Rendered Fat Content


" …I did not have to plan a single move."

Arriving back at my current permanent address after seven weeks' absence feels like my first visit here except all my stuff's already arranged just as I would have organized it. I remember where to find stuff without having to think too awfully hard about it. I feel as though I've gained some prescient superpower that allows me to just move toward what I need to find it there. I vaguely remember some hint of a suggestion that I used to spend seven days out of seven behind these doors, but it seems like fiction to me. For the last weeks, every move seemed to require forethought, often followed by investigation. At first, this novelty entertained us. Later, it seemed oppressive. Supper seemed more obligatory chore than rightful reward.

We left the kitchen bare when we departed, so the first order of business just had to be stocking the larder, just with bare necessities.
Two grocery trips later, I still see glaring holes. We wandered around once familiar aisles as if visiting a museum to our own past, vaguely acknowledging that we still live here. Old familiar faces seemed to recognize us even if we could not quite yet manage to recognize ourselves. The next door neighbor stopped by last night after noticing our garage door opened. We watch each other's places when one or the other's gone. Two kids in tow, he was just confirming that everything was okay. I bored him with recent photographs of a world he's never seen.

We left in the dead of night in the dead of winter and returned to find bright sun and a few promising shoots of green intruding around the remaining snowbank in the back yard. The housecleaners had been through mid-week, so the place smelled vaguely like Cheap Motel, an under appreciated scent, as it always does after they leave. Rose The Skittish Spinster Cat had left nests of fur in her usual grooming places. She entered the room like Sleeping Beauty with a hairball hangover, not quite able to awaken from an overlong and likely fitful dream. Cats find their self esteem in relation with their humans, and I returned frightfully aware that I had clocked up a potentially unrepayable debt in my absence. She's sticking to me like Velcro®, sitting on the arm of the chair I'm now sitting in, watching me write and likely wondering why I'm not scratching the back of her neck, like I'm supposed to be when she's beside me.

Laundry has been going non-stop since just after we arrived. I rewashed everything in my suitcase because it seemed easier than knocking out the wrinkles. Those clothes will seem more like mine if they smell like home. Maybe home will seem more like mine, too. I caught myself floating around the kitchen last night, unaccustomed to finding every utensil and pan so close at hand. The Muse made her usual Rabe while I prepped the trout. She'd fetched a fresh propane cylinder so I took the Springlike evening as an opportunity to grill. We'd suspended the DirecTV in our absence and decided to just cancel the subscription on our way back home. We'd thought our foothills-top home would be in a fringe reception area but later found we have line of sight alignment with every broadcast antenna in the Metro area. We can subscribe to Major League Baseball and Netflix less expensively if we forego including all those fabulous channels we never watch anyway. The broadcast reception is quite a bit better than the satellite provides.

The neighborhood kids were out on their bikes this afternoon, zooming up and down the road in front of the house, all the young parents and us older folks were out there, too, assessing how the kids had grown since we all went into hibernation after Halloween. The Muse and I were successfully failing to program the new car to open the garage door, one and then the other of us balancing on a step stool punching the little green button on the side of the opener. We did manage to disable the opener on the outside of the garage, but enabled it again. The car, which has three separate garage door opener channels, couldn't communicate with the equipment inside the garage. We left the old opener in the old car, distracted by a distressed neighbor girl when we were cleaning it out, but we'll get it back in a week or two. The Muse simply couldn't accept that she could not figure out how to make these two systems communicate. I was ready to quit the first time it didn't work, but she insisted that we try other combinations of factors until I excused myself to go back inside to make myself a tuna sandwich for which I did not have to plan a single move.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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