Last night was Wifebian’s back to school night. I brought her dinner and the dog, who romped around with another teacher’s dog, a 60 pound, blue-eyed cattle-something mutt-puppy named Blueberry. I met one of her families, a white Jewish family with a pretty disturbed kid. From what my antennas tell me, the kid’s mom is not just straight. And dad is a religious official attached to a local institution. (Had to go to Miriam Webster for that circumlocuting verbage, can’t be too specific, small town, you know where I live.) Anyway, I was very touched by their struggle and their awesome personalities. They also told us about dog parks and where we can find beer ice cream.

I am going through a technology renaisance as of late. With my smart phone I am exploring the nooks and crannies of Twitter and Foursquare marvelling at the ways in which this little mini calling-computer changes the game. Wifebian has been video-chatting with her sister via gmail. I contemplate questions like, “What’s the difference between a Tweet and a status update?” and “If Facebook has a placefinder, what’s the particular benefit of Foursquare?” The primary impediment to total enjoyment of all of these place-loving, extemporaneous social network fun and games is my lack of a social network. A local one, anyway.

Here’s hoping.  

Also, I havent quite been able to figure out how to enable comments on my Tumblr blog. I’m using Disqus and something’s just not clicking. So, I’m not quite at home there, yet.

In terms of our adjustment to this real home, we are still focused on our jobs. We are rounding out the tail-end of week two. Wifebian is a special education teacher in a full-time BED classroom and is getting hit, kicked and bit at least once a week. I am still in training at my job which is probably going to be super-cushy. (The perfect job for getting pregnant in.) But I dont have a sense of the ebbs and flows of working 3 twelve-hour night shifts. I go into my first night-shift cycle tonight at 8:00 PM and dont come out until Monday at 3 because I am getting off work and driving three hours round trip to do an assessment with my other job.  

Plus, we havent seen much of Asheville because we are broke. But then, Wifebian’s former and current employers both paid her for a full month of work in September, so we are now in the money and things are looking up.

The apartment is a mess, my car smells bad and we have at least six loads of dirty laundry piled in the bedroom with no washer/dryer in sight, but my mind has slowed down a little and is being nicer to me, and the knots in my back have been gone for a while.

The mountains are beautiful.

UPDATE: I fixed the comments! Go to the non – anonymous site  and say something about stinkbugs! It will make my day!

This might be an esoteric request, but I know there exists vast stores of literary acumen hidden amongst these tickers and temperature charts.

As I leave this place, and think about the 23 places I’ve been before and anticipate settling in another place for the last time, dear God, I’m thinking about places. Do any of you know any good books about place? Any authors who write books that say things like this:

“Perhaps it’s that you can’t go back in time, but that you can return to the scenes of a love, of a crime, of happiness, and of a fatal decision; the places are what remain, are what you can possess, are what is immortal. They become the tangible landscape of memory , the places that made you, and in some way you too become them. They are what you can possess and what in the end possesses you.”

Rebecca Solnit

A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Analytical analysis to follow sooner than expected due to a touch of sleeplessness. Tonight, while walking the dog, I had the sudden, delicious craving for a cold glass of white wine. But I knew Wifebian, who was already zonked out on the couch, would not come out with me. I thought, “I’ll just run to the store.” Which is a ludicrous, dope fiend thing to do on a Wednesday night at 8:30PM  before a 9:30 AM meeting. I did what we tell the people in recovery to do: “Hungry? Lonely? Angry? Tired?” I asked myself . . . well, a little hungry. And promptly forgot about it.

So, tonight, not being able to sleep, I asked myself, “Nap? Caffeine? Lexapro? Cold feet? Hungry? Well, a little hungry. I’m still hungry!” That was after I already took a half a valium, but I went ahead and ate a half a turkey sandwich anyway. Getting out all of my emotional hubba-ba-loo should really put this problem to bed — in a way that snuggling my wife’s butt, keeping my feet covered, counting sheep and reading Newsweek has not.

So, this guy, in Newsweek, quoted W.S. Merwin. In describing the process of writing a poem, our friend Merwin said, “Anyday now, I’ll make a knife out of this cloud.” And that’s kind of how I feel about my life. Yes, my life is a poem. And I would like it to take some sort of shape already. I know that change blah is the only blah constant blah blah, but I do crave a good five year run in which I have the same wife, the same house, and the same kids. And the same job. Should I be greedy and want the same car and the same dog and the same health, too, all at this mythical same time?

So, the deal is that there were two jobs, one in Haywood County working in two schools and one in Jackson County, about an hour away from Asheville. They didnt offer me the Haywood job, don’t know why, and I wouldnt take the Jackson job because it was really going to be three different jobs, in seven different places, spread out over hell’s half acre. So, that’s the thing with interviews. It’s a rare, rare agency that gives you any feedback into the hows and whys of your acceptance or rejection. So, it’s hard to get worked up about it. Rejection. Or even acceptance, really.

In addition to the 17,000 dollar pay cut (or was it 18,000?), they did not offer a health savings account so, baby-making was going to be put on a back burner with no pilot light. Foster care, too, since we wouldve had to find a studio apartment to shelter us as Wifebian waited tables, I spent my retirement on COBRA payments and our personal finances fell down around our ears.

So, back to plan “B”. (Asheville was plan D, Baltimore plan C — are you keeping track?) This mystery place another year, a foster kid or two, baby-making in January, supervision toward Maryland licensure and another roll of the dice come March, April and May. Baltimore has lots of opportunities. I will do my best to stay in good touch with this one Asheville agency.

Also, when I do start a new blog, to mark the advent of my new, possibly perfect and same life, rather than this bitter little slap dash series of emergencies, fuck ups and compromises I have going here, I will reveal my name, my face, my city AND I might have the best blog name of all time, thanks to W.S. Merwin: Knives and Clouds. Or Knives from Clouds. Or Clouds and Knives. I mean, does that sound too goth? How about just: Any Day Now.

I would like to thank Wifebian, as she has thanked me, for being so generous of spirit, flexible of thought and courageous of heart in the middle of all this crazy-ass wayfinding we’re doing. That’s another good blog name: Wayfinding. Or Dead Reckoning. How about Desire Line? Oooo, Desire Line . . . I like it!