On Leaving America – Part 24
Feeling on edge, another weekend over – constant motion. Lou’s like a whirling dervish, getting an incredible amount done, never stops – like a machine.
The real estate woman will return from France soon, a two week vacation I think. She will look at our house again – give us advice on staging. We have been “staging.” Staging is where you move all your furniture to a different place and the room looks bigger, maybe nicer – but nothing is where you want it, but it’s not so bad . . . or good.
Soon the house will be listed. This costs $8,000. Prospective buyers will be coming through the house.
“Do not leave any kind of medicine about,” the realtor asks.
“You mean like drugs?”
“No anything,” she says. “Any kind of meds. The ones that swipe those sorts of things do not have time to read the labels.”
Wonderful. It’s not just meds I’m thinking, it’s a hundred little things that you don’t notice because they’ve been in your environment so long. Things that fit easily into someone’s pocket. Things inside drawers . . . what would someone find if they open this cabinet, or that one, or a desk drawer. Jewelry, watches, rings and stuff like that . . . we’ve got to stash ’em somewhere out of sight.
I’ve had a couple things stolen by visitors in the past. I had this wonderful switchblade knife. It was a good one, the real McCoy. Got it when I was in high school. I don’t remember where or how I got it. They were probably easier to get in the ‘50s. I kept it by my bed at night in case I was attacked and of course my mother spotted it. I woke up one morning and it was gone. No one knew anything about it. Magic. It just disappeared. A decade later I was cleaning out a kitchen cabinet that was awkwardly high and seldom used. I found the knife behind a jar of linoleum floor polish. I was so happy. I was by then long sure my father had gotten rid of it.
Anyway I loved that knife and kept it on my desk. I’ve always had big desks –must often made out of doors, and always littered with papers, pens, computer, lamp, a stapler, scissors, glasses – stuff. The knife was always on my desk, a sort of paperweight and letter opener. One day a couple guys came fix a leaking pipe that had buckled the hardwood floor in a fairly nice apartment I shared with a roommate in San Francisco. The repairs were mostly done while I was at work. A week or so after they had finished the job I noticed the knife was gone. That’s how it happens, treasures so familiar you don’t see them. The visitor’s eyes are fresh. The are in your house to look. To notice things. I feel vulnerable and intruded on, probably because I am vulnerable and being intruded on.
I must leave the house when these prospective buyers come. This means Bucks & Amber will need to go with me. I have a big old Ford Econoline van and plan to let them run around inside it, maybe they will even like it . . . probably not. I will drive us to some out of the way place and park, listen to a book on a CD. One hour or two. Most likely two. This will be early November then December doing this. I will probably freeze. Not sure the heater in the van works. Maybe the station wagon. I could clean it out and fold down the back seats. Plenty or room for a litter box . . . and water? Some kind of Tupperware I guess. The cats will be fine. They have enough fur to keep them warm in Alaska. I wish I could smuggle them into the library.If anyone has good ideas on out-of-house cat sitting I would love to hear them.
Lou will be at her office. She has been working her ass off, handling almost all of the so many details, movers shippers, agents, currency exchange, bank accounts, appointments, paperwork both here and Sweden . . . still more from her office here. I’ve never seen anyone work so hard, and so non-stop. She changes tasks. That’s about as close as she comes to resting and I worry some. Sometimes she looks so tired, and time to rest does not exist, only to sleep at night. Bucks just came up. He wants a snack. He’s doing okay but bored with our “staged” environment. Not many places left to hide.
I’ll bet the majority of readers will have gone through all this. It’s the first time for me. Always apartments before, no transatlantic stuff. If you have words of wisdom, tell me. I’ve gotten good information on cat shipping but nothing with flight changes, 30 hour trips.