Sometimes I forget that not everybody’s like me. That’s easy to do, I suppose, since I associate almost exclusively with people who are at least kinda like me. Which is to say, you know, they chose to live here or at least own property here.
So every now and then somebody’s relatives come to visit. It happened recently – twice – with my neighbor J. Both visits were disasters, with the visitors actually going away mad. I guess they were expecting Desert World or something, and the rides weren’t up to their expectations.
Nothing like that happened with Landlady’s folks, don’t get me wrong. They’re very nice people. But I don’t think they’d have had a good time even if they hadn’t happened to arrive just in time for the storm of the decade (so far). But the gulch is, as I said, a sea of mud and that couldn’t have helped. Not even I have been enjoying myself in what I sincerely hope but don’t really expect is the Monsoon’s last hurrah.
But I consider bizarre weather, occasionally unpleasant living conditions and what some might call extreme poverty the price I’m happily willing to pay for the opportunity to live the way I damn well please.
I got a kick out of our parting. All but one of their party hiked up the steep, rocky BLM road to the top of the high plateau where they’d left their rental car, which could not have safely crossed the muddy washes or gotten through the switchbacks down the side of the mountain. I carried one person and all their luggage in the Jeep and met them at the top. And while we were loading their car, Landlady’s dad said to me (He may have been joking) “So they just drive away and leave you here?”
And I had a blank moment. He said that like it was a bad thing, and I didn’t know how to respond. Finally I said, “Hey, I live here. The way I see it, they go away and leave me alone.” And Landlady laughed and said, “And that’s just the way he likes it.”
She knows me.
BTW, Landlady came bearing gifts. I got two boxes: A new camelback bladder from Mama Liberty, and a box of old paperbacks (mostly SF!) from Dullhawk. Also, between Claire and MSJordan, there’s a strange computer gadget that’s supposed to automatically route you onto Tor. Or something. But I won’t be playing with that until the signal improves, since I’m told Tor slows things down and right now that’s the last thing I need.