Trees In the Road


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view from amelia tree front window

Well, this is what it looks like outside the front window of my camper WHEN IT’S PARKED OUTSIDE MY HOUSE IN WEST ASHEVILLE. Illuminating, is it not? I have been blindsided and stalled: there is a fallen tree in my path. The fallen tree is the same problem that I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to answer since I first came up with this idea over a year ago, namely, how the fuck do you run away from home when you are 50 something and have stuff? 


I thought I had it worked out. Unfortunately, at the penultimate, the last, the eleventh hour, my arrangements came crashing down around my head, taking a longterm very close friendship into ruin with them.

I have two dogs and a cat and a troubled adult child and a house full of art and books and furniture that is not valuable to anyone but me. I have been trying to hedge my bets and keep my options open – it has been my experience that this always, but always, pisses off the gods: they like commitment in their playthings – and, well, now I am not sure I can keep those options open, or if I even have any damn options. I no longer have anyone I trust to care for the animals and the house and art and, to some extent, the troubled child, and so, can I leave? How the fuck am I going to fix this? Do I toss it all to the winds and leave it with the child (who has cheered up wonderfully at the idea of not being evicted and assured me that he will fill the house with nice, respectable young women, no problem?)  Do I empty the entire thing into a storage unit, take the geriatric dogs with me, cut all my urban agendas (you can’t leave dogs sitting in a truck while you spend hours at the Field Museum, after all) and head off into whatever wilderness will support us? Do I try again to evict my kid and find good hearted strangers to care for the dogs and the art and the peeling leather couch? Do I just give the fuck up, get a job and wait for the dogs to die?

I don’t even know what the hell to do besides curse and drink and occasionally cry.  And half my clothes are stored in the garage and half are in the camper and just finding a bra requires going from the house to the camper and back again in whatever is currently passing as pajamas several times while the construction workers across the street observe a moment of horrified silence.

And in the fucking meantime, I need to get somebody to paint the goddamn basement since the furniture has all been roughly removed and, hell, might as well. But it is not fucking going to be me. I am not spending the next week crying and painting the basement, even if I did watch five videos this morning on how to transform the hideous painted concrete floor to a chic and shining stained concrete floor.

I was supposed to be on the road by now. Hell, I was supposed to be enduring a camping time share lecture in Ohio in order to get three precious free weeks of staying at places with showers and electricity. I have been working like the proverbial dog, which is to say much harder than any damn dog I ever owned. I have driven AmeliaTree around Asheville. I have spent several hours at two separate trailer places with my friend Zen – where I was rather eye openingly treated much much better due to my sudden acquisition of an apparent husband.  I am feeling more confident about driving, even if I still can’t actually back up. Backing up is overrated! I am just going to avoid it, she said steadfastly. O god. But! The work on my house, which had hit a frenzied peak last week, is mostly done. My garage is packed to the gills. The camper is loaded if not logically stored. I have spent a vast fortune on many things related to the house and the truck and the camper. I was, more or less, ready. There was olive oil and wine neatly put away in the camper. I even hung art.

And then it all fell to shit and, to add insult to injury, the camper refrigerator died. RV refrigerators, for those who do not know, are made out of diamonds and gold and the precious secret tears of a bird who cries only once every hundred years. IN other words, fuck, I ain’t got no fridge no more and I am going to get real well acquainted with blocks of dry ice.

If, that is, I ever get out of here.

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