Summer in the city

Last summer I was job hunting for the whole summer, and this summer I’ve been apartment hunting, packing, and soon moving and unpacking. Because of the nature of nannying I’ll probably be job hunting next summer since the little boy I care for will be old enough to start preschool next fall.

Facebook showed me a memory from a year ago today: It was 96 degrees, and I still didn’t have a job after months of searching. I was at Cafe Nero getting an iced coffee to help cope with the heat, and chatting with the barista.

My barista said he wished he had a sprinkler.

“I feel like it’s asking too much to wish for a pool,” he said, stamping my frequent drinker card, “but I think wishing for a sprinkler is reasonable.”

“Yes!” I said, “I bet you have enough magic in you to materialize a sprinkler!”

His eyes lit up. “I do!” he said, “I really think I do!”

Today the temps will only hit the high eighties, breaking a three-day 90+ streak. I tried to pack during the hot afternoon yesterday and got a splitting headache, so I rested and drank glass after glass of ice water — and a couple of iced coffees of course. Yesterday was my first day back home after cat-sitting for the ten days, driving between two houses every morning and evening to take care of three cats, and spending the night with one of them, an American Bobtail whose owner didn’t want him to be alone for too long. The cat, Tucker, and I, spent each night negotiating how close he could sleep to his preferred position on my face. I had cat hair all over me every morning, and the dusty ammonia smell four boxes of kitty litter clung to my clothes. I cried when I said goodbye.

This morning my head still hurts, and my long moving to-do list has been compressed to two days since I didn’t get much done yesterday. But Mark is driving up today to help. He’s still in Connecticut after going down for the weekend four months ago. His mom fell and broke her arm, then his grandmother got sick and died, then his family visited from the Middle East, and next week he’s dog-sitting himself in Connecticut for his sister’s new puppy. He hasn’t slept here since March. For three months I lived with just our third housemate who wasn’t speaking to me — no words, literally, even when I spoke directly to her — then for the past month or so it’s been just me here, filling up boxes, taping them shut, and piling them up wherever I can find space.

I went from living with one of my best friends, to living with someone whose wordless anger radiated out to me, to living with furry creatures who wanted to be as close as possible, to back alone. In two weeks the move will be over, Mark will be back to stay, and I’ll be living with one of my best friends again, in a two bedroom this time without the angry third housemate. It’s a nice apartment on the third floor of a triple-decker, so it will probably be pretty hot in August. I’ll have to make sure I have plenty of ice water and iced coffee to get me through. And God only knows what next summer will bring. But only God ever knows, whether it’s a quick weekend visit that turns into four months, or a seemingly nice housemate that turns sour overnight. God only knows, but I make my plans as best as I can without that knowledge — sign my lease and my job contracts, fall in love with the apartment and with the kids and the cats, knowing I’ll have to say goodbye one day. Still it helps to know that God knows, even if I don’t.

***

Okay, back to my to-do list. How are you all doing this summer? I’d love to hear from you.

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2 comments on “Summer in the city

  1. Hope Wiltfong says:

    “The cat, Tucker, and I, spent each night negotiating how close he could sleep to his preferred position on my face.” This is one of the best descriptions I have read for what it’s really like sleeping with an affectionate animal. Thanks for sharing. Stay cool.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Juanita says:

    What a summer, and a life. Sorry about the hard housemate situation, I’ve gone through something like that though not as intense. Glad you’ll be in a healthier home (and that you finally found a place!). Cheers to your new home and new adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

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