sometimes i like to think that this new years eve resolution has changed me. made me less afraid of the world outside my door. i’m getting on planes. i’m driving heaven knows how many miles. i have learned about people’s spiritual and personal lives. i have hiked in the mountains and sailed on boats. i’ve chopped wood blocks with my bare hands and opened champagne bottles with saber swords. i am what was once politely referred to as a bit “reclusive” but i was thinking as i pass my fifty first birthday and 184th facebook friend meet-up that i was all over that.
but sometimes i think i haven’t become anybody any braver than i was december 31. this week, my house–which has always served as a “safe” place–came apart. there was a heavy rainstorm and some of what i think of as the essentials of a home–hot water, power, air conditioning, a working washer and dryer–aren’t happening for me. instead of making me feel like leaving, i have hunkered down. isolating myself at exactly a time i shouldn’t. i’ve been thinking about what’s essential for me and, frankly, air conditioning and a hot shower are very high on that list. clean clothes would be cool too!
yesterday, i left home to visit f2fb friend #185 michael barth. he used to work at the community house in winnetka and then he moved to santa cruz, california with his parents. they had retired and he was working on a degree in forestry. recently, they made the decision to move back to the chicago area. michael came with them. he is a caretaker to them but he has three essentials: a job, a girlfriend, and an apartment of his own.
i told him i thought a job would have to come first so he could get an apartment and then the girlfriend would magically appear. unfortunately, jobs in forestry are often meted out on the basis of politics–michael said that he’s gone on a number of interviews where the offer has already been made to someone. as for an apartment, that’s tough because he serves as a caregiver to his parents although they are graciously offering to pay his rent. and a girlfriend? sometimes women don’t understand how necessary the task of caregiving is.
this morning i have scored an appointment with a heating and air conditioning professional. the plumber is supposed to show up sometime tomorrow or the next day to fix my water heater. i’ll get my essentials back. i hope my friend michael gets his.
in the meantime, santa cruz better watch out–its guardian angel has flown away–