Thursday, March 1, 2012
Grown men also cry...
Last night I brought my first load of the bare necessities over here to the new Victorian house on 17th; some towels, a pot, a pan, two drinking glasses, three cans of tuna fish, half a jar of mayonaise, 400 Starbucks napkins, a laptop, speakers for the laptop, a modem, 250 computer cables, a roll of toilet paper, some old bread, a section of an onion that was wrapped in an old produce bag on the top shelf of my refrigerator at the Old House for the last week, 4 pillows that should have been burned long ago, and two pairs of thick, clean socks.
What a night I had! Unpacking my napkins and displaying a few here and there on counter-and-tabletops I was overcome with a sense of calm, of optimism, things are really looking up now! I admired my own attention to detail as I remembered to bring both a can of tuna - and get this- a can opener. Maybe I am finally growing up? I took care of myself just fine, and made a tuna sandwich and enjoyed one of these last fine evenings I will ever experience again stag.
You see, the FMM could not make the journey into town as she had promised to me that morning, due to an early appointment in Salem to see her eyelash doctor. At least that's what she told me. I'm sure it had nothing to do with not wanting to sleep on a floor, freezing, eating tuna fish sandwiches long into the night and possibly arguing about where we should store the dried pastas. There was inclement weather about as well, and one would not want to tempt any dark fate navigating traffic amongst the blind and thoughtless people driving out there like a bunch of Chinamen.
So I was by myself, and after enjoying my sandwich I bundled up and went out on a little tour of my new neighborhood. Could there be a purveyor of frozen yogurt nearby? Could my recent good luck extend that far? I told myself I was going to find out.
The news was bittersweet as I found there was indeed a nearby yogurt shop, but the owners apparently had the bad taste to close before 10:17PM on a Wednesday. I made a mental note to have a discussion with them about this matter on my first visit, which would be as soon as possible.
I continued on through the slick, black streets of Portland, hands in pockets and nose down to keep these things warm, or at least not-frozen. Around and around I walked, up hills and down making mental notes - a Thai 'bistro' ? Hmmm. Several bars were passed by in acts of willpower exercise. Culinary Institute of Portland? Churches old and new... Lots of old houses and a few high rise apartment buildings were admired, the occupants in each window displayed like Japanese fighting fish in their separate bowls on some great rack someplace. The walk was peaceful and productive and after about an hour, I had had enough. My toes were finally getting numb.
I returned home, still impressed that I had a new key and lock to put together and twist, and a new space to possess and explore and slither about in. I missed the FMM, and felt as if I were betraying her a tiny bit, hanging my towels there in the bathroom without her. We should have carried our filthy pillows across the threshold TOGETHER. But, I remembered, there will be plenty of time for that soon enough. A Forever of time.
I settled into the nest I built there in front of my laptop and eventually went to sleep to the sound of gunfire and helicopters strafing Mogadishuans issuing from my powerful speakers. Sometimes, A Man just needs to feel he is someplace familiar in order to get a good night's sleep.
The trouble started as soon as I looked out the window this morning. There was a light blanket of snow, yes -and that was fine- but there was also a bright yellow parking ticket under the windshield wiper of the Saab. I looked at the tiny clock on the corner of the laptop screen: 7:12 AM. It is true I did not yet pay for a parking permit, but I live here! Do I need one? These were my thoughts as I pulled on clean socks and several layers of thermal undergarments before going outside to investigate. I had already devised a plan to slip out of paying the ticket, which I assumed would be for not having a permit, by taking pictures of the ticket on the snow-covered windshield so I could then claim the permit was hanging, obscured, inside the car from the rear view mirror. It should be noted; I am very clever like this. After taking several pictures which I would include in my scathing letter to the Portland Parking Enforcement Office, I snatched the ticket up and opened it to see exactly how much those mongoloids were going to try to fleece me for.
$140 for 'Registration more than 90 days expired on plates' .
I was sort of shocked and numb, trying to calculate what this meant, and at what time during the night was my vehicle's registration scrutinized? I climbed into the car and started it, gunning the engine for quicker warmth, directly below about 50 or 60 windows containing sleeping persons. What is wrong with these parking people? What kind of a neighborhood IS this, anyway? I began to have my very first suspicion that things may not go so smoothly here as I had first hoped.