I finished work on Muse, and have started work on the second book, Muse: Evolution. I’m about 60 pages into Muse: Evolution so far – that’s including the disturbances like having to move again.
I looked back in my files, and had to smile a bit. In the last nine months I’ve written two complete books and two partial books. Not bad.
Once I complete Muse: Evolution I can go back to telling the story I wanted to write 🙂
Why I Don’t Live In Cheney
Typically I say I don’t tell other people’s stories on here. There’s been a few exceptions to that rule from time to time, and this is gonna be one of them, because so much of the story drags me into it, screaming and kicking.
Brandon’s wife, Christi, left him a while back. Now, when she left, she didn’t tell him it was going to happen. She just did it. She borrowed money from her family, her mom set her up a joint checking account (remember that one, it’s gonna be funny later), and helped her get an apartment. One day, Christi just tells Brandon she’s moving out and leaves that day. Brandon, of course, helped her move her stuff – he was a little blindsided, but what the hell – he loves Christi, and would do just about anything for her.
Did I mention Christi didn’t have a JOB? She expected Brandon to pay for her apartment. That’s part of where I came into the story – I moved in with Brandon, and paid part of the rent (actually, I never paid cash. I paid for groceries, and trust me, when it’s me, Brandon, and three boys in the house, that’s a lotta damned food!!! Why not in cash? Because if Brandon has cash, Christi talks him out of it. This removed the problem from the equation.)
After three weeks, Christi gets a job, and distances herself from Brandon. She started pulling a few bluffs – she told him unless he would go to marriage counseling and anger management (funny, Devvi and I both have commented on his LACK of anger issues), then they weren’t going to get back together. He sets up both things, and for the first three counseling sessions she cancels. No shit – it wasn’t important enough for her. I saw what was going on, but that’s just territory Brandon had to figure out on his own (and he did.)
Let’s fast forward a bit – Dad offers Brandon the place out in the country. Very cool. Just before that, Christi had quit her job. See, Brandon was giving her about $800 a month to make ends meet, even when she did have a job. Moving out the country would be a good deal for him – it cut his expenses considerably.
So Brandon and I start the cleaning process. I’m out there nearly every day cleaning, Brandon can’t quite do the same unfortunately. So the bulk of the work gets done by me – it’s no big thing, it’s my old home and I’d like to see it restored. Brandon and I work it out, and I get the master bedroom. Which should almost be called a suite – it’s got two rooms, huge closet, bathroom, etc. About the only thing it doesn’t have is a stove and a fridge. It’s as big as some apartments.
Christi takes no real interest in the whole situation at first, until Brandon drags her out there one day. That’s when I knew I was going to be moving on. I hadn’t gotten unpacked or anything, but my stuff was in the master bedroom. She decided that was Zack’s room – I find this out from the kids.
Huh. Well, that’s odd, but we can work this through.
Brandon explains to Christi in no uncertain terms I’m going to be living there – I’m the one that’s been doing the work, so I can see why he might feel it’s sort of important to him. Plus, he’s grown to really enjoy having me around. I don’t really view that as a good thing, by the way – if you’ve got a choice, the friend goes to the curb, and the wife comes to stay. It’s that simple. But things have a little more depth than that.
The next weekend. Christi is out here, and explains where we should put my office. In the laundry room. No, I’m not shitting you, she really suggested that.
I told Brandon I’m hitting the road. Of course, there’s the question of where I’m off to, but that’s my problem, not his. That night, Christi informs Brandon that she’s not moving in until I move out.
Go ahead, take a wild guess what happens next. Brandon is trying very hard to convince me to stay out there in Cheney for as long as possible. *SIGH* Now I’m being dragged in. I set a deal with him – I’d stay until Dec. 15th. That would buy him a little time (I had already worked out where I was going next. More on that in a bit.) His house in Wichita was moved out there, but he wasn’t getting time away to actually work on setting up his stuff out there. But whatever – his problem, not mine.
What about Christi? Well, she’s not actually making any moves to get out there, or get a job. In fact, Brandon hands her $600 one day to pay the rent at her apartment. He’s got no idea where the money went – because when the apartment manager shows up the next week, Christi owes $1200 in rent – which he dutifully pays, of course.
On the 10th, Christi was out at Cheney while I was there. The kitchen is functional, thanks to me, my room is clean (again, thanks to me), and the other large bedroom is now painted (Brandon’s work.) The entire rest of the house still needs repairs, like paint and fixing the holes in the walls. So Christi walks into my room “Hey, do you mind if we get started in here?” “Yeah, I mind. Wait until the 15th.” That’s right – an entire house to do, and she wants to get into “my room” to start on it.
OK, well, fuck ya’ll. I made sure Brandon knew what happened (actually, there’s a few more tales, but that gives ya the gist of everything). I still have a few things there at the moment – I didn’t manage to get the trailer there (Brandon had classes on Monday and Tuesday this week, screwing up my moving schedule.)
Brandon had called one thing thought… as soon as I was moving my stuff, Christi informs Brandon that she just didn’t see anything changing, and she was thinking about staying in Wichita until the end of the school year. Yes, the issue was never that she wanted to move in – the issue was that I was there.
I’m out now, and outta the middle of the drama. Thought I’m getting updates. Remember that joint checking account between Christi and her mom I mentioned towards the beginning of this tale? Yeah, well… Brandon gets a call from Christi’s mom. Seems that Christi overdrew her checking account. By $700. That’s just the FEES, that’s not including the checks themselves that have to be covered. Since it was a joint checking account, they closed her mom’s account and seized the money in it. Brandon got the phone call because, well, it’s his job to cover those debts, right?
I did something rare on Tuesday. Typically, anyone I’m friends with, well, their significant others automatically get the benefit of the doubt. Typically couples match enough that if I’m friends with one, I’ll probably be friends with the other person pretty easily. I told Brandon “Dude, I’ll be cordial to your wife, but I never want to be around her again after what I’ve seen in person.” That takes downright effort to piss me off like that – and she put the effort in.
So Where Am I Now?
So where did I move to, you ask? Well, that gets sort of fun. I’m back at Doc’s house, with a specific mission in mind.
Doc has been doing pretty good lately – we were having supper every Tuesday night, and while his mental state is good, he’s got a fundamental problem he’s not been able to overcome: he doesn’t have enough time to take on all the battles he needs to win.
So that’s where I come in. I laid out a plan of attack, and how to go about it, and where I can help. He countered that plan with one of his own, that expanded upon it. The plan is pretty sound, so I’m back.
However, I did things a bit different. I never quite got set up out in Cheney, but before I moved back I laid out all my stuff, and started thinking about the space at Doc’s differently. I needed clean. I mean CLEAN. Not the whole house, just my space. I also needed it laid out differently. And I was still dragging around crap I never used, so I started by ditching stuff I didn’t need. About two barrels full of junk.
Then I ripped into the bedroom. When I was here before, I just “lived with the environment.” This time, I totally redid the environment. The room is painted, the floors have been redone, etc., etc., etc. It’s very clean, though the ceiling still has two spots that need repaired.
Unfortunately, my layout for the room didn’t work – I forgot to account for the swing of the door when I laid it out in my head, so I had three feet less space to work with. Damn. And since all of my furniture had gotten broken when I moved to Cheney (thanks to a cat and the domino effect, every bit of shelving had to be repaired), I’ve got to do something later about longer term, better looking shelving.
But my desk is awesome! When I cleaned the place in Cheney, I ran across this beat up old writing desk – just the right size for my computer setup. It doesn’t take up the whole room now like my old desk did (which is stored at the moment.) So I took an $8 can of Rustoleum High Performance Enamel paint to it. And it looks awesome now 🙂
So it’s a pretty nice setup now in here. It also acts as a model for what the upcoming battles with the house will be – this place can be restored, and I’ve proved it with this one room. Doc is pretty excited about what can be done with the rest of the place.
One really nice thing… Doc and I were chatting, and he told me “You know, it’s really nice to have you back here.” Truth is, it’s nice to be back here. I left for various reasons, but for some reason coming back here feels pretty good. I think it’s because I’ve got a mission again, one that’s going to take some serious sweat to accomplish. And let’s face it, if there’s one thing I love, it’s a good mission to take on.