the falls of the gods

Moon Ahead of the Storm
Taken by keebosr, 2010. Courtesy of The Commons, Flickr.

Dear Internet,
It’s just shy of 8PM and I’m already for bed. Tomorrow I have to open the library and man the reference desk at the unreasonable hour of 730AM. To be sure, however, I’ll need to be partially awake for that to take place and I’m already plotting my caffeine consumption. I am going to need it.
I was in a dark place this morning when I got to work, made darker still by some work dealings that I blew off because if I had taken them seriously, I would have slit someone’s throat. Sometimes people are just obnoxious, but fighting me on a one time change is just ridiculous. Did the world end? No. Now go the fuck away.
I spent the remainder of the afternoon, after my tepid lunch of stale pasta salad and food I ravaged from the vending machines, working on stats.
While I got incredibly engrossed in my stat doing, I noticed the heaviness on my chest and the sense of foreboding that was plaguing me in the morning had almost dissipated. The existential crisis of this morning seemed to just leave a taste of what it was – but I find at times I can’t shake it completely. It usually begins with a Talking Headsesque series of questions (How did I get here? This is not my beautiful wife!) and then leaps into me making tally sticks of what I did have (husband who loves me, a good job, good income, a beautiful home, a cabin in a desired area, anything I could possibly desire) and even then, making notes of what I have — all very good things mind you — didn’t seem enough.
I am hungry for more.
But more what – – ahh, that is the question I can never answer. At least, not sounding like an insane person.
Over the years I’ve come across people who were similar to me and whose lives for a brief moment, joined mine in parallel. Then they move on, and I move on, and later I find that the lives they lead are the lives I want to lead. I have never known abject jealousy before until this happened. And I didn’t know, don’t know, how to handle it.
I know it’s healthy to look up to someone(s) and be inspired by them, and I feel that I’m inspired all the time by many people. But these 2-3 others, whose lives I don’t want to be inspired by, I want to have their lives.  I can’t shake this demon off my back because I would truly like to enjoy them for their products, not be a creeper plotting to SWF them.
[Though, to be fair, one of them has liberally lifted some ideas/concepts of mine that were published publicly on this site years and years ago for their (now published) fiction. So thanks. I guess.]
But that isn’t really it either, this wanting the life of someone else because in my mind’s eye, I’m more than the sum of my parts. I’m more then these adjectives or these people’s lives that I covet so far from the body. But I can’t shake the feeling that I should be doing more, doing a lot more,  and that the doing more isn’t here. It’s somewhere else. And it’s with or without my husband (depending on the time of day when the crisis hits).
Fight or flight.
Pattern for my entire life. I had thought, assumed even, that once I got the degrees, and the boy, and the job, and the house, and everything I worked for, my life would settle into some kind of happy state of domesticity.
I feel like I was wrong.
I kept telling Dr. P. that something big was going to need to happen and then I realised that in order for that something to happen, I’d have to make it happen myself. Then I start to feel strangled, as if I can’t function in some capacity whether emotional or physical. The heavy weight sits on my chest and demands to be petted.
Then I hide in my bedroom until the next day comes and I start all over again. I look at time frames and see self-promises made weeks, months, years ago remain broken and unfulfilled. I am nothing, in the cosmic sense, and it doesn’t seem to all matter. The only freedom is the flight in my brain when the drugs hit  me with a left hook to soothe me down.
Then I wake and start all over again.
Lisa (Day #39)

This day in Lisa-Universe in:

In which we buy a cabin

Throbbing Cabin.
Throbbing Cabin, circa August 2013.

Dear Internet,
Since we did not end up going up north this weekend, it seemed like a good time to tell you about our latest harebrained scheme.
The plan, of course, was to pay off our house in Grand Rapids, my student loans and car debt before doing any more big purchases. The house in GR was (and still is) to be the collateral for a home in Europe somewhere, with intent to purchase that within the next decade. Owning a cabin in one of the most expensive counties in the state wasn’t even a twinkle in either of our eyes at any time in the near future.
In a way, that sentence is not true. TheHusband had been coming up to the area on and off as a kid and I had been here myself when I was dating TheEx and loved it, ergo, a mutual desire of the area was acknowledged between us. TheHusband and I have vacationed up here often together, so there was a twinkle, but one of a nano scale, I promise.
TheHusband has a penchant for stalking Zillow and while I was in the middle of my recuperation from ankle surgery last summer, he found the listing for a short sale cabin in Leelanau county for scary cheap. When I got the all clear to travel beyond my bedroom, we road tripped up to the area for the day (dog in tow, of course) to check it out.
I will tell you dear reader, upon first blush I was meh on the ordeal. While the exterior A-frame was lovely to behold, the interior was sketchy.
Cabin: Kitchen
And by sketchy I mean the kitchen, with the exception of the fridge, has retained its original 1972 charm. The entire first floor, with the exception of the bathroom and back bedrooms, was entirely carpeted in white berber and it seemed they decided to take the no clean approach to keeping the carpet healthy.
Bed and gorgeous 1970s carpet.
The loft, which contained the master bedroom, was done in red shag so blinding of a color, you’d think we were in a house of ill repute.
Loft bathroom.
The half bath in the loft was hastily added in later, it seems, for the toilet was not a standard toilet but one for a RV or a boat, but they added in a standardized sink directly in front so the only person who could use the bathroom was me. I could essentially pee and wash my hands at the very same time.
The previous owners did a lot of DIY, but terribly so. They built cupboards under the eaves of the roof in the loft for storage but the doors didn’t fit. They sanded down and painted the kitchen from the natural cedar to a burnt green, but only did one coat. They stained the exterior of the cabin itself but only did it half way up until they could reach no more. The platform the gas fireplace was sitting on had been redone in field rock that was  so loose, if you stepped on it, pieces would roll away.
In addition to the interior work that needed to be completed, there was a lot of what TheHusband referred to as infrastructure work that needed to be done, such as:

  • Repair the well
  • Replace the septic and drainfield
  • Have mold removed from the crawl space and condition it
  • Replace the gutters
  • De-moss and de-lichen the roof and clean it
  • Power clean the deck and restain it

So even knowing all of this work that needed to be done, that it could end up being incredibly expensive beyond our savings, we took the plunge in the fall of 2012 and put a bid in for the place.
After several months of going back and forth (they wouldn’t leave the bear skin, they wanted the modern fridge, we didn’t want the cedar furniture they were trying to sell to us for $9,000), we closed the week before Christmas, 2012.
I had the good sense of getting our Internet turned on before the closing. We had no fridge, no furniture except an air mattress, no lighting except what we brought up, but by jove! We had incredible DSL speeds. Also, interestingly, my brother who is an industrial electrician, had just turned up 4G in the area a few weeks prior.
The cabin, thankfully, is all season and has heat, so we stayed for a few days. Initially, we planned on staying for a week but time started ticking as a winter storm was approaching, with discussions of feet of snow. Not inches, but feet. We talked about toughing it out, but we are 10 miles from two villages in either direction, and while the county plowed our road, we still had a long driveway to worry about. No food on hand, no fridge. We came home.  We scheduled for a local plumbing company to come out after Christmas to winterize the cabin and then we put it to sleep for the winter. We left one breaker on, the one electrical outlet that had our router plugged in for the Internet and our smart home application.
In the spring 2013 we would begin the renovations.
Oh. Joy.
Lisa (Day #37)

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