3rd, he did it all on his own – even going to the space without me so that I could continue my work, and 4th – he got my beloved swing to fit in there! Oh, what joy, what ecstasy! I had resigned myself to having to leave it. But no – he got my fancy ass fuel cans, mower, tools, water barrels, and the swing safely stowed. I get verklempt just thinking about the good he did me today…I paid him  well. He was a bit freaked out when I told him to scavenge anything he wanted in the garage. He found things.

The pods were picked up. The things I thought I’d lose were not. The owners agreed to use some of my deposit for a make ready house cleaner fee so that I didn’t have to fret about it…so tomorrow morning I can go in, take a final peek, and say farewell to all that. A dear friend asked how it was last night to sleep away from the home for the first time – I had to think a moment. It really wasn’t that bad. Of course, I was exhausted and not really sleeping well anyway but…it is very quiet here, very dark, and I was quite satisfied. Now, ask me when I am staying with my brother and SIL after a couple weeks. Well, let us hope it will be no time at all and that a role comes through very soon.

Tomorrow, after the final farewell to the house, I head to S. TX for an interview on Friday – yes, another one I’ve had ZERO time to prepare for. But I’m pretty good at presenting a fine persona. I just hope I can look rested by then. Must remember to get some spoons from housekeeping to put in the fridge – swollen eyes respond to them, dontcha know.

I suppose that is all – the wine is working and I am fading. Best to get to my bed. Another early AM and then…the road. My word…what a week. I really must try to remember how I soldiered on in these days. I literally packed and moved an entire 4/3 home essentially alone – including the staging it for showing,  getting the mondo stack of free moving boxes so I had to buy only the ones for my books, and getting the pods set. I mean I literally did all but humping the furniture out the door…hell of a thing.

But the Chinese salon lady stole half my eyebrows with her aggressive waxing style. It’ll come back but MY FUCKING ARCH, YOU WHORE! Sigh…BTW, ladies, those crazy SNS style nails have survived it ALL and hardly looked scuffed. STUNNING chemical technology. Of course, probably unhealthy as hell but who cares?! They look great!

OK – I’m out.

Old School

I’ve slept so fitfully for days, now, that I hardly make sense in my own mind. My feet shuffle in a stumbling gait from box to cabinet, drawer to bin, home to car as the final push is on me. Nearly done, I keep telling myself. Just a little more…

Tuesday another pod arrives to hold the things I’ll want first when I finally have a home again., And later some young fellows from Craigslist to load it all for me. Early in the day I have another interview – a phone call as driving 2.5 hrs would not work. That night and Wednesday I will prop up my feet in a strange place, returning here for the pods to be retrieved and sent off to their holding place. Then, Thursday, I am off to Houston to stay with my brother and SIL. It will be a lovely respite, I have to admit. A very nice home, essentially the entire upstairs a guest wing, and some time to just think. I will probably avail myself of something stout to aid in sleep and try to catch up while in a safe haven.

Last night it was time to burn all the old files, papers, and remnants of a life so long gone, now. It was too easy to review the pages before they fell into the flames – I had to force myself to let it all go. Just let the past go – this is not my strong suit. In the end it was a lightening of the burden…but I sent it off with a serenade of youthful songs. I’d forgotten so much of that soundtrack – hell, I hardly remember the years at all if I am honest. The music brings back some memories.

 there’s a lady over there, she’s acting pretty cool
But when it comes to playin’ life, she always plays the fool

It is interesting to think of how competent I was then. So young and yet quite accomplished, considering. 1978 was a very interesting year…it was the start of the rocket to hell. I always loved Keith Moon in this – his animated performance so much of the madman that he was. And one of the last. I think it is funny how so many of my favorite songs feature amazing drum lines. Never went for the singers…always the drummers.

And then, a decade on, the slow dance in a lonely room…

Your love is cradled in knowing
Eyes in the mirror still expecting their prey
Sensing too well when the journey is done
There is no turning back
No
There is no turning back

And after a time a movement like a symphony piece that spun all out of control. Crash and burn, pick up the pieces – again – only to wind up here – again.

He wanted to believe
In the hands of love

And these days? Is there a song of Now? No. No, there has been no leisure for it. I couldn’t tell you a single song of the last year. Rather, it is the sound of destruction. And flames. And the howling of wild things giving birth to Unknowns.

Slowly, slowly…

He Left With Grace

He left this world today at 3:10p CT, after having licked his master’s face with a fervor that could only serve as a confirmation that he knew and was ready. I did not go. I could not go. I hardly have feet under me today. I am told it took no time at all, so ready was he to go on and leave his worldly aches behind. He had All the Bacon for breakfast and as large a meal as he wanted. And now hungers for nothing more than scratches and pets.

The cat is the sole remainder and tomorrow she is off to another place so that I may have the freedom to do what I must.

I have taken the decision to stay with a friend until a role is secured, saving what I make from the sale of the house rather than spend any of it on a temporary lodging that might be longer than I wish. It crushes me. I takes what little pride I had left – and it was not much – and crushes it. I have been thoroughly humiliated and wonder at how much more I must grovel before it is done.

Tomorrow I must pay a lot for another week here to do the final packing. But at least I know, now, what TO pack. All of it. I will need none of it but clothing and not much of that. I’ll hire a mover to load the pod with the detritus of life and a storage space with the furniture that won’t fit and the appliances. And then it will be done.

I’ve no idea what will become of me – it is the strangest thing. I’ve been unencumbered and yet feel a weight bearing down on me that makes it impossible to move. And Friday the test for a role that pays rather little will include a Skills test so I must refresh my mind on foolish things in Microsoft. A mind that can hardly hold one thought second to second.

Well, it doesn’t matter, does it? The die is cast. For good or ill I have made a Choice. It was all I could do. I’ve no energy left to fight. Fate has won.

Interesting Times

It is, indeed, a curse. So many balls in the air right now but one has been safely stowed. I cannot think about it too much – I managed to do it, it is done, and I won’t be capable of thinking about it for a month.

I decided to watch my favorite movie as a precursor. One cannot find this snippet anywhere so you will have to forgive the terrible video quality. But it is so…moving. Perhaps not so much without the rest of the film…you really ought to watch it. Just be sure it is the old B&W version.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Untitled from LauraB on Vimeo.

Interesting fact – Gene Tierney is buried in Houston, Texas. I always wanted to pay a call to her there but never managed it.

My word, what a day it has been. I simply cannot believe it. I refuse to…it was a dream. Yes – perhaps I can conjure my own Captain to whisper to me that this day was all just a bad dream.

Officially Left To My Own Devices

Well, the papers arrived yesterday and when they had my name wrong on the mailing label I did fret for a moment that all of it would have to be done again but no – I guess they weren’t using a mail merge but just some soul typing out a label…

official

We had a disagreement in text message format the other day. I was at the peak of my exhaustion, bitterly laughing at all my efforts, and telling my tree how ridiculous it all was. Thee and me – that, the promise. And he asked about my doctor appointment as his insurance is all I have, that he kept it for another month. A true kindness, do not get me wrong. In my bitterness and brevity I said I’d cancelled it – as I had. He managed to get me only a week to move. I cannot spare a day for that. He pressed me to rebook it before the insurance ended. A part of me rose dark and angry, wanting to spit out that, effective a few days ago, it was no longer his business but I settled her as best I could in the moment.

My mind returned to a statement of a friend, “…that motherfucker shoulda seen to you settled not just to the gate.” I do enjoy his strict frankness – very little smoothing of language to suit an audience. I keep thinking about that because in a way he is absolutely right. A man might do this to a woman but…a Man ought to see that she is at least safe. I know he thinks that the proceeds will suffice – all will be well with a thick bank account. But he doesn’t consider no one likes to risk a lease on the unemployed – that a large piece of that…largesse…will go toward a promise that I will not reneg on the lease. He didn’t understand anything, really, about the civilian world.

Well, I have worked with all that uncertainty. I have moved heavy things alone, I have managed to keep a house whole when my psyche was splattered against its walls. And I am exhausted by it all. And yet there is still a lot of road to cover in a very short amount of time. A busy week ahead…and a heart-rending one. One dog will go off to wait for me in Valhalla and the other will return from whence she came. She will, at least, have dogs to play with. I tell myself that along with other small lies to make the decision tolerable. I know what I can manage, now, and it is very little, indeed. I made the call to the breeder, explaining my situation, holding up until the end when I just had to thank them and hang up. And my legs refused to stand. I went to my knees, wracked with emotion, weeping with the decision and knowing it was all I could do. It was the best solution I could manage. I allowed myself that mourning, a few minutes only because there was yet more to pack. My God, what it takes to just stand when you’ve so little left. The wind dried the tears and I settled into it again. The rain was coming, after all.

Should have seen me settled…it is a romantic thought, really. That kind of…chivalry. But I can no longer afford to believe in it. I have been scoured of that level of trust. I have been made new, that devastating fire forging a thing that will be more demanding, more disdainful, whose mouth will twist far more often at the tender ministrations. He has carved into my visage sharp lines of betrayal that convey my doubt, my absolute failure to believe that anyone will get through. And the truth of it is that those very lines are what will prevent anyone from trying.

Ouroboros.