i got a man to stick it out / and make a home from a rental house…

Finding a place here in Grays Harbor would be tragic if it weren’t so comical. My father accompanies my children and me as we tour a few listings through the morning and afternoon. Sight unseen, you follow addresses and yo-yo through “slummy” vs. “out of our league” vs. “stunningly charmless, yet clean” vs. “holy shit, we’ll be living out of our van if we don’t find something.” Since I grew up here I have some idea of the neighborhoods, but we still tour an area directly across the “street” from a sawmill and it’s all I can do not to floor the gas when I see the plywood-and-ass shack that’s expected to fetch $695 / month. My dad and I laugh and laugh: “What’s your problem with tweakers, anyway?” he asks pseudo-aggressively, as if my attitude was too princess.

I don’t even bother looking at the rent that would just tap our already diminished new state-sponsored income. We don’t have a benefactor to supplement our monthly income nor a credit card to live outside our means. But is it too much to ask that I don’t have to live in a house with a busted-up walkway AND rebar cheerfully nosing out of said steps? Floors that I can feel with my feet are actually slanting and rippled? A random “dirt shed” in the backyard of a house listed as “Adorable!” coupled with a view of a small engine repair shop directly adjacent?

My children love everything and take opportunities at each listing; climbing trees, playing in an empty pool, pissing in the yard (yay, Nels! My first success in helping him through a standing venture). They are completely aware of what we are doing and why and my constant source of strength and hilarity.

As of this evening I have nothing except a quarter tank less of gas. My father tells me, “Don’t panic.”

Easy for him to say.


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