Monday, December 27, 2010

It's been a long time...

...since I've spent time in a city. Last year this time I was in Phoenix for a week at the SAR show, but that was kinda different - my hosts' house wasn't in a development and all the overload was purpose-related. At the end of it I was very ready to go home, but ... well, you know. It always seems different. Then last February I drove to the city to pick up Claire, but that was just a quick in-and-out and didn't get really scary until we were nearly home and got caught in a storm. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm a neurotic stick-in-the-mud, but you knew that.

The trip took only about five hours. Click regarded the whole pet-carrier thing with horror and outrage. The dogs were delighted, but their idea of a ride only lasts a few minutes or half an hour or so, and they were burning out on the concept long before we got here. But still, they were good boys and Ghost didn't really start melting down until we were in Landlady's house and it became clear that home wasn't happening very soon. He's a slave to his routine, for which I completely blame Fritz.

And me? Oh, I behaved with complete normality. It was halfway through the car ride when Landlady said, in that tone one uses to broach a possibly sensitive subject; "So...I notice you brought a rifle case?"

"Okay," I said, "I know I'm being silly. It's just I don't feel armed anymore if I don't know where my rifle is."


"I promise not to carry it on the street."

"That'd scare the hippies."

"Which would have its own entertainment value, I'm sure. But they'd just call the cops, and when does that get fun?"

"A valid, and possibly important, consideration."

Yeah, my suitcase kinda clanks. No paranoia here. Uh uh.

One unexpectedly good thing that happened is the money situation. I lamented, up till a few days ago, that I was going to a city for the first time in a year and only had thirty dollars to my name - which I needed to spend on tobacco, which in turn meant I barely had a penny to my name. Then I got an extra little quicky job that put some folding stuff in my pocket, and that was quite serendipitous. But then Saturday evening my weekender neighbors gave me a Christmas card that contained a Costco gift card, and suddenly I'm able to spend money on staples! Cool! They knew I was going to the city, they knew I'd want to go to Costco, and they knew I'd be broke. I never discussed any of these things with them. Those guys are so thoughtful, they make me uncomfortable.

Landlady just showed me these walking paths they've got around her whole housing development. Ghost is so upset by all the strange new smells and sounds that he's refusing even to acknowledge all the challenges he's getting from all those unseen dogs behind all those block walls. If he's certain of anything, it's that he already has enough trouble and won't be starting any rumbles. Wherever the hell he is, it's not his territory so let's stay low. LB, of course, thinks this is just the most fascinating thing that's ever happened. Which, though it may not be exactly true, is not really that far from the mark. Since moving in with me a year ago last May, his territory is wide but his life in it is really pretty circumscribed. New things don't happen often, and now for this week there's a whole world of them. He's taking it in stride.

So anyway - here we are!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Still sounds mysteriously like Oz. K