These are the final five days in this house for me. This house into which I moved in May of 2010. The house in which I became an artist again after a quite long gap from the fourth grade. The house in which I wrote and published eight books, in the process becoming a poet and giving readings at the local – and my long-time fave – coffee house. Where I have cut the grass and watered the flowers, planted vegetables in less than optimum conditions with okay results. Where I daily rejoiced with my soulmate.
I have to leave Sunday. A young couple with a truck – her I’ve met (we almost created a Podcast together), him never – are coming early Sunday afternoon to try and haul my big bed up the small stairway from the cellar and a couple of beat but wildly loved recliners, a bookcase and a couple of small table – all the things you’d expect a young boy to have gathered after seventy plus years. I’ve already hauled and dragged and prayed heavy boxes of books and Spenser’s zillion t-shirts and DVD’s over to storage, and the Sunday move is likely to take two trips and the young couple have said they will not accept money – my book “Get in the Car” will suffice, throw a few greeting cards in for good measure. Kindness’s again.
We’ll haul the few pieces to a garage I was gifted in exchange for a few of my paintings and then later in the day – Sunday – I’ll make my way over to a spare room I’ve also been gifted for two of my paintings (my fourth-grade art teacher would be proud) and try to feel my way around in someone else’s house for three weeks, you know that tip-toe be sure not to be rocking any boats, being a guest an all. You couch surfer. You gypsy.
It’s supposed to be 96 in Portland by later afternoon today and I walked the first of my two, two-plus-mile walks at just after six this morning, beat the heat, escape domestic reality for a bit, me and runners and cyclists and a few fellow walkers. And birds – lots of birds. The second walk of the day will come after eggs and bacon and green beans – a replica of last night’s meal (us Keto-ites eat a lot of the same meals) – and that walk will be out in, like Springsteen sang, the ninety-degree heat. (When Kitty came back to town.)
Next Monday, a week from yesterday, I’ll come back to this house, key-less and hoping someone answers the door and decides to let me in, to pick up Spenser and grab the last of his stuff and his TV and DVD player and jam things in the car and drive him 15 miles and through too many lights and stop signs up to his new house – with younger, cooler, hipper caretakers. But no more Dad. But I will be driving up many times through this new month, June, to visit my kid and encourage him to settle in and call his new home home. Come July we’ll make do with airplanes and Zoom and phone calls.
I just did change of addresses at the post office for both of us. Spenser’s was in fact where he’s changing to. For me, well, I’ve borrowed a friend’s mailbox for a while, far away, because I was pretty sure they weren’t forwarding all the junk and occasional important piece to a question mark.
You know how that song goes – 96 Tears.