Thursday, November 22, 2012

the w family

I was so excited when Kristen and Nick agreed to be guinea pigs for me, as I'm just getting started. I needed a family to work with, and they were the first ones that came to mind. Kristen is a such a beautiful lady, and you can tell that Nick is enormously proud of their charming brood of three little ones--the youngest of which is a mere five weeks old.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Typical Craigslist Evening, 7/30/2009

It's starting to rain slightly as we take the exit for Freedom Parkway and come to a complete stop. It's not rush hour, but there's still too many people in their shiny downtown vehicles trying to cross three or four lanes in the space of .1 miles. I stop reading to look over my shoulder and help Jeremy move over, one lane at a time--now, wait, not yet, okay now go, fast, hold on a sec, you're good. The stoplight is too fast, and we crawl towards to the intersection, and I alternate between glancing at the scribbled directions in my hand and straining to read the upcoming street sign as we inch closer to it.

Fulton county most certainly has the worst method of street labeling in the metro area.

Several minutes later, and we're close enough for me to see that this isn't the street we're looking for, and I look back down at my book while I can. It's Camus' The Plague and it's unsettling, as his works tend to be. I had picked it up early that day, along with several history textbooks and a Norton's Anthology of Literature, at a thrift store selling all books 8/$1.00, which is such an odd number. Why not seven for a dollar, or six? Are single books really twelve and a half cents?

Two miles down the road we find our street and turn right, entering the part of Downtown Atlanta that doesn't look like Downtown at all. I help count house numbers, 915, 1076, 1300, 1360, here it is. We turn left and down the driveway, and as we step out it begins to rain in earnest. The man we're here to see is waiting in the doorway of his basement apartment, a cat hanging around his feet that looks exactly like one of ours, only without the white feet. We park halfway beneath a tree and dodge puddles on our way in.

Inside the apartment are boxes, half-empty bookshelves. A Mexican marionette hangs from the moulding on one end of the room. The man is moving, and the place is clean and bright and smells wonderful, like it was deeply cleaned earlier that day. The cat has disappeared.

Our interest is directly to the left of the door and against the wall--a disassembled Japanese arcade, the kind that you have to sit on stools to play, the kind that people have imported for almost ten times as much as we are paying for this one.

Finding it on craigslist the evening before caused a minor frenzy of excitement in our humble house; I had been told the news prefaced with the disclaimer that I would be furious "with the fiery passion of a thousand angry wives", which unsettled me greatly, and the more he stalled the more unsettled I felt, until I demanded he simply give me a kiss and tell me anyways. I have no love for video games, and certainly not for arcade cabinets, but this one is small and compact and Japanese (and I have a soft sot in my heart for all things Japanese) and when he finally told me what he had gotten, I was interested in it as well.

We load it into the truck, making sure all electrical parts are inside the cab and away from the rain, and Jeremy chats with the guy for a while about xboxes and arcade cabinets and other things. I have stepped aside, out of the way of their conversation, and glance surreptitiously down the hallway (I am insatiably curious of other people's homes). There is a magnetized dry erase board on the fridge, stamped with the logo of some nondescript company. On it is written a to-do list:


-MOVE (out)
-MOVE (in)

Which strikes me as being very practical and well-prioritized.

A few minutes later we are loading back into the truck and backtracking to our side of town. It is getting dark, now, and I cannot read; though I probably wouldn't anyways, had it been light. I am stuffed against the passenger door beside a 29 inch monitor, and am busy clinging to the handle over my head to assuage my fear of the door flying open and me falling out, as I have always feared, ever since being a small child.

Jeremy is giddy. I am happy for him, and we talk on the way home, and he thankfully distracts me from the perceived precariousness of my seat by wistfully fantasizing about getting a burrito from Moe's.