Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Homeless

Having a cat means you're never really talking to yourself. Or at least you can make it seem that way. I say goodbye to Toast when I leave for work in the morning ("See you later, Buddy, be good!"), and say hello to him when I get home ("Hey Peanut, I'm home!"). (No, I don't use his given name very often. Wanna make something of it?) Even when he's hiding away in one of his favorite napping spots, I can tell he's around. Of course on those occassions when he decides to get up on the bed with me, I can really feel his presence. He seems to absorb sunlight during the day and turn it into gravity at night.

Last Wednesday, I went home after work and went almost immediately to bed. I had plans to be in Richmond on Thursday, but there was just no way I was going to begin that drive at 5:00 PM on Thanksgiving Eve, which would have put me in Atlanta traffic at 7:00. So instead, I napped until about midnight, then got up and finished packing, loaded the truck, took a quick wake-up shower, and got on the road at about 1:30 AM. My traffic avoidance plan was mostly successful. Coffee and water kept me going for the most part. Some heavy rain at around 6:00 AM made me concentrate very hard on seeing the road. The number of cars picked up a bit after I passed Durham, NC and there were lots of stupid people between South Hill and Petersburg, VA. I arrived at my house in greater Richmond at just about 11:30 AM.

When you've lived in one place for nearly nine years, some things become quite automatic. So when I opened the door, I fully expected to see Toast pop his head around the corner so I could say hi to him. Of course, that didn't happen. He was holding down the fort back in Columbus. When I accepted the job down there, I always told myself it was a one year thing, barring some major change that made it appropriate for me to stay. After nearly six months, that hasn't happened. Between the major moving company fuck-ups (have I mentioned lately that Graebel SUCKS?), the work schedule from hell over the summer, the fact that I expect to see David Lynch and a camera crew around here filming Blue Velvet II . . . Columbus has just never felt like home.

And now, neither did the house in Virginia. It looked like the same old place, but there was a big hole where a cat should have been. Without that fourteen pound ball of fur making his presence known, it was just another house.

So I unloaded some stuff from the truck, fumbled around a bit and decided to sleep first, make macaroni and cheese later. I dozed for awhile, fitfully, and eventually got up before the alarm I'd set. I made the mac & cheese to take with me to dinner and headed out.

The Thanksgiving feast at Caitlin's was a blast. We played Yahtzee and Cranium and Uno, had turkey and all the trimmings, consumed a beverage or two. I got a lot of phone calls - and got plenty of ribbing for being "so LA" - but I just had a really good day.

When I got back later that evening, I opened the door and called out "hey Peanut, I'm h- . . . "

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