It was funny when we were buying the house because… well, nothing was funny because I really didn’t want to move, so I was a fucking ray of sunshine about it really. But it came to pass that I found two streets that seemed to rarely have houses go up for sale (these streets connect) and when they did, they were actually not… unreasonable, under the circumstances. (Boston is a fucking crazy real estate market, and if you want a stand alone house with two bathrooms you wouldn’t be afraid to whiz in standing up, your personal plumbing type be damned, you will pay well over half a million bucks.) I kinda joked that if anything came up on these streets in the time we were looking, we had to get it even if it was condemned if the price was right.
Joke was on me, because one did, and it was not… unreasonable in price (only one bathroom. That’s the thing that pushes so much out of reach). You can change so many things about a house, but you can’t change where it is, and… I love where it is. The neighbors are really good, decent people, which is a plus (truly, like, I am the biggest asshole on the block I think. Then again, no one knows I’m scowling under my mask… Hahaha, no, I’m not. I’m mouth breathing. I’m a mouth breather. I’m sorry, I am not proud of it, it is just how I am and of course that’s why I know a mask is necessary. So maybe I am not an asshole? I don’t know). The house was nearing eighty years old and it looks better than I will at that age, it also had a few previous owners who obviously didn’t think shit through. Like when you put cabinets and appliances in a kitchen, you should measure so that you can open the fucking doors without hitting the wall.
Anyway, when we were looking, I was kind of a poop because I didn’t want to move, and the week before there was a house that I figured I could probably learn to love but people had all gushed about the big yard and shit and the place was just… it was half a million dollars and it made me cry because these houses were poured in on each other. Objectively, so is this neighborhood, and so was my house prior (it was designed so that the neighbors could see in the windows, because my grandma lived next to my great grandma and this was before the era of “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” technology. And knowing that made it all a little less creepy for subsequent owners of all surrounding property, I think. Still kinda icky, but yeah, okay, I get it. Cute, history, that’s kinda nice.) But this house now backs up on to conservation land that the city gave to the state so it isn’t ever going to be touched because even if there weren’t possibly spotted turtles in the area, figuring out who gets to make the call to build on it will take longer than I am probably gonna live. (And it really isn’t something you could build on up there.) So next door is close, but not terribly close, and the back yard goes on for acres and acres that I don’t have to maintain, so fuck yeah.
So that was why I wanted this street in particular, and why I was like, I kinda don’t care if the house is shit (and it isn’t. It’s cute. It has its issues, as I said. It’s old. It’s had owners with questionable DIY skills and/or friends of a friend who totally overestimated how good they were with power tools). It has a fireplace, which I won’t use because I am deathly afraid of flames (seriously, lighting matches is a big anxiety inducer) and fireplaces are really filthy even if they work right and don’t particularly heat well. Pretty, sure. Can you make s’mores on them and then drip it all over the hardwood in front of the hearth and then poly over the hardwood to seal in the mooshy chocolatey stains? Yep, apparently you can. We considered converting to a gas insert, but truthfully?
Because this place is fucking awesome for when the shit hits the fan. I know I partially said that to the realtor because I kinda wanted to bring home the idea to everyone that regardless of anything, I was the one who was going to be here all the time. And I liked the place, but also… you know, there’s a fireplace, we are surrounded by woods that house substantial wildlife… deer, turkeys, coyotes, rabbits… There are a lot of exits and the position of the house second story windows… let’s say the bathroom window is an amazing wildlife blind. It’s fascinating. Too bad there is only one bathroom, because I am up there peeing, watching the deer get freaked out because they didn’t realize that turkeys could fly either.
If you really have to pee, knock. I’m probably not actually using the latrine.
But the place is sort of great in a “when the shit hits the fan” sort of situation and we all kind of made jokes about it… and I look at what we’re dealing with governmentally two years later and I think, well, it was a lot funnier when it was more of a concept than an impending increasingly plausible reality.