Laundry Night

You know, living in a town where there is a brew pub right next door to the laundromat sure takes the edge off of a broken dryer. Oddly enough, it also finally affords me a chance to write again.  We have to stop meeting this way….

I stopped in for dinner while my laundry was drying, and after the second brew it occurred to me I might be better off not driving home right away. So instead, I stuck around for a round of dessert and coffee, long enough for a couple of reasonably talented guys to start playing and convince me it was worth sticking around to listen and maybe write for a spell. Score one more for serendipity.

The guys are pretty good, singing a pub friendly mix of stuff ranging from current Imagine Dragons back to Otis Reading songs you know are way older than them. There are a couple of tables you can tell are the girlfriends and other friends here to cheer their buddies on. The rest of the bar is at least not annoyed, but the applause is pretty much limited to the friends and often me. A season of Morris has reminded me the effort it takes to stand up in front of a crowd of strangers and put yourself out there. You go guys, you’re doing pretty well.

The last few weeks have been a busy run of fixing walls and decking halls, trying to get the house ready to sell, and setting up for an unexpected final Christmas at the tall house. I really thought I would be out of here by now. The house, it appears, has other ideas.

Like the beautiful but psychopathic ex-girlfriend in the movies, the house keeps coming back for one more dig. The work on the east wall kept expanding, eventually requiring the crew to strip off even the scalloped “gingerbread” up in the eaves. Every place there was trim or flashing they found something wrong. The crew is hoping  to be done before Christmas, but that is pretty much up to the mercy of the late December weather. Needless to say, all this has held off the buyers. Now they want me to repeat the process on all the other walls. So much for getting into a new place for the new year. I just let go of the duplex I was negotiating a lease on.

This hasn’t stopped us from finding office space, and in a few weeks I’ll be dealing with the long commute again, something I thought I could skip this time around. At this point I’m willing to get into a daily office routine any way I can. Working at home simply does not work, not this home, not now.

Still, like that pretty psycho-ex, the house keeps teasing me with the beautiful sunrise views, the ridiculously good light, the views from every room. And then the claws dig in, because it was our place, and it will never be just mine. We had a good time, but it’s really over between us, House. It’s time we both moved on.

These buyers still seem willing to buy after the rest of the work gets done, and if they don’t, by the time it’s done we’ll be back in the prime selling season. I can wait a few more months. Maybe the universe is simply trying to teach me patience here.

I have been in a hurry to get to that mythical “clean sheet of paper” for a while now, but after a year, a month, a week, and a day I know I still have a lot of work to do, and much more importantly, I have realized there is no clean sheet. What he had, what we were, what we did remains. Our family, my business, the friends I made through her, all of the things that hold my life together remain. It’s a new page, but the same book.

And it is a hell of a good book. I remember my Dad frequently saying “life is good”, almost like a mantra, the year after my mother died. I find myself doing the same these days. Life is fragile, it is too short, and that means every day is precious, and not something to be wasted. She knew that, and she lived that truth. Despite the inevitable losses and the pain, this really is a good book. I’m just itching to get to the next chapter.

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