Finally out of the house yesterday; all items meant for Goodwill stashed in the garage, all items meant for other people also duly stashed in the garage, all items destined for storage stashed in the garage, and while the garage was completely full, that meant the house was empty.
So the reno crew came in to get the place ready for sale — without a new floor in the main bedroom and new carpet upstairs, the house wouldn’t sell for ages — so they were really necessary. Fortunately, their fee comes off the final sale price so I don’t have to go to my rapidly-thinning wallet.
The first thing they did was rip the bookshelves off the walls in the den and dining room. Three days of backbreaking work for Connie and me to build and install the things; ten minutes and they were down, destroyed.
I had to leave at that point. I know: intellectually I could see that what sells a house is bare walls so that the new owners can put their imprint on the place, just as Connie and I did; emotionally, all I could see was one of our favorite projects reduced to splinters and our house being turned into someone else’s home. So I fled.
Fortunately, Doc Russia was available (night shifts this week) and as always, he had the right answer: “Lunch with booze, at an establishment which features scantily-clad women.”
I was so distraught I let him take me to just such an establishment, and yet another sign of my distraction was that I ordered a salad. [pause for gasps of shock to die down] Okay, it was a steak salad with avo, bacon, blue cheese and blue cheese dressing but honestly, it’s probably the first time I’ve ever ordered a salad as a meal in a restaurant. A tall mug of draft Shiner Bock (too fizzy, of course, but okay-tasting), a waitress of extraordinary loveliness (tangential thought: why would such a pretty girl resort to working at a place like that?), and with the wall-to-wall TV screens showing everything from fishing to football (both kinds), my mood turned from bleak and miserable to if not Happiness Stan, at least away from Blubbering-Sorry-For-Himself Kim. (Another tangential thought: on one of the TV talk shows, some guy was being compared to another guy, and I realized that I’d never heard of either of them. I am really out of touch.)
And as always with Doc, the conversation was all Guy Talk: guns (duh), hunting, cars, women and sports — we both turn off the TV when it’s people talking about a game versus people actually playing a game.
So the meal was done, and the music was making us both jittery (final tangential thought: when did rap music become acceptable in a sports bar?), so we left. When we got back to my new home, Doc got ready to go to work and I started unpacking the few paltry possessions I’ll need as a house guest: clothes, guns, books, my laptop — you know, the bare essentials.
And then to bed. For the first time since Connie died, there were no dreams, no nightmares; I slept all the way through the night and I didn’t wake up dreading the day to come — also for the first time.
Today I’ll be back at the old homestead, supervising the demolition of the workshop side of the garage and the clearing up of the backyard (which until recently looked like part of the Amazon forest had skipped over the border and established itself firmly in my little plot of land in N. Texas). A couple-three trips to Goodwill, a trip or two to the storage unit, and that’ll be it.
I don’t think I’ll go back inside the house. Not for a while, anyway.