So we’ve arrived in San Jose!
The condo is much nicer than I expected–quite roomy, plenty ‘o space, in the middle of the quasi-barrio, but in a gated community, so not bad at all. So I was pleased there. Carlota did a great job on the advance scout.
On the other hand…no furniture. At all. Not even a fridge (one has been arranged, but isn’t here yet) and so I am typing this from the steps, and I slept last night in a sleeping bag on the floor. When you sleep in a sleeping bag without pad or air mattress, it does that inevitable creep across the floor, until you wake up to discover that you’re mostly sleeping on the carpet, the pillow is on the other side of the room, and the sleeping bag is a lumpy mass under your elbow. Eventually you give up.
I woke at a quarter to six, heard the sounds of cars through the open window, looked around at the bare bones of the room, and suffered the sudden wrenching dislocation that hits us all occasionally, that complex emotion that would be desperate homesickness if only one had a home to be sick for. What am I doing? How did I get here? This is madness! I want to go home…but where is that, anyway?
What do I do now?
There are times when what you really, really want is someone to put their arms around you and say “Hey, it’ll be okay.” The annoyance of being single is that this probably isn’t going to happen.
So, as we all do after such moments, I shook myself off, squared my shoulders, and kicked the sleeping bag into the corner. Well. You’re here now. Deal. You lived just fine for seven months on your own, you can bloody well survive. Retreat is always an option–you’ve got at least two offers of staging grounds back in Raleigh if you absolutely cannot hack it here. But you won’t use it. You’ll be sane and settled in a few weeks, the way you always are.
Now quit whining and go unload the car, if you insist on being awake at this stupid hour of morning.
So I went to start unloading the car, got a few boxes out, and decided to go find breakfast. “It’s a grid!” Carlota said, heading off to work. “You can’t get that lost.”
Her faith in me is touching. You’d think she’d know better by now.
I cruised down the main strip, looking for a place that wasn’t a liquor store/food mart/lotto shop, saw something that looked like a grocery store, tried to turn, discovered that I’d misjudged the lane and was now on the freeway, tried to turn off at the first off-ramp, discovered that one led to ANOTHER freeway, and by the end of ten minutes I was in a distant suburb. Fortunately it was a distant suburb with a Starbucks, so I got a mocha and a slice of coffee cake and attempted to regroup.
Regrouping led me to another (incorrect) suburb. Finally I threw myself on the mercy of a gas station attendant, who managed to decipher what street I wanted–“Monterey?” “Yeah! That sounds right!”–and who managed to herd me back to my neck of the woods, newly armed with a street map of San Jose. (At least I found a Michael’s while I was out. It’s good to know these things. Mind you, I couldn’t find it again…)
And so, back to unloading. And soon enough, furniture! And then the world!