Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I spent the evening with the computer and the TV. The salads hadn't started to get old and the beef patties were still delicious. In my heart I knew that both of those would change soon enough. Still I was managing at that moment to stay on my diet and exercise plan. Lots of coffee and diet soda helped. The computer and TV occupied my time, and kept my mind off food, at least for that night.

When I went to bed, I was exhausted. The drained feeling was more from my body trying heel itself, the new exercise regiment, even though it wasn't much, and the mental gyrations of trying to buy somewhere to live. I hadn't closed my mind to other things, but the duplex was where my heart was at the moment.

I knew I needed the inspection by a pro, but I also knew that it could well be money down the drain. Harvey assured me the bank would not pay for any repairs, nor would they lower their price to compensate for any. It was the accepted practice that the bank did their own inspection then priced the property with that, as well as other considerations in mind. The seemingly great deal of a foreclosure might turn into a nightmare, if the buyer wasn't prepared.

I figured that I was willing to put 60 thousand total into the place. 52,000 wasn't going to leave a lot left for me to make repairs. All that ran around over and over in my head before I drifted off to sleep.

The rain was falling gently on my patio when I looked outside. I put coffee on to boil while I watched the morning news. Nothing much was happening locally it seemed. In the back of my head I realized that I hadn't turned on my scanner since I returned from the hospital. A week without any police information at all was a long time. I asked myself if I missed it. The answer was ambiguous at best.

As I drank my coffee I realized that I had to decide what to do about my walk. I know myself, and once I start to make excuses all my good intension just go all to hell. I knew in my heart that I could not skip that walk.

In our little town we have a small shopping mall. It is a joke that they have a geriatric nurse on stand bye from 8AM till noon to assist walkers who take ill. I suppose the old guy stigma is why I chose to walk in the park. I like to think it was the feeling of freedom from being outside. It appeared that, if I wished to walk that morning a compromise was in the cards.

After two more cups of coffee I loaded my ass into my ten year old Ford. The drive to the mall was almost exactly the same distance as to the park, but in a different direction. That is because the patio home I rented was in the middle of the urban area on the north end of town. The mall was on the outskirts of the urban sprawl and the park was closer to downtown.

When I arrived at the mall I found only one door open. The early morning occupants of the mall were walkers and the cleaning crew. I just went inside the lower entrance, walked through the short wing of retail stores, then turned right and began to walk in earnest. It was an experience not to be missed. Within one lap I was passed by an older man, who was much leaner and fitter than me. Yes he was at least twenty years older, but he moved extremely well for his age. It really wasn't all that embarrassing. It got embarrassing when others in less fit condition passed me as well.

In the park people passed me now and then, but in the confines of the mall, it appeared that some of them were going to pass me more than once. It was then that I devised a plan to avoid it happening. Yes it was ego, when I decided to do a lap on the bottom floor of the mall then take the escalator to the second floor and do a lap then repeat the route until I had covered what I thought was two miles. I knew that on the trail I walked a mile in about twenty minutes, so I would walk not more than forty five minutes in the mall.

At the end of two complete upstairs and downstairs laps, I figured I had done two miles, so I started looking for the exit. I passed one booth in the food court, with the smell of coffee hanging in the air around it. It was a struggle, but I managed to pass it by. I simply reminded myself that coffee at home would be much less expensive.

One of the things that I realized rather quickly about the mall walk was that I had nothing to do but to scheme. On the trail walk I looked at the trees and even now and then a small furry animal. There were always dogs and their owners at whom to marvel. In the mall I was lost in my own head. It did give me almost an hour to plan out my day.

At home I drank another cup of coffee and started putting my plans in action. I found my box of business cards. I kept business cards from people I interviewed on the job. Most were witnesses but I had a few cards from people who were doing time at that particular moment in time.

I sorted through the cards for people in the home improvement business. There were a lot of them it seemed. Men and even a couple of women who couldn't manage real jobs. Some people, even with the best of intentions, just couldn't get to work on time, or follow directions when they did. Those were the largest part of the self employed people of the world. Yes there were some highly ambitious souls, but not as nearly many as there were marginal workers.

I remember Shorty Maness once I saw his business card. His card called him the house doctor. I remember him as a handyman type, who worked three or four days a week usually. I talked to him when he had a table saw stolen from his equipment building. We never did find the saw but eventually the mooch who took it got grabbed up by a homeowner with an old rusty shotgun. The mooch was thrilled to see the cops arrive. He was shaking hard. He was so grateful that he copped to about fifty thefts in the area. One of them being Short's table saw.

Anyway Shorty sounded like a possibility to do the inspection, and maybe some of the repairs, I made a call to Harvey at home.

"Harvey, I'm sorry but two bucks just seems to be more than the inspection is worth to me. I know a home repair guy who will do an inspection as part of the job estimate."

"You haven't called him yet have you?"

"No, why?"

"The way business is Jerry might do you a better deal, if he knows you have a backup plan. I would feel a lot better, if you have an independent inspection. Jerry does this all the time."

"Harvey, don't try to blow smoke up my ass, what's it to you who does it."

"Okay Abba, Jerry is a cousin. I try to throw him some work." I'm sure he realized how that sounded because he rushed on. "He is licensed and bonded for this kind of work. I'm sure your home boy isn't."

"Okay Harvey, in the spirit of cooperation I'll go one buck no more."

After the call to Harvey, I began looking at the cereal box with loving affection. finally I gave in and make a huge bowl with dried fruit. By the time I finished, it was time to really get the day started. Then I realized that I had nothing planned for the day. I knew in my heart that without a job, there would be a lot of days with me scrambling around for ways to pass the time.

That morning I went on line to research the changes in photography since I had last shot pictures. I was surprised to find that I spent over three hours and had barely scratched the surface of the information available.

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