Everybody likes my Great Plan. Everybody, that is, except my adults, who are naturally agin’ it, as we say here in Appalachia, because it means they will have to go out and be, well, adults. I do not blame them one bit. I am still furious with my parents for dying and forcing me to finally grow up and unlike them, I will not even (hopefully) be having the good taste to actually go and expire. I’m just – leaving. Goodbye, adults! Good luck!
I am also terrified. I have never had approval ratings like this before in my life. Mostly, I go to my friends and relatives and say, hey, I think I’m going to (insert Life Plan #5,322 here) and they usually turn sort of pale and say something like “Uh, wow, that’s a big step, are you sure that’s really a good idea?” This time, they’re like, “Well, we’ll miss you, but yeah! That’s a great idea! We’re so excited for you! That’s awesome! Do it!” I am not used to this and it kind of makes me want to do the exact opposite, because I am contrary like that. Plus, in the late afternoons when the light floods in to the living room, giving it a brief and illusory look of elegance and charm and I think about leaving my Japanese maple and the big oak in the front yard, I get mildly hysterical. Then I think about the amount of work that has to be done and I get thoroughly hysterical.
I don’t even know how to begin the monumental work of emptying out this house – although Adam came over unexpectedly yesterday and opened the garage door, so that’s a start. I was a bit worried last night when I came home and all the garage lights were on, making the open, packed space a sort of beacon. Then I thought, wait! What are you afraid of? That someone will go in there and . . . STEAL stuff? The stuff you’re about to mostly throw away? Leave those lights on! Open the gates! Lock up the dogs and maybe put out a few Free Stuff Here signs! I wouldn’t really do that, though. I’d feel too guilty when the Garage People caught the would be thieves and ate their souls. Oh, I haven’t told you about the Garage People? That’s . . . for the best, probably. Yeah. Mostly they just eat clothes and hairbrushes and baking chocolate, though. They hardly ever swallow souls anymore. I think.
Anyway! I am more concerned about raccoons and possums than I am thieves, which is why I’m sitting here waiting for Adam so we can figure out a way to sort of close it up again without fully closing it up again. We also have to move some of that furniture so I can actually physically get in there – only the Garage People, who are mutable and slender, can get in or out right now. They are also the only ones who know what is in there. I stopped going into the garage except for extremely short, terrified visits some years back when the plague of mice was at its peak. Not only am I phobic about rodents, I am also neurotic about Hanta virus (okay there have only ever been like two cases in NC but still) and so I have to hold my breath while I’m in there, which necessarily limits my garage time. There could be anything in there. Lost relics. The Arc of the Covenant. The mummified bones of previous explorers. My brother’s elementary school report cards and a box of marionettes that my father gave me in 1973.
I need to make lists. I have worked myself into a state whereby I need to make lists but I cannot make lists without the right notebook, which I recognize is more than somewhat insane. Still! There it is. There is too much to do and if I just start making lists on random scraps of paper, they will all get lost and not coagulate into a Great List, which is what needs to happen. I also need information, like, how exactly do people sell houses and move out? If you are selling your house, and you don’t get the money for it until the day of closing, at which point the house has to be empty and clean and ready for the new people, where does the money come from before that for you to move that stuff and find a place to put it in? Most people, presumably, have some extra money for these things. Those organized, together, successful people! I hates them. It seems like rather a lot of money. I, of course, do not have it. I have, like, $50. That is not bad, for me, but it isn’t really enough to get a dumpster and another, smaller, cheaper house and / or a storage unit and a funky camper van yet I will need all those things, not to mention helpers for the whole entire gigantic emptying and cleaning and moving process.
Yeah, I am terrified. That is a sign, I think, that I am doing the right thing. I know I’m doing the right thing – or, gods, I hope I’m doing the right thing, but I have now told everyone I’m doing it, so it’s too damn late to back out. I am not completely abandoning Asheville yet, though. I have now decided to try to buy a much smaller, much cheaper house somewhere around here – hopefully in Buncombe County but not, obviously, in West Asheville – and then renting it to the adults at somewhat (not a lot) below market rates. This gives Theo and Django and Okra and all my houseplants somewhere to live while Perdita and I racket around North America in our camper van and it’s kind of a better investment than just having that money sit in the bank and earn basically $50. This is the one part of the plan that everyone is not entirely on board with, and I get that. But! I might want to move back here! What if the rest of the world sucks? So I am hedging my bets, not always wise, I know. Still.
Anyway! Want to buy my house? It will be available in the spring. I hope. And me? I will be gone, baby, gone – out into the world to see what I have never seen. Yes, that’s right: Rock City – and a few other places, like Vancouver and Niagara Falls – here I come.