Friday was the last day of the first week of my new career, which I’m calling Do Anything To Keep The Gas Bill Paid. It didn’t go off as bad as the last time this happened. That time I ran around freaking out over how to make a tiny mortgage payment, sure that I’d never work in the industry again. This time has been better, mainly because I was already doing freelance work on the side, and also because the market is a lot stronger.
I was, however, without my cellphone for a week. We stopped down into the old neighborhood to drop off some shower gifts to some old friends on Sunday. When I got out of the car, my cellphone did a kamikaze leap off my lap onto a pile of wet leaves and stayed there for several hours until I got home and called about it. They rescued it for me, wiped off the water, dried it out (the battery was dead) and kept it for me until today.
Canton has changed even more in the past two years than in the six that I lived there. Pretty much anything that could have been called “local flavor” has been bulldozed to the ground to make way for 3-floor garage townhomes starting in the $400’s. At the foot of Lakewood avenue a year ago, I spotted a beautiful painted sign on the side of a renovation project house. It was the size of the whole building, and it had been exposed when they pulled formstone siding from the brick. I stopped to take pictures in the darkness, and found it hard to get a decent shot in the sodium-arc lamplight.
This afternoon, after picking up my phone, I looked for the sign and found it had been covered by glistening gray paint and fake vinyl shutters. Several windows had been cut into the middle, and a rooftop deck had been added with a spiral staircase. Anything original about the house had been wiped out in an attempt to make it as homogenous as the next one. Why would anybody cover that piece of history willingly? Why not seal it with silicone spray (repoint the brick, if you have to) and tell everybody you’re in the Sealtest House? It would be a huge selling point to your house, in my opinion.
I stopped recognizing that neighborhood as my own when the Outback steakhouse went in (right before I sold), and the new swoopy metal building in the Safeway parking lot (soon to house a Starbuck’s) sealed my contempt for what it’s become. With my cellphone safely in hand, I got out of there and headed back home.
Our electrician B. stopped by in the evening and began roughing in the wiring. It’s halfway done (he was here until 9PM) but already it’s looking like progress is being made. Sears called about our appliance delivery this morning, and our kitchen planner told me the cabinets came in yesterday. Everything is hurtling along, and I have to say, the excitement and activity helps me keep from suffering panic attacks whenever I consider our impending mortgage payment. My wife has been a rock through all this, continually telling me we’re going to be OK and not to worry. I don’t know what I’d do without her. I should be getting a final paycheck in the mail this week, and then I start drawing unemployment until I my accounts recievable checks start coming in.
So i guess I’m not freaking out too badly right now. Should I be?