Got the house mostly empty and the insides all painted. Tore up some of the paint when I sanded down the floors. Next few days I’ll screen and buff, put down a sealer, screen again, then lay down some finish and half the floors will be done. Living room, office, kitchen, and bath. Still have the hall and two bedrooms but they will get done in a couple of weeks. Once I can clear them of the boxes and crap we’ve got piled in there. I got fences yet to mend and the outside to paint.
I got more work than I know how to do. It used to be I just flang myself at it and it got did, but now when I flang it only gets partway did and then I have to muster and flang myself a few more times to finish her off. I am getting older but also I am getting lazier, too. Like our old bull dog. Deef, half blind, all confused. Wake up to take a nap, go back to sleep after.
I aim to get a team of guys from Mercado to come over and cut back my hedges and clean up the yard and haul off junk. That will be a big help.
Gotta get this old house sold, is what.
I am meeting with the lady from pension trust today for my last time to pick a date final and make sure I get retired correctly.
I’m nervous about it.
I’ll go in a dark room where a bad man is hiding, I’ll kick down the door and go no problem. What I can’t do is make a phone call or go to a meeting with someone where there’s numbers or signing something involved. Every time I pay a bill or look a my bank account I have a tiny little heart attack. I never have got over my money sickness nor do I guess I ever will. A big part of getting out, of retiring and selling the house is the thought that that’s just so much less shit I have to deal with. If I don’t owe the bank and I don’t really have more than a handful of bills to pay then maybe I’ll settle down inside.
I doubt it, but still. Nice to imagine.
I like the way the house feels, all clean white inside. I think the floors will turn out good- they’re hundred year old douglas fir. Too soft for a floor, really, but they have a beautiful tight grain and a clean, warm color. Lots of marks and gouges and stuff that didn’t sand out, but shit, they’re old floors and they look fine old. The finish will be clean and clear and whats beat up and marked just shows character. There’s stuff to read in them.
The whole place has fallen from its glory years, when the kid was a kid and we had a thick green lawn and the garden overflowed with heritage roses and abundant flowers of every stripe, where there were balloons and dogs and sprinklers and everything was ship-shape and shiny. Where we had parties and friends over and drank too much wine.
In my mind it started to fall off when the kid went on her wild ride through meth land. Years of too much rage and despair and fear to do anything in the garden or around the house. I don’t know, though. I built that studio during that time. There was still plenty of work going on. And we got older, too, less inclined or able to spend the whole weekend busting ass to shine everything up. And then it reaches a tipping point where you stop looking cause everything is shouting at you for attention and it’s just easier to sit on the couch and have a beer.
But now it’s time to cut things to the ground, sell or give away everything we can, toss out the rest. Keep a handful of things that will fit in the trailer. Clean and paint and spruce up till my hands are falling off and I can’t move without groaning.
It’s all fine, it feels good to do. I hope the new owners have as much love and joy here as we have done.
There’s just this ugly patch in front of us now, and the allure of the open road beyond that. I really am looking forward to spending my days with the woman. Not giving myself to this job anymore. Tending to the spiritual work that intrigues and sustains me. I want to live outside twenty hours a day and hike and run and swim and read and hold hands with my wife and sit by a fire under the stars and be unencumbered by the last fifty years. Let it all fall away.
See what’s out there in the world. See what’s in my true heart.
And stop wearing pants.