Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Most of my belongings are gone. When I surrendered my library, I felt as if I were surrendering my soul. What little I have left is in a storage unit where I worked as a dean. It is a painfully small town, and the storage unit is basically the only proverbial game in town, so of course it is overpriced. If I lost what remains, it would hardly be a great loss.
I suppose it’s akin to Buddha. No, I’m not suggesting I’m a great spiritual leader, but born a prince, Buddha ran away to connect with the people bringing with him only a small satchel of “essentials”. In his travels, he felt as if he had reached a plateau in his spiritual growth, unable to grow anymore. He continued his travels without knowing how to get past this spiritual block. While crossing a stream, the current washed away his satchel, and his spiritual growth resumed.
Mainly what I have left are kitchen gadgets, some tools, a few games and gaming materials, and my Knight Templar flag. My intention with the flag was to fly it every Friday the Thirteenth as an “inside joke” for the few people who understand it. A taunt of sorts. I also have some furniture, a bed that is probably moldy after being stored for so long, a dresser, nothing really worth keeping.
Oh, and my bicycle. Yes, I have a bicycle. I call her “Ghost”, because a lot of people have heard of her, but few people have actually seen her.
So, this storage unit is about a four-hour drive from here, and in a town that I really don’t want to visit. It just has too many painful memories, but there are at least some good friends still there. Yesterday, I found another storage unit, about a mile from where I am currently living, for a fraction of the cost. So, I guess there’s a trip in my near future.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. It should be my last trip back there, and I won’t bring any of the furniture with me. It will also be the first extended trip with Corrine, my vehicular purchase with the stimulus check. Fortunately, being an SUV with good cargo space, she’s exactly the kind of vehicle I need to gather my belongings in a single trip. And, frankly, I enjoy driving. I can’t play my library with her, but the radio works so that’s something, plus with streaming music services I should be in good shape. And surprisingly the cruise control works as well.
I wonder if I can drive down, pick up my property and back again in a single day. That’s eight hours on the road, I guess it can be done.
The thing is, though, I much prefer taking trips with somebody rather than alone. I guess it’s kind of a moot point; the few times I’ve had somebody in my life with whom to take these trips, I’ve enjoyed them immensely, but I guess it’s not my fate. And the reality is that you do what needs to be done.
There are so many things in life that we’d rather not do, but we find ourselves stuck with these unhappy tasks nonetheless. Taxes were postponed this year, but it’s a great example of which I speak. Generally speaking, people don’t enjoy tax time, but we do it, every year, like it or not. It’s just one of life’s constants. I don’t want to go back to that town, but I’ll do it. If the friends who are still there can make time for me, it will make the task much less distasteful for me, but this is probably the wrong time to ask. With self-quarantine in effect, as much as I would enjoy seeing them, I certainly wouldn’t want to risk their safety. I shouldn’t be infected, but it is possible to be so without showing symptoms. Because of this, it is possible that I’m infected but don’t know it, although, as isolated as I tend to be in general, the odds of my being infected are probably lower than many, if not most, people.
So, Corrine has had a recent tune-up and oil change, and my suitcase is packed. I wish she had better mileage, but at my age my mileage isn’t so great either. But we’ll make it. Once more, I’ll head down and hope that there is someplace open to eat when I arrive.
But who knows.