Friday, September 05, 2008

Getting off the map

Some time during the night I was awakened by the sound of someone walking through the old dead leaves and bushes outside my window. This has happened before and it turned out to be a gang of alley cats (not with TC) racing through the broken slats of the palisade fence surrounding the yard next door. Either a dog or a big rat was chasing them because they streamed through the gap, one after the other, like spring thaw on the Colorado River. I counted six cats, but I am sure there were more because it took me a while to figure out what was going on and open the blinds enough to see. What was moving in the narrow space between my cottage and the fence sounded much bigger. I suppose it could have been raccoons, but I doubt it.

In addition to the possible Peeping Tom, I have had another intruder in my home in addition to the usual convoy of ants and spiders climbing out of the shower drain and through cracks under or above the front door. This time, it's a little gray mouse who has abandoned furtive and moved directly to unwanted guest. I even caught the little beggar reaching up to climb into the cabinets under the sink where I've no doubt he was heading for the drawers on the far side of the dishwasher where I found plenty of little black mouse pellets when I moved in and began opening drawers. I told him no and he bolted for the space between the washer and the cabinets to crawl out through the tiny space around where the gas pipes come into the cottage.

I didn't have this much traffic when I lived at the apartment over on Kiowa and, except for George who was a quiet and gentlemanly ghost (at least with me) and my mother and sisters visiting for a week, few visitors stayed more than a night or two. And now this. And there's more.

While talking with Carol last night, she and her daughter Shanna have decided that it's time my mother moved in with me. I'm holding the line that I don't have the room and don't own this house so I can't build her a separate apartment -- even if there was room, which there is not. What's really going on is that my jealously possessive mother runs off everyone (Dad's brother Don and now Carol's daughter Shanna) who dares to stay with them for more than a night because she wants it to be just her and Carol, just like she did with Dad. I think Carol invited Shanna to stay when she got out of the hospital as a buffer between her and Mom and it worked -- to a point. "She ought to be bow-legged from riding me so hard," Shanna complained to Carol and me on the phone last night. I told them that if she wasn't bow-legged from riding me all those years, she probably won't ever be bow-legged because I'm wider than the little wisp of skin and bone that Shanna has become.

Live with me? I don't think so. She's not on my lease and no one who visits for more than a couple of weeks is allowed to be here. Thank all the gods for leases.

After a year of no communication, an old suitor popped up a couple days ago and he wants to move in on me in a different way. I told him last year that I am not interested in dating anyone who is that much younger than I am and I draw the line at five years younger. He keeps insisting that he likes older women and I in turn keep telling him that someone in their thirties would be like dating one of my sons, all of whom are in their thirties. The very idea that I would want to date someone that much younger is ludicrous. I am, after all, not Demi Moore, and he's not Ashton Kutcher (who is not my type in the least). Friends with benefits indeed.

And the visitations don't end there either. My oldest son has decided he wants to move to Colorado Springs and stay with me for a couple of weeks until he gets things sorted out with a job and a place to live. I love my son, but I don't trust him. He burgled my home several times, one time twice in the same week, and although he says he's changed, he's shown no evidence of it at a distance and I don't trust him to stay here and not make off with something of mine while I'm asleep or running errands. The answer is no. I told him it's a free country and he can move wherever he likes, but he cannot stay with me. He can visit here and have dinner occasionally if he wants to build a relationship, but I'm not comfortable having him stay here.

He's my son and I love him, but I'm not a fool. Every time I've allowed him to stay with me things came up missing. Money from my purse, my stereo and over 100 CDs, my first computer with all my stories and journals on it (none of which is retrievable), the radio from my car when I allowed him to borrow it for a job interview that was really a drug buy, my tool box and all my lovely tools, and the list goes on. It feels like the frog and the scorpion and I'm tired of getting stung mid river and drowning.

I don't know when this cottage became Mecca to so many people and animals, but I have to get this place taken out of the travel brochures and off the itinerary. I love having guests and visitors -- for dinner, for lunch, for brunch, for a movie night, for a few hours -- but the rest of the time I like my privacy, peace and quiet. I don't like the idea of moving everything valuable into my bedroom and locking the door and sleeping with one eye and both ears open. It's exhausting. I'm exhausted enough with the Peeping Tom at my bedroom window and I'm not about to open the blinds or give up the fresh cold breezes that caress my hot body at night, which is why I sleep with one of my sharpest daggers under my pillow.

I've slept with a dagger beneath my pillow for many years, ever since the incident one hot summer night when I had moved the bed under the window and woke just as someone was cutting the screen to gain access.

Mistakes, I made quite a few, but I seldom make the same mistakes twice. No matter what my heart tells me, my head is in charge.

That is all. Disperse.

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