What Happened?

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January 2, 2008: it was a cold, yet calm and absolutely beautiful morning in Walpole, MA. The sun reflected brightly off the layers of snow that the several December storms had deposited, enough to give hope that perhaps the impending squall, predicted to come that same afternoon, might not materialize at all.

My morning was to be spent securing the cargo I was taking from my empty (and soon-to-be "no longer my own") home onto the twelve-foot trailer for the nine hundred and twenty mile tow down to Myrtle Beach, SC. Rather than stop at and pay for a hotel to sleep in during the overnight trek, I had somehow rather easily recruited my main man The Ken as co-driver for a one-shot deal, roughly sixteen hours of driving and perhaps twenty hours on the road all told.

As I had miraculously succeeded in unloading my third-hand refrigerator only two days earlier, and had subsequently packed away everything I was keeping from the kitchen, I had no facility for preparing any meal nor even the de rigeur cup of tea. If ever a day called for breakfast this was it, so I headed the three miles down the hill to the local Dunkin' Donuts for an infrequently purchased, but reasonably known quantity: sausage, egg undt chiz on a bagel (poppy seed), and the aforementioned tea (with milk, but no sugar, so I can add it with the packets and not get a sugar headache when they ladle in six or so spoonfuls on their own). All to go, natch. It was still rather early, so there were but few cars on the road and no one in the place. I was back out and on my way in moments; things were looking as good as I suppose they could, given the circumstances.

Now, people, here you should insert, to whatever extent you see fit, the ugly, jarring sound of screeching tires, for I must ax you: could there be anything worse than arriving back home -- "home", that is, for literally just a few more hours -- wishing only to eat that egg sandwich...while looking out your kitchen window...perhaps focusing on the now snow-covered front yard where your own marriage ceremony was performed on a hot August day sixty-four months ago, thinking back about the years gone by and the memories for those few moments...or perhaps watching the deer that slept overnight in the backyard chowing down on those pain-in-the-neck bushes, the ones that always killed any hopes of efficient leaf-blowing...before needing to snap out of it and finalize all the cargo loading...only to find that they didn't put any milk in the tea?


Alas, the storm did finally hit later in the afternoon, with less snow falling than called for. It was still enough to create a near-catastrophe which could have completely screwed me over, and which required an emergency appearance of The Tokish One (tm) to help deal with and dismiss. And naturally it was still enough to convince the various highway departments to coat the roads with salt, most of which ended up being worn by the items in the trailer and thence carried down South.

In short, the day capped a tumultuous eighteen months or so which featured the collapse of a handful of minor, trivial things such as, um, right: career, homeownership and marriage.

I certainly valued the first of these elements for its having provided the means to acquire the second, which itself was more than agreeable and worthy of being proud. Still, it was the loss not of these but of the last, the marriage, that is by far the most regrettable. I suspect that my ex-wife would somehow believe I am not very sad over the unraveling of our hoped-for life together. On this, I cannot assure you strongly enough, she would be wrong.

So, after spending some twenty-one years living in and around the Boston area (or twenty-five if you want to count the four years in college), I no longer had any compelling reason to stay there. Economics and convenience suggested a temporary stay down in South Carolina, to regroup and begin considering an approach to the "back nine", as my man JJ was fond of saying. Seven months later and the jury's still out on those results, but it doesn't matter 'cuz it's time to move on.