Time passed and so did most of the smell. But I couldn’t convince myself that it ever totally went away. And then I started hearing noises under the house again. I called the landlord, he called his guy. The only way to get under this part of the house is to pull some interior stairs (just 4 of them). In May, when the first event was mitigated they had done a very good job of sealing behind these stairs, foam boards and foam caulking. It was all shredded. We put in a trap with cat food one night, caught nothing. Then we put cantaloupe in the trap the next night, caught nothing. Crawling under there, they reported there were 3 or 4 tunnels. Their guess; marmots. No telling where the entrances were.
So, they decided to concrete each of those tunnels and proceeded to do that. His guy had also decided to throw mothballs down one of the tunnels to drive them out. I asked him to remove them. He said too late. Besides, they would just evaporate and go away.
My brother said I should have moved.
So, they finished their work and shoved the stairs back in place; no sealing this time.
And guess what, it started smelling like mothballs inside. Did I mention how poisonous mothballs are? As I was sitting on my bed, my blood pressure rising while I contemplated what action I should now be taking (in other words, whining to myself) I caught a flea trying to bite me. A flea! That’s it, I’m gone. I emailed my landlord that I no longer could live in this hell hole and went out and slept in my car.
Somewhat fortunately I had a trip scheduled and I left for a week. I came back to stay at an Airbnb and then I proceeded to empty out and clean the place. I’m still arguing with the landlord to return my last month’s deposit. In the 8 months I had lived at this place at least 30 days were uninhabitable. Turns out the place was not good for my soul.
I just got back the results of my latest enlargements. Photo#35 and the following photo were printed on canvas; 18×24. Photo#35 is close to really good. It’s too dark, but in the right light it sorta makes it. This photo IMHO came out stellar.
Cool house, no girl.
Two year lease, no driveabout.
Is that all, you ask?
Some mid winter skunks fired a warning shot. Tolerable.
But then, mid April and Irony reared its head.
Something and a skunk tangled under the house.
It couldn’t have been worse even if you tossed in a dead cat.
My friends told me to quit coming around because my clothes stank.
I left for 3 weeks hoping my landlord could do something about it.
He had a lot of work done to seal off any entrances. I was told that it was pretty bad underneath but no dead bodies.
I came back and it still smelled pretty bad. The landlord assured me enzymes would finish off the reek any time now. I opened all the windows and doors and started fans up. Did I mention it continued to get down to the 30’s though May?
I had to turn the heating off and dress warmly, very warmly. I did catch a break. There was no rain or snow for the week I hauled everything out onto the decks. I had to wash everything. Not quite the right time for spring cleaning.
My older brother, who is always right, told me to leave.
I love impressionist paintings. I enjoy how one of the guiding factors was to get away from the up and coming realism of that new fangled technology: photography. So, in a case of round robin I wondered if I could emulate impressionist art with my camera. Same rules would apply, same equipment. No post processing. I just sent this picture out to be mounted on canvas (yes, the things you can print photos on is terrific). I am really looking forward to getting it back.
Flash back to last year; I get a girlfriend.
I also had a broken foot and was slumming in my brother’s house awaiting its sale. My new GF lived 40 miles away and I had disposed of most of my possessions because, remember again, I was going on a Driveabout.
So, as soon as I was at all mobile, I could be and I wanted to be closer to my new heart, so I did. She liked this really cool part of town not far from her place so I targeted that area And since my Year of Therapy had not officially started yet, I made a mistake. I got a small furnished apartment on the third floor of an old converted mansion. Let’s just say it was the attic version of the basement. But it got me close to her; and also got me walking in an urban area.
But it did not get me a place she would visit. Awkward on the relationship.
With improvement in my self awareness came the realization of my mistake. After the expiration of my 6 month lease I started looking around for a new place. A place that would celebrate me, my soul and be a cool place to hang out. I was nearly overwhelmed with variations on how to pull this off. Rent, buy, where, how much, etc.
Then I found this cool little quirky bungalow on the river. It had lots of windows, light and wood. It should be great inspiration for a budding artist. It also cost a lot more than I was budgeting. But this was about feeding my soul and impressing my girlfriend. I signed a two year lease. (Irony alert: Driveabout, not happening now).
And before I was completely moved in, we broke up.
p.s. I now know why guys like basements. Not as many windows to clean.
Happily my daughter had another birthday and I wrote her present:
The day you were born,
Saddled with uncertainty.
Choices to be made,
Cloaked with possibility.
You grew, learned,
With some stumbling.
You tried again
With some fumbling.
Did you need help?
It was often not clear.
Many times wishing
For the aid of a seer.
But your story was building.
It was easy to listen.
To the added adventures.
Of a spirit that's risen.
Continue the effort.
Play it out loud.
You make us proud.
Like a magnet, irony sticks to me.
The starting premise of this blog was that on-line dating mystified me (along with life) and I was going to start traveling and learning. So, just a little ahead of the times, I jettisoned most of my belongings (irony alert) and readied myself to AirBnB across the country.
And instead of that adventure, I broke my driving foot and found a girlfriend.
In my yearbook, I have now labeled 2018 as my Year of Therapy.
Yes, in my past, I had considered therapy as a sign of weakness.
That superior attitude certainly did not prevent my BM (Big Meltdown).
So, ironically, guess what my new found girlfriend does? Yes, she is a therapist.
One thing you can say about me is I’m honest and brave. And stupid.
Anything she asked me I tried to answer.
There were a lot of questions.
And a few tears.
When I started out our relationship I probably had the EQ of a snail. However, I was already writing poetry so let’s just call me an idiot savant. By the time we broke up at the end of the year (yes, on her birthday) I had raised my EQ a lot and you could now just call me an idiot.