Sunday, July 15, 2012

Now what?

I am sitting the empty room that used to be my living room, in the spot that was my spot. I have sat in this spot thousands of times, and this is the last time. I feel like I am full of glass.

I managed to make it all the way through this whole last day in my home without a tear, until it was time for  the Cap'n to go. I wasn't sad about his last walkthrough - though he was - I was sad because my ex is the most callous human being I have ever had the misfortune to meet. Two days after being made responsible for my felines, he's decided that they're too much to handle. This is because my cat with serious, chronic bowel issues which are treated with medication shit on his carpet. A cat with bowel issues had a bowel movement. Game over. Never mind that her issue isn't diarrhea, it's constipation, and that it's highly unusual that she had such loose stool, and that she's prone to dangerous dehydration if she's not carefully monitored. Never mind that she's been hospitalized with a needle in her vein for three days. Just tell me you want me to pay to clean your carpets and find a new place for my problem animals to live.

That was just the ugly cherry on this awful sundae of suck. I spent my day turning the spaces which two days ago were our sanctuaries back into boxes. I did it by inhaling noxious cleaning chemicals and having my hands immersed in water for about nine hours. I browbeat and bullied and coerced my sweet son and wonderful partner into doing the same. Z made trip after trip to our three (3!) storage units, uncomplainingly hauling the stone bunnies and half-filled notebooks that I couldn't leave behind. Why do we have three storage units? Because we still don't have a house. We don't have an apartment, a trailer, an RV, or a spot under the bridge. We have marvelous, caring friends, though, and a trip planned to Juneau - I said fuck it yesterday morning and booked it because there's no way I'm eating my kid's 15th birthday cake off someone else's plates - and we have a housesitting gig or two lined up. But no place to call our own. No place to tuck my bunnyrabbit in at night. No place to let my cats curl up behind my knees and rest.

I am really angry at my landlord for not seeing what it meant to ask us to leave in the middle of summer. I know it's not his job to make sure that we have a place to live, but we've been his tenants for eight years, minus two weeks, and I think we've been pretty good ones. We don't want to trade this lovely home for a two bedroom basement, and I'm angry because I feel like he drove us to a decision like that.

One of the first craft projects I did in this house was to decoupage the lightswitches. Gnomes in the Cap'n's room, peonies for the bath, a repro oil painting in the bedroom where I nursed my babe every night. I was going to take them with me, because nostalgia and all, but I decided to leave them. Maybe my landlord will see them and realize that we were not just his tenants, we were a family, and this was not just a holding cell until something else came along. It was our home.

I have to get up now, out of my spot, and unplug the router and walk out the door and not look back. in a minute, I will. In a minute.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Keep on swimming

I have tried to write this post so many times now I have lost count. Every time I dissolve into helpless tears, which I guess isn't an unusual situation, but it seems like the status quo these days rather than an exception.

On the Friday before Memorial Day, our landlord came to me and told me that the house we live in was being sold, and we had until July to move out. On top of the impossible task of finding a new place to live - Sitka being notoriously short on affordable decent housing, I have been dealing with the grief I feel over losing my home. Now, eleven days before I have to close the door forever, I am weeping every day and I have reached to point where I am putting every last thing I encounter into a box to save, because my heart is too sore to send any more memories away.

When we moved into this place eight years ago, I had only ever lived in one house longer than two years. When I was a child, we moved very often, a consequence of my mother being in the army and of her own inability to put down roots. I attended thirteen schools in my thirteen years of schooling and was homeschooled for half a year. I never knew what would survive one move to the next. I don't have my baby books, or the gourd lady my Grandmama brought us from Peru, or any of my favorite picture books from when I was a child. I don't have my prom shoes or my hand-embroidered baby blankets.All lost in the shuffle from place to place.

So when I started the monumental task of reducing the life I made for my children and me in this house to labelled boxes and a gargantuan pile destined for the garage sale, I was paralyzed at the idea of throwing any of this away. I still am. I know it sounds silly, but the abandoned blocks at the corners of my craft room were the happy hours my baby girl contented bounced in her chair while I sewed her brother's Christmas gift. The glittered stars were the magic of Santa that my son learned was in his heart, not in the North Pole. I don't want to sell the light-up shoes my mom bought to bribe her to ride her bike. I don't want to see the coveted Jedi robe on some other kid's arm. I know that when I send away the squeaky ladybug, that memory of opening a box from Lacy and finding them inside will be gone, too. I won't have the object to fire the memory.

So I cry, and I find it impossible to part with another thing. I am so tired of trying to let this all go.