Sunday, September 7, 2008
Today is September 8, and it marks one month that I've been in Austin, TX. It has taken a full month to move through feeling as if I'm on vacation to feeling that I live here. Truthfully - I still feel a bit displaced. Do I live here?
This morning, I moved all of my belongings out of the apartment I've been staying in and into the house I rented. That alone provided a new sense of stability. Meanwhile, a friend from Baton Rouge called, and she didn't feel like talking about Gustav because, she told me, "it's too much to even try to describe what life is like here right now."
As my blogger friend Alex noted (in a different context), there are not Grandmas stranded on rooftops, so CNN left town. But don't be fooled world, power in the red stick is still out (along with a sense of normalcy) - though it's finally returning in some neighborhoods. My husband got power yesterday. As the city turtle-crawls back to functioning (schools reopen in one week), it also braces for Ike. As I begin to feel settled here in Austin, I feel unsettled because my old home still feels like my present home. Which is to say - I feel like I'm supposed to go back and take care of some things, clean up a mess, check on people.
Oddly, there are some physical assimilations. I have finally stopped sweating like a water wall - the kind of fountain that continuously seeps water down it's surface. I noticed this about 3 days ago. Up until then, every time I went out in the middle of the day - to walk 3 blocks - sweat began pouring, I mean pouring, down my thighs. I was afraid if anyone saw me they were going to think my non-pregnant self's water had broke.
I also told a friend that I didn't have enough hippy in me to live in Austin. But in the midst of all the crazy sweating - I purchased this clinical strength deodorant that you are supposed to put on at night when you go to bed. But I got nervous that it contained a poisonous, cancer-causing amount of aluminum. So to counter it, I bought Tom's lavender deodorant to use during the day. (Yes, it IS illogical to pretend the "good" deodorant can counter the "bad" deodorant. So.) I've only been using the clinical stuff 3 times a week at night - and the Tom's during the day. At first I continued to sweat and smell. But now - I am like a yuppy-hippy - which is to say, lavender-fresh instead of patchouli drenched.
I live in an orange and lime -sherbert colored house now. These colors are very un-me and un-c. There it is in the picture. Somehow, I am really charmed by this sherbert colored house on a hill. I get happy inside when I see it.
The interior is painted colors that I've been describing as what you'd imagine if you walked into a smoothie shop in the Caribbean. But that description has been off. Finally, today, the exact description HIT me. Remember that cartoon, The Littles? Well, when I walk inside, I suddenly feel like I've transformed into a Little in the way the teenagers in Kid Video turned from human to cartoon while driving in their band's van. I become a Little wandering around inside a king-size box of Fruit Loops. I get less happy when I enter the inside of the house, so when c. gets here, we're picking out some paint colors! Less cartoon-land sugary-cereal, and more...something else.
c. and Basil arrive either late tomorrow, or on Tuesday afternoon. I'll have a husband again! - fresh out of the surreal-ness that is Gustav. And it will probably take him a full month to feel that he actually lives here, and that no, he isn't on vacation. But I'm so happy to have him back again - disoriented, sweaty and all.
SONG: My Little Corner of the World, Yo La Tengo