Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Where was I....





I mean, I really shouldn’t have a blog. My life is just too full of sudden, Anne Frank-like relocations for me to be keeping a cyber diary. I mean, a CYBER-diary! I don’t even have TV anymore, let alone anything as fancy as a dependable computer. I'm obviously estranged from my internet service provider. And have I mentioned the mouse poop?

So, we've moved again. Again. I think the last time we checked I was packing-an act that, in a sudden burst of rational thinking, we elected to follow through to its logical conclusion: moving. It was sad, and quiet, and over before we could cry. Some people, I know, aren't even aware that we've left. One of them called me last week and said, “Wait, you’re gone? When was the party?” I told him the party was last year, when we moved the first time, and then I laughed bitterly. But then, right away, I tried to infuse a little hope and light into the situation, because I’m not really bitter…it’s just that the opportunity presented itself, for me to get a zinger in, a great little one-liner to capture the absurdity of it all. So what if I couldn't even stick the landing? We’ll meet again, I promised him.

But then, after hanging up the phone, I had to wonder. With the way things are going-on this unmarked path, our every decision reduced to one, gigantic, pulsating question mark; I've stopped making plans. And besides, driving away from the place I've spent the last ten years, it occurred to me that I had left not a single material thing behind this time. There was not a trace of me left. Not even a sweater.

Still, Atlanta. You’re so full of the people I love, so broad with memories of my becoming who I am that even if I’d had more minutes, I would have run out of them, and words, and tears with which to say: you were one crazy city. You were my home. I should have left a note, at least.

Lately, I’ve been thinking. Do you suppose really rich people have more closure? I’ve already decided that they have superior photos, what with their fancy cameras, or in some cases, entourage of professional photographers. But when billionaires are fixing to move out of state, do you suppose they’re all tied up stumping for used cardboard boxes at Ace Hardware, or taking between 25-30 free copies of the Creative Loafing from the Birkenstock store to use as packing material? Because I don't know about you, but something tells me that they've hired a trained army of Type A's to transfer utilities and Swiffer, while they ride around town telling everyone how much they mean to them. That and eating at all their favorite restaurants before it’s too late and instead of places like Antico and Ria’s, it’s wall to wall mashed potatoes, as far as the eye can see.

Resentful? Again?

I just feel like an orphan right now. I'm sorry, internet. I do have a roof over my head in that we've been able to move into a vacant home that belongs to my family-so we're not squatting. That's a positive. And I know this place-I grew up here and am familiar with all its creaks and night-noises, so at least I don't have to lie in bed analyzing my proximity to death's door each time the house settles--another bonus. But I would like a place to sit down, with a lamp and a stack of magazines at my feet. I would like to finish a room. Furnish a room. Yes, we retrieved our possessions from the mouse ghetto, and were fully prepared for the endless rounds of sanitation as well as the need to dump a good portion of it, but there was something else we didn't count on, another plague of biblical proportions. But first, why don't I spice things up with a riddle? Here goes: Take all these ingredients and mix them in a pot: cold winter, wet spring, cardboard boxes, cement floor. What do you have? Mildew! Louder now, MILDEW! Now, see-wasn't that fun?

Really, though, it's not. But in between loads of laundry, I fantasize about opening up a Pottery Barn credit card and just getting down. I could click my way out of this mess, you know, and don't think for a second that I haven't circled with a black Sharpie everything I need to legitimize a family room. It's basically everything but the family. Of course, though, there's the whole "job" issue to consider, and I guess I don't really want to be responsible for my husband's certain death upon the arrival of a delivery truck containing assorted home furnishings that are exceptional in comfort, style and quality. Which brings me to my other dream, taken directly from the gospel of Shirley Temple and her role as Sarah Crewe in Little Princess. Oh, if only there was an Indian lascar across the attic who'd surprise me with gifts of warm bedding, books, and a leather sofa! I could learn to tap dance and speak Hindustani, honest!

But here's the thing about Shirls: she kept the hope alive. She was more dimples, less gnashing of teeth. So I guess I'll take a page from her book and let you know how it goes. In the meantime, I am totally open to the idea that a man in a turban is about to bless me with lavish duvet covers and hot cross buns, even if my everyday existence has been reduced to that of a modern-day scullery maid. Look for me when this is all over, I'll be the one saluting the camera.