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" We move from home to home to home, never to ever come back around again."

On the fifth day, we pulled into the short driveway adjacent to the double shotgun rental. Two of our housemates had arrived an hour earlier, but they'd generously decided to defer choosing their bedroom until The Muse and I showed up. We surveyed the premises: huge and well-appointed kitchen/living room/dining room/library (with library ladder) dominated the front half of the first floor. A massive master bedroom and attached bath with both a soaking tub and an eight spigot full body walk-in shower took the back left and back end of the place, a smaller den bedroom and laundry room, the other. Upstairs, another master bedroom with attached sitting room and bath dominated by a clawfoot tub, comprised the whole second floor. I feigned indifference about which bedroom to choose, choosing to let the others choose, and The Muse and I ended up just where I wanted us to be, in the back downstairs bedroom. The door to the outside patio served me well when I woke rested and disoriented at three o'clock the following morning.

This place would never have been the result of either The Muse or my deliberate design, but it feels home enough after traveling halfway across the country.
The ceilings stretch fifteen feet above in the living/kitchen/dining/reading area, with industrial ceiling fans quietly working far overhead. The full body walk-in shower strikes us both as just plain silly. The bed sits so far above the floor that I genuinely feared I might tumble out of it and break something important in the night, but I slept well if briefly, and no obvious spirits seem to haunt the place. The bed even features an under-the-cover air conditioning system neither of us can figure out how to use, or why.

I brought a backlog of unfinished business, figuring as travelers often figure, that a fresh locale might motivate me into long-deferred engagement. The lazy humid Louisiana atmosphere seems to argue against doing much of anything but sitting in the shade with my battered Montecristo panama shading my face. The immediate neighborhood seems shabby by American standards, the streets paved with third world attention to detail, the sidewalks heaved to irrelevance. We walk down the middle of the narrow lane to find supper, and stumble back in gathering darkness. This would be hell to navigate in pouring rain, all puddles and hidden stumblers.

The bags quickly unpacked themselves. Everything found a place for itself without intruding on any of the shared space. The housemates seem innocuous enough, hardly an intrusion, perhaps even a welcome diversion after long days sequestered together in The Schooner. The Muse wonders if I might be up for making a large supper sometime during the week. I need to head out and survey the shopping possibilities. Though I have my own work, my personal priorities, I suspect that I'll quickly become the house mother of sorts, the chef and bottle washer, because that's what I always become at home, and though this place clearly ain't anything like our permanent home, it will certainly suffice for a sultry week in New Orleans.

Over an over-long winter (the weather report notes that it snowed overnight back at our permanent-for-now place), I might forget just how adaptable I can be. A few hours after arriving, I'd met more people than I might in a long month "back home." This always happens to me and further encourages The Muse to hector me to get out into the world. Any concerns I might express amount to lame excuses. Home will not become jealous if I briefly fall in love with a HomeAway. The fling will be short and I'm certain to always drag my extroversion-weary ass back to the monastery again. A fresh experience or five might enliven the old ruts on my return. Of course, nobody ever really returns from any HomeAway excursion. It's ever onward with no recycling allowed. Strangely, I expect that even the home we head "back" to will not seem the same as when we left it behind. We move from home to home to home, never to ever come back around again.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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