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Thursday, August 3, 2000

I'm still a little giddy about the prospect of moving again. I lived in my last home for thirteen years, and I've been here three and a half months. Last time I moved seven miles across town; this time it'll be about a hundred yards, across a couple of driveways. Packing and cleanup will be easier, but changing the address and the utilities again will be just as tedious and demanding.

The reaction so far, especially from people whose help I'll need has been supportive. More than that, really, it's been enthusiastic and encouraging. I don't think I ever expected to do this again. I couldn't have imagined wanting to, at least not this soon. But I'm stifling the second thoughts and painting myself a rosy picture of life in the afterglow. Boon Farm. Miracle Manor. I haven't been able to come up with a decent name yet.

The noise is here is getting easier to take, just from realizing it could be ancient history in a month or so. "Remember that place I lived for four months?" (Oh, yeah, it's right over there, isn't it?)

"I have some news. I'm probably moving again."


That was the Boss's reaction. I carefully explained what I've been going through here (he has no clue). I included my artificially concocted theory that this move would be less disruptive than the last. I left out the part about costing just as much, to switch the phones (again) and the utilities (again). And I haven't got around to asking him how much of the hundred dollars more per month he wants to pay.

It's hard to justify telling him I'm doing it for the good of the business this time. I'm doing it for my own sanity, which I suppose is good for the business, if it matters at all. I seem to be able to do my job even while raving and frothing and climbing the walls. To be honest, even with the gangsta rhythms emanating from the white bread boyz next door, it's more serene here, and I've been happier, than I ever was at the Home Office.

On my errand run this morning, I dropped by the old place. It's looking, frankly, about the same as when I left. The weeds in the yard (weeds, always weeds) don't seem to have come back, but it's not because anything beautiful was planted there. It looks exactly like a miniature version of the vacant lot you were told to stay out of (but explored anyway) when you were a kid.

I wasn't just nosing around in the old neighborhood. I had a reason to be there. It seems the State sent us a contract for a new job about two weeks ago, but they addressed it wrong. They used our correct post office box number, but they dropped it off at UPS. For some reason, instead of returning it, UPS decided that their commitment to customer service demanded that they find a way to deliver it.

It's just too bad they couldn't have delivered it to me, instead of to the person who now lives in my old house. We're still trying to track down the source of that outdated address, but they dropped it there with no signature and no phone call. The new tenant had no idea, but she asked my old pal Grady from next door, and he recognized my name.

He called me when it was delivered, well over a week ago, but he wasn't sure who'd sent it and I wasn't inclined to venture back into the old 'hood during the fair, when you have to watch out for race horses clopping across the street, as well as their bewildered fans from surrounding counties, looking for a place to park instead of watching where they're driving. I survived thirteen county fair seasons living on that block, and I had no particular desire to test my luck, even to see my old pal Grady.

Grady hasn't changed, although I told him he looked thinner. He likes that, but he knows he's still a huge guy. His personality hasn't changed, either. He spent most of the twenty minutes I stayed telling me dirty jokes he'd already emailed me.

I like Grady. He may be six and a half feet tall and weigh three hundred and fifty pounds, but he's a fragile person. He's a blustery blowhard, but his heart is in proportion to his body. He was a minor nuisance when I lived next door to him, letting himself in my front door at the least convenient times, but I kind of miss him now. Nobody much walks through my door these days, and I'll be even more isolated after I move again. But that's sort of the point this time.

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