“Terry,” I said as I shook her thin hand looking at her weathered wig that tilted off to the right and I saw the glare from my porch lantern in her over-sized glasses.
“Do you know if this house is still for sale or who I could talk to at Coldwell Banker? Are you living upstairs? I been wanting to buy this place.”
“The house was sold, ma’am. I’m afraid I bought it.”
“Oh.” She sagged a little. “I wanted to buy it, but I guess it went fast. It sure is a pretty house.” She walked toward the front porch, climbed the five dark red cement stairs, and picked up three large plastic bags that she’d stored there. I passed her on her way out of the gate, she turned around, swinging her head toward the house, “It sure is a pretty one you got there.”
“Thank you, ma’am. And what's your name?"
Well you take care.”
“You too, son.”
Joe arrived from Maryland just in time to see me completely freak fucking out. The last No-Lube Fuck from the owners of Superba was when they lowered the price to what I’d originally offered them on the Saturday before the Monday I was closing escrow on the new house. Could I pull together the loan over the weekend? No, but it didn’t stop me from trying as I wearily and haplessly hopped on board the Financing Train.
Joe’s compassion was constant and needed. He worked until he was gasping for air, sometimes in the world of his iPod, other times he’d patiently listen to me wail and cry. After long days of stress and hard labor, we’d have no more energy for anything but to fall onto the couch and stare at television, or sometimes for me I’d clench and stare at the space between memories and the wall.
I couldn’t have done this without Joe. None of it. It was hard to put him on a plane on Monday, but I know he’ll be back. He seems to like the house.
The last three words of Brokeback Mountain undid me. Right after the movie, Joe and I met Susan and Paul for dinner for some super great BBQ, although it took me a while to shake off the film. The medium rare tri-tip helped.
I shamble around the house when I get home from work, looking for something in one of the thousand boxes that might as well be marked Miscellaneous, and nothing is where it should be because where it should be is now somebody else’s home. I’m taking off work until the third of January, and in that time, I hope to get a dog and find a place in this house to put things where they rightfully belong.