Love, Relationships

Water Creature

perdido key

After 35 years in California, my amphibious companion carries a constant coastal hunger. He’s made a valiant effort to downplay the oceanic pull during this first year in his newly adopted Virginia. He’s not fooling anyone. When we traveled to the Bay Area and south to Big Sur in June, proximity to the water awakened something primal in him. In near total solitude along a stretch of beach by Garrapata State Park on the Monterey coast, he frolicked like an adolescent sea otter.

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Happy 100 Days: 67

A handful of new homes listed at 9:00 this morning. One in particular is in a neighborhood so convenient, it gives me the shivers. It is lined with trees and populated by a diverse mix of folks. Life there moves at just the right pace for us. A running trail runs right past it into the woods and over to a nature center, for goodness’ sake!
I had thought that part of town was out of my price range. This condo not only falls within the spread; it lands near the low end.
By the time I break free from my meetings and head over there, it is 2:00. My real estate agent tells me that the seller already had so many offers, she closed the door and refused to show it to anyone else.
Five hours!
In the span of about one week, this housing search morphed from a tentative learning experience to a full contact sport. My adrenaline going gangbusters. Every day a sprint against the clock. The moment my phone pings with the message that the MLS is live, I park my butt at the closest computer.
Today, the email arrives between appointments. I make a whiplash detour into a public library and log on there. The listings receive a quick scan. Google Maps spits out coordinates. The mortgage calculator chews on the numbers. Then, my zinging brain cranks out a list. The agent has it back in her box in 30 minutes. I squeeze in a few tasks for work and clear the rest of my day.
We are off to the races.
I make my way to any unfamiliar neighborhood and start walking. I talk to strangers, kids, dogs, squirrels, anyone who dares cross my path. I have made more friends in the past week than I thought possible. I’ve been hit on, been invited out for a beer, been told which units the cops live in. I have learned how to get around the old condo biddies who tattle on folks who store bikes on their patios. I hear what other people paid even before the agent has a chance to send me comps. The property manager at one place was feeling so garrulous, he didn’t realize he talked me right out of buying when he mentioned an upcoming renovation (“It’ll really increase the property values,” he told me. Yeah, I thought. Not to mention increasing the monthly fee right up and over my price range.)
All of this before the agent even shows up.
This game ain’t no season opener. We’re in the playoffs here.
I’m sure I can’t sustain this level of intensity for much longer. Eventually, the boss will grow weary of my absenteeism and my car will go on strike. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I find a place before either of those things occur.
Until then, I’m pacing in the dugout, keeping my shoulders warm and my legs limber. This gal is ready to rumble. Wind me up, watch me go!


Special Effects

He races through the small patch of green at the edge of the cul de sac. Under his feet, the grass grows wild. The knot of stalks reaches his shins. Suddenly, a blur of motion bursts out around him like an electron cloud. His feet meet earth, setting off one explosion after another. A whisper of wings and rain catches the air, following him through the brush. He neither sees nor hears, swimming just below the surface of this quiet cacophony of sound and motion.
“What is that?” I ask, pointing. He stops, and as he does, the grass falls silent. He looks sideways at me through the stillness. Then he is off running again, bursts of confetti meeting his footfalls.
“Look!” I call. He stops again. All is still, all is silent.
“What?” These interruptions are seriously inhibiting his pleasure. And anyway, there is nothing to see. Controlling a phenomenon enough to observe it renders it unobservable, as Heisenberg tried to explain.
“Watch,” I say. I stride up next to Bug and stomp my foot. The weeds send up an inverted shower of tiny, living things. Bug’s eyes pop open. Then a grin spreads lights him up from within. He lifts his foot and stomps. Another shower, followed by the tinkling of tinsel rain on a forest canopy. For an instant, I wonder if these airborne, pinging things are midget grasshoppers or buff-winged moths.
I crouch for a better look. The weeds are slender, dark green stems with tresses of gold radiating out in all directions. Because of the yellow dusting atop the bending plants, the clearing appears as an infant wheat field. The tendrils are thin, cleaved nests. Each is a floral ovary clutching an egg in a loose grip, readying itself to take a shot at starting next season’s crop.
Next to me, Bug is stomping, giggling hard at each detonation. I bite my tongue and keep my observations to myself. Does knowing what things are really teach us what they are?
Then he is off and running, his face pink and his arms wide. His gaze is back, down, up, everywhere. His voice cries out the high notes. He is the bandleader now of this moving parade, and all around him, one explosion after another announces to the world the arrival of this force of nature, this human animal.  His weight is enough to set loose a surge of animate fireworks right here on earth. The simple presence of him sends life skyward to seek a brand new start in an unturned corner of the world.