Tuesday, September 30, 2014
So, I drove back to New Orleans this weekend to clean out my apartment and get the rest of the stuff I wanted to keep and discard the stuff that doesn’t serve me any more or won’t fit in my truck. (I was so sad to dump my four-track MiniDisc recorder in the trash; when I got it I was rich, it was the state of the art, it’s in a landfill now. Too much dead weight to carry.)
I had a great, beautiful time in New Orleans. I saw my people. I got my stuff. (If you are my people and I didn’t see you, don’t worry, I will.) I’m already getting better at doing this drive.
A thing I’ve noticed is New Orleans has a natural slow pace. Austin (based on a very small sample duration) has an unnatural slow pace. I’ve been in a car (pick-up truck) more in the last two weeks than the last ten years. But I do drive friends’ and relatives’ cars in New Orleans and it’s different here. The lights are long. It seems designed to engender impatience. I finished some terrible pad thai waiting for red lights on the way back to the motel.
Then I went to load some stuff in my storage space, out on I-35. I got there at 8:30, to beat the nine o’clock closing time. I was wrong to do that. I thought if I got in by nine I’d be fine. It turns out you must not be there after nine. The manager brought a crazed barking dog down with her at 9:15 to tell me I was trespassing. I apologized. I asked if she were going to call the police. Should I just abandon my things (a truckload of things) or risk jail? She said I had twenty minutes. I didn’t have a phone and they don’t have clocks (they don’t have hand trucks or dollies or anything a regular storage space would have). It’s my fault, its all my fault. But I got threatened with the choice of arrest or a dog bite…all I have in my defense is Yelp, I guess.
It’s all very stupid. I’m just a little confused with the rules-based life that seems to be the default here. After the manager yelled at me (pulling hard on the barking, lunging dog’s leash the whole time), I thought, I should just pay her for her overtime. Just bribe her. I had money in my pocket. In New Orleans, I think, she would have hinted, or just asked for it. She came back to kick me out but I wasn’t about to get near that dog.
I don’t know. I don’t even live here yet. I was going to take a sublet but the building asked for a $200 non-refundable application fee. Every landlord wants money to even talk to you. Even in New York they don’t do that. I paid for someone in New York to do a credit check on me in 1992, that’s the last time I was asked for money for the privilege of asking to pay money to live in a room.
Speaking of rooms, I came back to my Motel 6 and they gave me a new, worse room. But we’ll live in it. My cat is getting better at understanding that we are homeless. It’s costing me several dollars in treats. I attempted to walk her on a leash in Ellinger, Texas at 11 p.m. because she cried and it seemed like a long ride to not pee. It was the worst ninety seconds I have spent with my beloved cat and I promise not to try it again.
On the bright side, I like my job, which is why I came here. Also, someone started a conversation with me at Home Depot because my truck was so weighed down. That was kind of fun, and how I expect people to behave. I haven’t had many conversations, outside of work! And I got asked to try out for a band which I’m doing tomorrow.
I can’t fit this thing in the truck, so I’m giving it away or finding it a home. I mean, it’s a guy with a giant tongue who looks a bit like me, dressed in a lab coat. It’s seven feet tall (for scale, I am six feet tall).
While I’m packing, Sally’s sitting on top of the refrigerator, hiding from the truth, just like she did when we moved into this apartment.
She was so unhappy when we moved but now I hate to take her away. She seemed so happy in New Orleans, with our safe fenced yard, bringing me salamanders and dropping them at my feet while I worked. Sometimes four a day.
They say taking notes helps you remember things, especially if you have appropriate visuals.