I’ve been busy lately.
I absolutely love my poetry class. I wasn’t sure I could write “on demand,” but part of the classwork is keeping a journal, and the poem I turned in this week came directly from free-writing in it. I turned out two poems I was very happy with in two weeks.
I also love being surrounded by other writers. There is a great supportive atmosphere in the room, and I’ve gotten some fantastic feedback on my work. When I was writing my second poem, it did indeed hit me like lightning (as my friend Laura would say) that this is what I really want to do. Maybe not all poetry, and it might take some time to figure out the “how” part. But at least the “what” part is settled. The revelation was followed by a big internal “DUH!” moment. I’ve been writing my whole life since the inception of my first independent newspaper The Daily Cat when I was 5 or 6: my nursery rhyme poems in elementary school, my angst-y teenage journals peppered with profanity written so furiously it was embossed on the page, my rock-bottom depression anthems from college. I’ve never not written.
Why the hell did it take me this long to figure it out?
Doubt of course. Not just regular old doubt; I get the extra special super-potent kind that comes with OCD. Do you know I have never in my entire life taken a creative writing class of any kind? Never in high school, never in college the first or second time. Not once did I try out doing what I thought I might love, because it might confirm I wasn’t good enough. Plus, all those voices in the choir singing “You won’t get paid, you won’t get paid” over the years. I know people mean well, but I also know from more experience than I ever intended to get that doing what you don’t love is a fail proof recipe for regret.
Another writing class may be in the works for spring. I am also thinking about applying to A Program. *shiver*
But for now I’m enjoying the fall with its cooler weather, looking forward to Halloween Month aka October. On the calendar so far: scenic train ride, Halloween themed zoo visit, pumpkin farm, Halloween village, the usual trick-or-treating, and it’s not even October yet so I will be adding more. October is my favorite month and Halloween is my favorite holiday. It’s so obligation-free. No meals, no gifts, candy, and costumes. What’s not to love?
It will be a hectic October, because we are going to take the plunge and buy a house. We were hoping to rent for another school year at least, but Dan has been on steroids for his allergies all summer. In addition to the dog allergens, anything from outside just wafts right into our 1923 rental. And the kitchen sucks. It is barely wide enough for two people to pass each other. I have one small area of counter space and part of a butcher block. When I try to actually cook a meal in there, it looks like that part in the Cat in the Hat where he is balancing everything and it’s about to fall over. I love to cook, but not in that kitchen. All my home cooking comes with a side order of swears.
We don’t even have room for the toaster to sit on the counter; it’s up on top of the cabinets. So are all my bowls, salad spinner, food processor, etc. Every damn time I’m making something and Dan is successfully entertaining the kids, it’s “Dan. Can you hand me my mixing bowl?” Then the kids ransack the place when he comes to help: eat ingredients, knock things over, Rory goes straight for the knives and the gas flame or wants to climb up the oven door… Ten minutes later after I’ve chased them out: “Dan, can you get me down the steamer?” I lug a chair in there sometimes to get things myself, but they see me and follow me because nobody is as interesting to a kid as a grown-up trying to get something done.
We have no storage either, and did I mention mice? I have to keep the cabinets laced with mint and locked down to make sure our cereal doesn’t get ransacked. We also found out, when the neighbor tried to run hamburger grease down her garbage disposal, that our sink drain is shared with hers! That was an interesting night, when our sink stopped draining and mysterious brown water came halfway up in it. Thankfully we didn’t have to pay for the plumber the next day because he discovered that the clog was on her side.
The yard is also freakishly overrun by crickets. That isn’t helping matters. I had to do some yard work out there in August, and I piled the brush up in my empty garage to let it wilt and bag it up. In addition to the tiny little almost-cute crickets that scatter everywhere when I walk in the grass (the number alone negates the cuteness), there are big black creepy “roach on a pogo stick” crickets. One popped out of some brush as I was bagging it, and boy, does the eff word echo when you scream it in an open garage! I took my rake and beat the shit out of the brush pile to try and run anything else in there out, but I still saw that little SOB later (or one of its friends), sneaking through the tangled foliage.
We are well and truly done with the duplex. It is charming if you’re into old buildings and vermin, and it would be perfect for a smaller family if they like to eat out or order in a lot. But we’re tripping over each other and all the little things are adding up to a lot of never-ending nuisance. Nonstop nuisance isn’t good for a man on steroids and a woman with OCD. We thought about renting elsewhere, but if we are going to move, I want to stay put for at least five years. Renting is too risky. We could end up in the same situation with the allergies. So we’re going to talk to a realtor soon and get moving on moving.
I would be far more freaked out about all this change, but two things are helping me keep my inner peace (as much as I ever do, which…isn’t much): one, the extra Zoloft from my craptastic job experience. That has improved a little, but it still isn’t unicorns and rainbows or anything. The other is I’ve felt stuck all summer with the job situation and waffling between “wait and see about the allergies” and “let’s GTFO already.” So now that we’ve landed in the GTFO camp, I’m looking forward to a house where I can have two appliances sitting on the counters and at least one and a half bathrooms. I’ve complained enough in this post so I won’t even elaborate on taking a number when you have to take a piss.