(For some reason my logs got shifted backwards 24 hrs. yesterday. I'll be catching up tomorrow. )
Yesterday, woke up on ledge as detailed. Had breakfast of orange juice and nuts from Rite-Aid a few doors down. Went to Yale Library and Mom called.
"Don't forget to ask Cousin Jean for a shower," she reminded. "And call me from there." (She can't see me, 'cause she's got MAJOR shingles...)
Jean called up, and told me that her grandchild Arianna, would be there, "...and we've got a lot of appointments."
Ah, Arianna. GossipGirl for her school, Queen Bee and problem child.
Long story short, I'm out there and we meet, for the first time in her 17-year-old life.
"Ah, I'm Alissa, and you must be..." I catch sight of her dreadlocks. I sense a Fellow Soul. "Love what you've done to your hair!"
She smiles, and says thank you.
"I've put the money into an envelope for you." Cousin Jean says. "Arianna, this is ...Alissa." (Shouldn't it be otherwise? Hmm.)
"I like...need a shower, but I know you're busy."
"Weren't you supposed to be moving in?"
"It was a hoax. I'm going to go back to sleeping on the ledge, like I have been. "
"Okey-doke..." Jean says. She's already discharged her Christian Duty to me, having had me in her house for a month a few years back. According to her, I'm not supposed to sleep over again, ever, since otherwise this is going to be Feeding My Dependancy on Others, or somesuch. Perhaps showers fit in the same category.
Arianna stands with her mouth open. It's clear she's going to be asking some questions.
I noodle back into town in my bike, and decide to look at the old neighborhood, where I spent my first thirty-odd years.
It's changed, and not in a good way. Mayme's house, where I lived, used to have hemlocks and a few mountain laurels hiding the foundation, the new owners have let the hemlocks turn into trees, and chopped off all the lower limbs. They've also painted the house white, and neglected the Great Tree in front, by not having it pruned, with the result that the tree may blow over or get sick.
Ah, well, someday I'll buy the house back. Someday. Most of the other houses I remember aren't doing so well either: the Brousseau's, for instance, with its old golf-course manicured lawn, has a front yard that's yellow and full of weeds. (But you can see the Great Tree for yourself, on satellite photos: check out 167 Treadwell St. Hamden. It's a black oak, old enough to be historic.)
I go off to the park in the Powder Farm, to rest.
This too, has changed since the late Eighties: instead of the swings, slide, and gliders, we now have a gated kiddie park, where moms anxiously flutter over three-year-olds with disinfectant. There's no one at the basketball court, which used to attract, well, everyone, and the Playing Field has a jogging track on it, instead of being just bushwacked meadow. Wonder how the Mothers feel about this bummess putting down a stadium blanket near the park bench "donated by the Bogart (as in Maud and Humphrey? It's new.) family".
I sleep, and wake up. At least the forest is familiar. I write a bit of a love scene in my novel, Scarlet Woman. I wonder why I haven't written more. I lie on my back and watch the wind blow the trees, like giant stalks of grass, and lieder play in my head. I realize I'm very hungry, and bike over to the Mc Donald's on Dixwell, blowing a bundle on a Double Quarter Pounder Combo, feeling vaguely depressed.
I catch a bus and go back to my office in Yale Library. There's a piece of mail in my inbox.
"I just read your daylog. I'm in Trumbull (used to live in NH) and if that's not an impossible commute for you (provided you can commute) I've got an extra bedroom you're welcome to. If that's not practical just let me know what you need and hopefully I can help. Maybe I can put you up in a hotel in town?" There's also a few very warm leads for longer-term housing.
Hot damn. I write back furiously. Phone numbers are exchanged. Credit card numbers are faxed. People are alerted.
I eat another large meal, bus/bike out to the motel, and have a nice, hot bath.