Friday, April 05, 2002

As the first week in our new home passes into personal history I find myself with an idle moment for reflection and musing in general.

This is the first real idle moment I have had for some time. Most of my moments from the entry below until now have been filled with the details of settling in to our new place. These details include the usual activities of any move - unpacking and setting up house (a small challenge as we have moved into a smaller space which requires careful planning and placement of furniture and objects for a harmonious home - fortunately, Sarah is a natural born Feng Shui master who has found just the right place for all our stuff, including our small library) and, most importantly at this point, looking for work.

Being unemployed is a condition that, while worrisome the longer it endures, has allowed me to absorb the atmosphere of our new home. The days spent inside seeking employment via the internet ( J. Boragine & Associates , and ) have given me the opportunity to soak the place up much quicker and sooner than would have been possible had I been rushing out to the old 9 to 5 from the moment we arrived.

Aside from establishing myself in a job it has not been a difficult transition from Orlando to Oakland. In fact, it hasn't been a transition at all, really. Even while we were in Orlando our hearts were here in California (as those of you who have been reading for a while know).

We rented the apartment I am typing these words from sight unseen (save a few digital photos), performing the necessary transactions via e-mail, fax and USPS. This entailed certain risks, of course, but we are pure of heart and have not been disappointed. In fact, just a day or so back it occurred to Sarah and myself more or less simultaneoulsy that this simple one bedroom space, in this 8 unit 1930's era apartment building near Lake Merrit and downtown Oakland feels comfortable and strangely familiar. It's almost as if we have walked between these walls, become acquainted with the creaky spots in the hardwood floors, turned the rumbling dyspeptic hot water tap in the bathroom and gazed at the buildings and greenery beyond our windows before. It feels like home.

The neighborhood around us is also quickly assimilating into the mythology of our lives:

The hum and buzz of traffic along Park Boulevard.

The faceless man across the street who is known to us only by the loud and painful coughing which punctuates the day. Already and, perhaps predictably, he has assumed the moniker of "The Coughing Man".

The grand old buildings from the 20's and 30's which loom above the busy thoroughfare of Park Blvd., many accessible only via steep and winding stairs which creep up from the cracked and uneven sidewalks.

The rainbow of black, white and Asian humanity which occupies those buildings and the small shops which litter the neighborhood.

The debris which lingers in the gutters between weekly street cleanings, consisting usually of empty Home Run Pie wrappers and scattered shreds of newspaper .

The Parkway Theater , bringing food, drink and first run, foreign and cult movies to hungry film goers.

All of these things and more are like scenes and players in a tale that has always been, a portion of our story that was put on hold while we dallied inexplicably in the margins of Orlando. Well, we have turned the page now and the narrative of our lives is resuming.

Read on. . .

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