Saturday, June 7, 2008

Moving Journal Update... The Graceful Landing

I think it fair at this point to continue journaling until at least one of the following conditions is met:

* Memorable, share-worthy events stop happening
* People stop reading and everyone asks to be taken off the list
* I die

Because none of the above conditions have been met, I will continue to write. Please note though, that if your interest lay only in cross-country driving journals... then read no more. The following fare will bore you beyond lecture and bring tears more than yellow onions, mixed with lemons, being squirt in your eye in a hundred and twenty degree room.... with salt. I know, it sounds pretty bad.... we just wanted to warn you. And by 'we,' I mean I.

The Graceful Landing...
It is important to know at this point in the journey all national travel has stopped and I'm now driving around Lafayette, IN with a 14' U-Haul with a Jeep in tow. So, the economy is Loving me, especially OPEC and BP. For some reason, I chose BP. The only reasons I can give you are:

* I like the green and yellow flower logo
* I used them in FL
* They are well lit
* They are well kept

Oh sure... you may be wondering... "But Andrew? Where are your gasoline purchasing ethics? Why would you choose an international corporate entity peddling Gas to locals? Think Global. Act Local! Are you mad?"
Yes. I am mad. Mad mad mad. I payed those gas bills. I have yet to look fear directly in the face and calculate the total spent on gasoline. Check this box if you think I should total it up:
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The Apartment...
So, I found my apartment online via Craig's List. Graig's List. Where the online subsection of humanity still pulses with all the unbridled oddities and peculiarities as we were meant to have. Some sections, you keep away from your children. Some sections, you keep away from your parents. Other sections, you probably don't know about... like the joke section. If you need a good joke, look on Craig's List (This e-mail offers no warranty or guarantee on the quality of any joke found on Craig's List, heretoforeafter known as CL).
My new apartment is of the following address:
(You understand of course I had to remove this privacy reasons)

This apartment is beautiful. I have 12' ceiling. A marble fireplace with a 10'x10' mirror above both in my bedroom. The apartment has 4 doors: The front and back door are both keyed. The side door opens up to one of my porches. The fourth door opens to a 2 foot drop. The back door opens up to my second porch. Some downsides are: the carpet floors in all non-wet areas, no washer / dryer or dishwasher. However, the price for such a fine feast: less than $600/mo.

Would You be My Neighbor?...
It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood
A beautiful day for a neighbor
Would you be mine
Could you be mine

So the landlord and I finish up signing the lease. He used to work 10 years for the FBI, in surveillance. He of course thought it very funny to make the joke about his being a professional stalker. I laughed in politeness. Fear, of course, punched my aorta and ripples of anxious ice shot through my veins. I believe my ability to read a human is good. I decided long ago my skills in this area were strong enough to trust them. I trust Mike. He made a funny. I know this because he laughed. I trust Mike because of his actions. Upon our first meeting he drive me around Lafayette pointing out places of interest: BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles), The Hope Apartments (a halfway house for recovering addicts... right across the street from my place. And "No, we've never had any crime at this location. There's nothing to worry about."), the auto insurance building, the land his friend bought and renovated into a thriving business area. Mike puts great pride in his renovation of this property and mentions the thanks he's received from local home owners and the local constabulary. The apartment is quirky, bizarre, unique, fun, spacious with great possibility. I'm already picking out paint chips. So, after signing the lease and walking out to view my new street...
It's a neighborly day in this beauty wood
A neighborly day for a beauty
Would you be mine
Could you be mine

The lady and I sit together, peaceful, on the fender of the vehicle transport. The street is quiet. The apartment is completed. Tomorrow, the carpets will be cleaned to strip away the cigarette and wet-dog smell. I sigh, content. I'm taking the sights and smells and feeling minute fibers and tendons relaxing into place after many hard days of work culminate in many jobs done and some of them well. I have a friend at my side and we look at each other and nod approvingly. The air around Tippencanoe Street is sprinkled lovingly with the unmistakable and unforgettable smell of a pig farm. Just then I look to my right side and see sitting at the other shoulder is my friend, and yours, Murphy's Law. A black car pulls up to the front of the beautiful 1870's era duplex. Music thumps regularly and distractingly into the air and into the brain. Murphy's Law chuckles as he bows out from the scene. His eye cocked in irritatingly in that manner that says oh so sickly... "I told you so."

I've always wanted to have a neighbor just like you
I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you

I watch the black car stop. A young man walks out. His white t-shirt is 14 sizes too large for his tall, wiry frame. His hair, bleached and short as is the tradition of the gentleman whose name is on this young man's shirt. I say to my girlfriend: "Look. It's Eminem!" He walks to the other side of my duplex. As he nears the other front door, a woman inhabiting the first floor apartment shouts out:
"Who the f*ck that?!"
I figure of course with proclamations such as this there must be someone else in the car. Clearly this is a lover's quarrell so I have to see who the other girl is. All I can see through the tinted window is someone else's hand. I clearly haven't established the validity of this claim at all, in any way. I did not ask the passenger what his/her intentions were with the driver and if they were honorable. Nor did I ask Slim Shady if he was dating either of the other two parties involved. He climbed the few steps to the front door and replied back to the screamer, the agitated proclaimer...
"Shut Up!"

I say to myself... "Hello Neighbors!" And I think to myself... Not more than 10 minutes ago I signed this lease... Damn...
Of course... one can easily imagine the great conversations we'll have.
"Hey Shady! My name is Whitey McCracker. Would you like to come over and start a knitting circle? We could watch Friends while we knit. Oh... I noticed you have a particular slant to your walk, you should sit up straight when you drive. It's better for your posture you know. You don't want scoliosis. Well, I know you have to take off now and take care of business but maybe you'd like to get some double-mocha-grande-frappucinos sometime. They're super delicious."
Please won't you be my neighbor?

As I drove away, wondering if I'd made the right choice about my apartment, some new information about my neighborhood came to light. Somewhere just off Greenbush Ave, I saw shirtless men, about 18-22, fighting each other. One threw an elbow into the other's jaw. An old man watched with a beer in one hand and a nasty dog, on a leash, in the other.

Next time... the BMV and Social Security

With Love and Respect,

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