Tales of a Writer at His Brother’s House – The Move
For those of you that don’t understand the title change to this column, I decided to move in with my brother and his family. I’ve been in Pennsylvania for a week now, after a fast retrieval by my brother and his wife. After my post from two weeks ago, I found myself falling behind yet again. The Tuesday after I posted, I had just had enough. I suddenly became bone weary of trying to keep eating, of having to talk to my landlords every month or so when I didn’t get the rent for that week in. I was tired of the drafty hotel room where I had to stuff a shirt between the door jamb and the door to keep the night wind out. I had enough of not eating right and not eating regularly, with only occasional breaks from eating ramen. I also had enough with the loneliness that comes from living as I did. After praying about it for a few days, I called up my brother and his wife and asked if I could stay with them for a while.
I talked to them both on Tuesday. The plan was for them to get me on Saturday, but that didn’t work out. Since I didn’t have the money to stay in the place I’d been living for the last six months, my grandparents ended up booking a room for me at another and much nicer motel. I stayed there for a day and a half and, for the first time in many months, just let myself relax without stress. I watched a bunch of old movies and old TV shows, used their hot tub a couple of times and let myself sleep. It was wonderful.
Meanwhile, my brother and his wife started down to Missouri around 3 pm on Saturday. They ended up getting to the motel around 12 pm on Sunday. We left Missouri and made it back to Pennsylvania at about 7 am on Monday. The whole trip was 2000 miles and lasted 40 hours. I was there for half of it. By the time we made it back to the house, I had been up for over 24 hours. I didn’t drive, but I tried to keep those who drove awake with all my witty banter and half-remembered mumblings.
I am living in my niece’s room now, with dolls and books overlooking my workspace. I have used the last week to recover a little bit. I’ve been able to sleep in comfort and eat regularly, without worrying about rent. I had a nice check waiting for me when I got to Pennsylvania, so my rent is paid off at the hotel in Missouri. I even attended church yesterday, the first time I’ve done that in a long time. It was nice.
After I had made the decision to come here, my plan was to stay here a few months and move back to Missouri. I’m not so sure about that right now. I also felt like I failed, my great and noble experiment ending the way it did. However, one friend of mine pointed out that failure isn’t a failure if you learned something from it. I learned many things from my time in Missouri… I don’t know if I’ll go in to them now, but I might in a future column.
I feel free to pursue my creative side. I don’t have bills I need to make; I don’t have food I need to buy. For the first time in many, many years, I feel a release from stress. My brother and his wife aren’t asking me to pay any bills now. I am still going to work and give them money, but there is no pressure there. They want me to write and continue to get my career going.
I find that odd. I’ve never been in a ‘no pressure’ situation when it comes to my writing. It’ll be a new experience for me.
I’ve also never lived on the East Coast before. Before last Christmas, the last time I came here was in 1994. The fact I’m living in a very different area than Missouri and Arizona was made clear while my brother and I were out getting haircuts the other day. As I sat waiting for him to finish, I heard the unmistakable sound of a seagull. I pointed this out to him and he wasn’t surprised and said we aren’t very far from the Atlantic Ocean. That blew my mind a little.
It is one thing to know you are in a new area in your mind and quite another to feel like you are actually here. I’m just starting to get to the point where I realize I have made the move. It happened so fast and the events are now just starting to catch up with me.
I have started writing again today. The future is still ahead of me. If I’ve learned anything over the last six months, it is the fact none of us knows what the future will bring. I had no idea when I left Arizona I’d be living in Pennsylvania come March. That is just how life is, sometimes. We can’t plan for everything and all too often life takes us unaware. From now on, I will enjoy the good times and get through the bad, realizing that nothing is set in stone and pages of my life is still unwritten.