Tuesday, May 17, 2016

For Now

Joe Gillis: I didn’t know you were planning a comeback.
Norma Desmond: I hate that word. It’s a return!
-       Sunset Boulevard

I visited Iowa. It’s not like any other place. Wikipedia says my new midwestern home town has extreme seasons – hot summers, cold winters. It feels so uncrowded it might as well be empty.  It feels new and clean after the moss and pollen covered surfaces here that are interrupted by ant hills.

Before I left Seattle, a rheumatologist x-rayed my hands swollen with arthritis and took some blood tests and when I returned for results after my visit to my latest forever home, offered to write a prescription. No thanks. I know a lot about what isn’t wrong with me; and a lot about what is wrong but isn’t bothering me. I got a referral to a dermatologist next.  My skin itches and I'm losing enough hair to make a small pincushion each time I shower.  

Meanwhile, I saw my new apartment. Building occupancy is a bit behind schedule. We had to wear vests and hard hats and be accompanied by a construction guy. The local news says that the most recent construction scandal/delay with the project was a complaint filed by a contractor a mere month ago. He complained of concrete dust that isn’t being cleaned up and poses a danger to workers exposed to it daily. The state is investigating, and the contractor was fired. This is just the latest in the problems that have plagued this historic building. After years of neglect, the building was to be renovated for condos a few years back. It was shut down for violating laws about proper removal of asbestos. The investor who spearheaded the upscale condo reno went to jail for a few years and then killed himself when he got out and was broke and disgraced. Funny, the sales agent mentioned neither, nor did she speak about the delay.

Back home, summer in Seattle is nicer than winter even though it pisses rain every few days and remains in the cool 60s. It doesn't rain enough to prevent plants from wilting or to wash the pollen dust off the cars. I’m going to have to figure out how to turn the outside hoses on. 

Meanwhile, I’ve been taking care of business inside. I fixed the problem of the collapsing bed by replacing 4 too-short 4” wide slats with six longer slats each 6” wide. I got some screen drain covers to catch the hair in the shower. I'm doing some leisurely unpacking, sorting, disposing, repacking of stuff in the garage. A casual observer might think they see more of a mess in the garage - but would be kicked in the nuts if disparaging comments slipped out. A casual observer would be wrong: that pile is empty boxes. The trash has been picked up. Another pile is to give away; and the final pile is to be consolidated and re-packed. So, shut up.

I’ll probably return to the midwest later this summer. Maybe by then either the rental agent will be able to give me a precise date, or I’ll get the hint that this place is cursed and look elsewhere. I'm pretty mellow about my return.

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