Okay. OKAY. I’ll post something.

Shawn tells me I haven’t been posting enough… so here goes, in no particular order.

Kathy and I are two weeks away from closing on our first house. It’s a humble little brick cape cod on the outskirts of Butler. It’s not exactly our dream home, but we wouldn’t have been able to afford the obsidian medieval castle flanked by amethyst rocketship towers. We’re pleased with what we’re getting.

It’s big enough that I can have a writing room and we’ll have space to start a family. The basement has a tall ceiling, so I can finish it into a game room some day. The back yard has a bit of a slope, so I’ll need to do some landscaping to make the patio for the hot tub… but, except for such improvements, the house is in livable move-in condition.

So for the past couple of weeks I’ve been concerned with three things… packing, packing, and… um… oh yeah… packing. Nearly 2/3rds of what we own is stacked in boxes now. Rows and rows of boxes, all stretching to the ceiling. Packing!

Hmmm… what else can I talk about? Work is intolerable. The company failed to hire enough TSRs so our call volume is through the roof every day. Instead of correcting the problem with a hiring frenzy, they decided to blame the TSRs. As an intimidation tactic, they’ve started firing people for minor infractions. I’m in the big hairy eyeball’s crosshairs, now. I was planning on moving on in a few months anyway, but I’m thinking I’m going to move the timetable up a bit. In the meantime, I’ll just have to act like an idiot and go in 30 mins early, take half-length breaks, and tamp down my rising bile.

Since I returned from the OSC Literary Bootcamp, I haven’t got much writing done. Oh sure, I’ve been writing down ideas, but I haven’t been doing the things I need to do to get stories written. Kathy asked me about it the other night and forced me to think about why. After reflecting on it, I’ve decided it comes down to dealing with my dad. In case you don’t know, he died in January. He had cancer. Maybe he didn’t want to go through another round of chemo or surgery… I’ll never know exactly why, but he shot himself.

My mom called me at work and told me… Kathy took me home and gave me a full tumbler of whiskey. I drank constantly for the next week, but no amount of drinking could get me drunk enough. I volunteered for the gruesome duty of cleaning out his apartment. One of my sister’s friends helped me remove and destroy the blood-stained mattress and sheets. I threw out the bed frame also, because I couldn’t bear to think of anyone ever sleeping on it again.

I never really understood my dad. There was always some distance between us. A gap that neither one of us could cross, even when we tried. But I loved him. And I miss him.

I have some artifacts that I brought back from his apartment and he left my sister and me a little money. I don’t really know what he would have wanted me to do with it, but I’m trying to pay off our debts with some of it and invest the rest. Sensible things. I guess that in the same way that I felt it was my duty to face that blood-soaked apartment that night, I feel it’s my duty to get that money to those sensible places… maybe it what psychiatrists call closure. At any rate, the self-imposed duty weighs heavily on my mind and I can’t seem to think of anything else.

The house is the main thing… once it’s taken care of, my honor should be satisfied. Hopefully, then, I can start living for myself again. Working on my own goals. I suspect I never get over it, but once all that can be done has been done, I can start to move past it.

I’m out of things to say for the moment. And I think I said more than I’m comfortable with, so I’m changing this to a friends only post.



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2 responses to “Okay. OKAY. I’ll post something.

  1. marbleeye

    I know I dont know you very well, But I really hope you can get the closure you certainly sound like you deserve.

    Shawn was right.. You dont post nearly enough.. There are so many people on my list who post too much garbage as it is. I actually enjoy seeing you say somthing.

    I’m so happy for you and Kathy closing on the house… I know it was kinda spur of the moment but having a place that is truely yours where you can be with those you love, and do what you love is truely a great thing.

    Hope to hear more out of you in the future,

  2. otherkarst

    Thanks for the kind words, Kat. I bear at least 50% of the fault for not getting to know you better. For some reason I can’t even make myself shoot off a ‘Hello’ to you in an IM. Even though I see you on my buddy list everyday. It seems odd to think of myself as shy, but the fact of it stares me in the face like a 50 pound hypnotoad. Most of my friends are people that actively pursue my company. I’m grateful for them, because otherwise I’d be a hermit. Once I warm up to people, I become outgoing and perhaps even obnoxious, but I’m not an initiator of social situations.

    At any rate, the next time you get to PA, Kathy and I would like to have you and Dawg over to see the house. Maybe if you need a place to stay the night before Pennsic, you could stay here. We have plenty of room. Shawn and Allison could stay over as well. Our place will be a good staging area, because we live ever so close to Cooper’s Lake here.

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