distractions

The house is so smart. See, over the past week I’ve finally had some time (read: due to the fact that I’m supposed to be finishing this manuscript, and it’s much easier to say, “I really need to hang that picture.”) to get the house pulled together a bit. The screen door, which fell off while I was on the phone with my mom, has been fixed and works perfectly now. I unpacked the last of the boxes of books. I found a place to put the vinyl records. The pictures have been hung, the curtains are up (I was going to make them, but I’ve learned that no matter how cheap you think you can do something, that damn IKEA has already done it and they’re offering it to you even cheaper). The couch still hasn’t arrived, but I’ve been on the phone with Macy’s, and they know I’m mad. That’s all I can do with Macy’s: tell them I’m really, really mad.

I’ve done the shopping, the cleaning, the yardwork. I even bought a plant for the planter that hasn’t had a plant in two years. I weeded. I repotted the ficus (sexy). I finished knitting a poncho, gave it to Jessica, and I’m halfway through a hat.

This isn’t all because I’m supposed to be finishing the manuscript. It’s also because stee’s been out of town. For the first couple of days it wasn’t too bad, because when I was off at the Oxygen show (we won’t know anything about the state of the pilot until January), stee was home alone every day. He found his own patterns to the house and got comfortable with it. But I’d get home and see a box I wanted to unpack or a frame that needed to be hung. (I know. “Oh, wah! I had to go to a job!” But when you’ve been working at your home for four years, changing that is very unsettling).

Stee could only get so much done during the day on his own. I felt like I was visiting the house more than living there. So with stee gone, I was left to do all of the chores, which meant I learned the patterns of the house. I fed the cats, changed the litter, watered the lawn, made the breakfast and coffee while downloading email, and made the bed. I swept and watered the plants and checked the mail and paid the bills. I ran the farm on my own, and in doing so, I fell in love with the house. It was important for me to go through that, but I really only needed a weekend. I was very happy to see stee yesterday. We went to Amoeba Records (which works as not just the best music store on earth, but also like a town square — I saw five friends in twenty minutes), and splurged a little.

So all I want to do is sit at this table, drink my coffee, enjoy the view (and the breeze), and write four thousand words while listening to the new R.E.M. album. The chores have all been done. There’s nothing to distract me. So what happens?

The CD player breaks.

I’ve had it for years and I knew it wasn’t going to last much longer, but it’s amazing how many things just stop working once you move into a new place. The week we moved in every piece of electronic equipment started malfunctioning, including a major computer crash. We’ve fixed or replaced everything that had given up. And now: the CD player.

I used that as an excuse to take another break, to come here and write an update. I’ve now loaded the REM cd into the iBook, the entry is finished —

oh, the phone is ringing!