Cafe Hitch-hike


There for the asking or taking

Greetings from my cluttered little home. Since I moved in, I had to break into the unit on move-in because the key didn't work. I needed some outlets installed by sinks because they were out of code; although the inspector spotted this on her report and the realtor and seller agreed how it would be paid, it never made it into writing. The outlet was then replaced but disabled a ceiling fan. I then tried to install a shade on the patio, but some pieces were missing. I suppose I need to take the better perspective where nothing worse happened. I also went to get the internet set up, and that was remarkably easy even though I dropped the damn box on the tile flooring.

Last night, after successful installation of cable and internet, I stopped for a spliff and poured myself a nice drink. I missed Timmy's call by just a few seconds, but it was just as well. I turned on the music and walked around the space to appraise it. I wanted to see what level of music was acceptable, that is, where it could not be clearly heard from the breezeway or outside. I'm no longer on the lofty 3rd floor with nearby freeway traffic obscuring the noise. I also know that voices can carry because I've heard some conversations on the neighboring patios since I've been here; maybe this will change once the air conditioners are humming again.

I was curious about the lighting. One thing I learned from living in crowded areas is that dim lighting is a friend to privacy. People can walk by, no one can see anything with dim light and the patio blinds down. I was glad I inspected that. If Tim and I continued to do what we did on the first night in the living room, whoever walked by would get a free show.

I also had to consider how to keep the space secure. I love keeping my windows and patio door open. I still can, but I do need to keep the place secure, especially if I'm on the other side of the unit. When I lived up north and even in Gulf Bluff, I hardly had to worry about that kind of stuff. However, the distance between the Haves and the Have-Nots is pretty wide here, and I'm in a Haves neighborhood. Desperate people can do desperate things, or better yet, people who don't have a high regard for life or for others. I'm sure most people are not like that, but I don't want to leave my patio open and find someone uninvited in my living room.

I'm getting used to navigating the new layout. I don't have as much cabinet space in the kitchen, but I do have a pantry next to it. I have a master bath but I've been using the spare bath. The master bath's layout is exquisitely awkward and I already planned a phased renovation of that. As a matter of fact, it is the first thing on my list! I'm making a running list of things to upgrade. The living room arrangement is a little weird because the cable and internet ports are not on the sides of the room where I prefer them. Well, Uncle Joe showed me a trick to work around that. I would run the cable where the floor and wall meet and cover it with tape that's the same color as the floor. It's a little tacky, but who the hell stares at the floor?

I also decided to get rid of a bunch of stuff that I don't even use. I'm even going to phase out my decor. I realized I've carried it since I left home, and heck, it's just time to do something different. Timmy's really excited about that and has ideas (he lives in his own place, btw). I'll consider them for sure, but I always thought his home looked like a hotel lobby. It wasn't until recently that he put a couple of things that make it look like it's actually his (two pics of his siblings and with his mother, and then one of his former cocker spaniel). I'll be sure to keep the few things that would make it mine for sure. Otherwise, I saw a nearby church that held bi-monthly rummage sales where people could rent a table for $10. I'll be doing that to get a little money that can be used to pay for updates.

This is a big change, all right, and on so many levels!

I hope to rent the spare room once I get rid of all of this stuff. Spare room rental will help greatly with things like refurbishing the bathrooms and getting a new washer and drier. I hear that appliances are crap nowadays, even new ones, so maybe I'll stick with the GE washer and dryers from 1995. I probably will charge below market price because the space isn't that large. Whatever I am able to get will be extremely helpful.

I was too tired to really enjoy all of this. The last 10 days before closing was exhausting because it was taking us a long time to get some information from other parties. The lender was panicking because if we waited until February, the interest rate would go up. The title company then was moving their office during the week of closing, so their computers were offline. We had one hell of a time trying get things in place. I talked to a woman at the local hardware store who told me her moving nightmare, so the things I had to step through were minor; it was just a matter of steering around them rather than getting run off the road.

A few days after I moved in, I talked to my mentor about all of this. I think the heaviest thing on my mind was... the sense that I didn't deserve it. I was used to some sort of struggle to get ahead, and not the generosity of a relative. I got a considerable upgrade in living space and locale, but I was used to the very diverse and working/service class areas like where I lived. It was possible sooner rather than later thanks to Uncle Joe, and he gave it all to me and not the relatives who toil (and pretty much settle). I was used to being toward the end of the line and one of the last people served, not this! I felt guilt and was also afraid of what others thought; that this was just handed to me, that I think I'm too good, that I didn't help out others in my family with what I got. I felt like I cried about it for 10 minutes.

One of things I remembered as I walked my dog last weekend was... of course, gratitude is essential. The other part... it's great to be thankful for things coming my way, but what about if things are the way they just are, and it benefits me (and others)? I can be thankful that the sun is shining, but the sun is going to shine regardless of the kind of day it is. I can be grateful for things, not everything has to be seen as some huge privilege, right? Some things just can't be arbitrarily withheld by others, or given as seen fit. They are just there!

My mentor assured me I was worthy and reminded me of something my mother I noticed as Uncle was dying. He had us in charge of everything rather than his brothers. He also told everyone that I would be the one getting everything. Everyone always noticed that we had an interesting bond and that we were favorites of each other. Uncle Joe was simply doing something that a parent would do, which is help their child regardless of age if they could and if they chose. My mentor also reminded me that I paid for his matters and saw that none of them were left in the lurch. I did very well by him, Uncle figured I would, and that was part of why he did it.

If anything, I'd be insulting what Uncle presented me if I kept second-guessing it like this. I'd also be showing Life a pretty low regard of its capabilities to think that something messed up was going to immediately follow something as amazing as this.

downwind | upstream