Care-taking. Taking care.

It has been quite some time since my last report: realizing that I needed to buy a camper van so that I could travel and live about the country unhinged.  (Unhinged most likely has a psychological connotation here.)  This destiny is near!  I have two possible vehicles at my fingertips, and I hope that soon one of them will come home with me.  More on that later.

Last time I posted, I wasn’t in Albuquerque.  I was up in the mountains in a cabin next to a river.  This time…I’m up in the mountains in a cabin next to a river.  It’s a different house and a different river, but I live here now.

It’s not quite as luxurious as it seems.  The pros are, I get to live here:

The view from the backyard.

If this looks something like Jemez Springs, New Mexico, that’s because it is.  I spent every summer in this mountains from age eight to fifteen at music camp, and I’ve hiked, hot springed, and camped here countless times.  Part of growing up in Albuquerque was growing up here.  I’ve had a lot of happiness, peace, and revelation in these

A few steps down the road.

mountains, so the allure of moving up here was strong.  Being a writer, I imagined it would all be sitting in the hammock, composing  songs and working on a brilliant novel.

The cons:  The house we’re staying in is being gut renovated.  No one usually lives up here, and so that’s how we found ourselves in this place.  To care-take.  Take care.  Keep an eye.  By the time we moved in, there was supposed to be a guest quarters and a kitchen ready for us.  Of course, time is fickle when it comes to remodeling, and neither of these things are close to being done.  We have a bedroom, a bathroom, a refrigerator plugged in outside, and a camping stove.  The rest of the house, the very large house, is essentially a shell.  For some reason, they painted the outside of it pink.  It looks like this:

It could be beautiful. Now it's pink.

Roughing it for a little while is…fun…or something, but we’re looking at the middle of September at the earliest for the kitchen, and the rest?  Who knows.  Not being able to prepare real meals with real appliances is taking a toll on me.  As is not being able to shower because the solar hot water heater is temperamental/broken.  As is living in what amounts to a hotel suite with another very autonomous human being and not even being able to go to another room.

I know last time I said I had no interest in getting another apartment anytime soon.  I still feel that way, when I really consider it.  But I realize now that I’ve been living in other people’s spaces for eight months now with no agency or investment into my environment, and that’s taking a toll, too.

To keep busy/keep my financial options open, I got a job at the bar up here, Los Ojos.  It’s up and down, so far.  It’s a restaurant job.  What did I expect?  I also spend my time taking care of these beings:

The Lump

Two cats also share our room.  (Four of us in one room.  It’s a party.)  They started out with normal cat names, but they were renamed The Lump (yes, I realize that this is a usurped name, but it is the only thing I can ever think to call this guy.) and Cabinet Cat.  Cabinet Cat could not be pictured here because he is terrified of everything and lives in the bathroom cabinet.


This inbred-looking monstrosity lives underneath the deck in the backyard.  I go to feed him every morning and he crawls out, hops around, and makes strange, strange sounds of happiness because he’s too old to bark.  He’s decrepit.  He may be somewhat brain-damaged.  But he is a genuinely joyous creature, which is probably what has allowed him to stay alive all this time, floating around the neighborhood surviving off of hand-outs for years.  He’s very low maintenance, is probably the happiest among us, and I actually quite enjoy having him around.

Pretty tree.

I also have a greenhouse and a lot of outdoor plants, including more tomatoes and squash than two people could ever reasonably consume.

Also, baby sunflowers sprouted today!

Greenhouse residents.

Things will progress.  We will be delivered, or we will fail and murder each other with axes.

Either way, our motivations can be summed up in one sentence:

We aren’t paying any rent.


~ by Lenore Gusch on August 27, 2010.

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