Nesting (32 of 90)

By all accounts, this weekend was a social disaster.

The kind of weekend that would make me want to scamper back to school, back amongst the living, back to see and touch humanity to make sure that I hadn’t committed any felonious act that was about to end my career.

It’s funny to type that now, but for years I awoke each day Tabula Rasa, wondering if today was the day the demons would finally catch up to me.

Because of that, there’s only ever been one place I felt at home: Austin. Every place else I’ve ever lived was temporary, a stepping stone on my way to the next place. The next start-over. The next re-set.

Until now.

I won’t say Muncie is my home. That will always be Austin. But I feel at home here. And that’s something.

***

Austin is home, figuratively and metaphorically.

I own property there, a unit that my best friend rents from me. He’s lived there since November 2002, the year I bought the house. It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 8 years since I purchased it. Time certainly flies.

I don’t get to spend as much time there as I’d hoped, but that’s the nature of my work. Still, we have a pretty nice set-up. He’s been working on the backyard (and will be again as soon as I can get the debit card for our house account to work). The inside is coming along nicely.

We’re in no great hurry to get anything done, although I suspect that the next few years will see a flurry of activity. I’m excited for that. Still, it’s not a bad place to live in during my trips to Texas.

I love my summer travels to Europe, but I know that won’t last forever. At some point, I’ll be relegated to life in the States again. When that happens, I’ll have something better: my home.

***

But we’re not talking about Austin. We’re talking about me. And my social disasters. And nesting.

This weekend was the kind of weekend that would have sent me over the edge in a different lifetime. I’d have been angry, upset and unbearable. I guess for a little while, I was irritable. Hopefully I’m allowed that every now and again.

It’s how I coped that struck me. Instead of brooding, I dug through my old pictures, eyeballed the living room (which needed about 5 more picture frames) and ordered prints from the Wal-greens up the street.

The prints would be ready at 930 am, the perfect time to pick them up, hit Target (for my frames), arrange them, mount them and still get started with my day.

I even had cause to do a load of laundry and the dishes.

I went Domestic on Sunday. I nested. I hung my 13-16 sets of picture frames on the first floor. To go along with the 8 frames sitting around the house. (And the frame I set upstairs for later hanging.)

My town home is a lived in extravaganza of hominess. The kind of place you live in when you are living in a place. Towels and soap and bathroom rugs match. Pictures hang from the walls. The kitchen matches the dining room (although a desk sits where a dinner table would be). The reading room has maps, because reading rooms – I think – should have maps. The den a shrine to past writings.

***

I do not recognize myself in this, which is good. I’ve spent too many years with a foot out the door, an eye over my shoulder and flight just a few boxes away.

The angst of forgotten evenings, of bad decisions, of burned bridges isn’t here this time. Oddly.

So I spend my disastrous social weekend nesting.

And I don’t want Monday to come.

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2 comments

  • Jenny March 1, 2010   Reply →

    I'm glad you made something of your weekend!

  • Brad_King March 1, 2010   Reply →

    Gosh, if this is what normal life is like. I'm pretty much sold on the idea.

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This newsletter is the outgrowth of The Downtown Writers Jam podcast. What that means is I will collect information about the authors I interview, book happenings around the Web, and other literary events that I find interesting. Without you, I'm just a crazy guy sitting in his office furiously screaming on the page for no reason.
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