Prepping for a trip like this takes a lot of time, and almost all of it is alone time. I’m not going to drag a friend along to the travel clinic or to buy extra cat food. This is my last weekend here and it’s going to be a social one. Today is the reunion BBQ for my women’s team so I will get to hang out with a bunch of people I know and love. On Sunday I play a playoff game with my summer league team, and expect we’ll be going out for a drink after, in triumph, of course. On Sunday, too, I will meet my house sitter in person for the first time. That is always a strange moment, but I am looking forward to handing over the keys (Note: in an update to this post, I sent her the instructions and her response was, “Noodles (sic) sounds hilarious…” Maybe Noodles has a new Mommy.) Monday will be spent with my Dad, Lisa, and the girls and then I head to the airport where I will encounter a stranger at the check-in desk. He or she will be the first in an endless line of acquaintances and strangers in will have to relate to over the next month plus.
I am glad that I have had days of solitude. It will be ages before I am alone again.
Well, not really alone:
I think it finally dawned on them that I'm leaving.
Nothing like writing out instructions for a house sitter to make you question if you live like normal people.
Many evenings Mendoza will get a toy or some clothes and strew them around the apartment, crying out. I don't know why he does it, but I just call back, What is it? Bring it! until he drops a sock or fuzzy mouse at my feet.
I keep my George Foreman Grill in the oven.
Other evidence (not pictured):
The cats like to drink out of beer steins (particularly the Hooters one), so make sure they’re always topped up.
Morning is a time of uncontainable excitement for Noodle. He will try and wake you in a variety of ways, which historically have included: raking nails across the leaves of my bedside book to create loud fan effect; rattling the balsawood garbage bin against the side of the dresser so I am woken to tribal beats; crawling on my chest and purring frantically on both the inhale and exhale while training his eyes on my lids for any movement at all; and my personal favourite, jimmying the hallway door open and slamming it shut repeatedly until I have to get up even if only to put a pillow in the door jamb.
Do not, under any circumstances, water the rubber tree. If you do it will never drain. Like a reverse and slackened black hole, water will leak out of the bottom for days.