dis·com·bob·u·late transitive verb \ˌdis-kəm-ˈbä-b(y)ə-ˌlāt\
: upset, confuse <inventing cool new ways to discombobulate the old order — Kurt Andersen>
We are now in our new apartment. Just like that, I flew out to Atlanta one day, I came back to a packed house, and the next day we said goodbye and left a decade behind. I would have had a little more mental space to process this, but then a hurricane hit and I felt too guilty and concerned about other people’s devastation to spare myself a few moments to mourn, so I basically just drove down the street with a noncommittal “peace out, house” and that was that, until I woke up at 4 am on the bottom floor of a massive complex experiencing my own massive complex.
I never took in our view one last, proper time. I didn’t bid adieu to the Mulan tree, the one we bought right after she died and I loved because the leaves were shaped just like her ears. I didn’t take one last walk to the park at the bottom of the hill, the walk I took and always, in the back of my head, looked for a sign of Callie. I just left.
The animals, having had no prior notice of this major adjustment, are not sure what the heck to think. Apollo alternates between sitting on the bed meowing plaintively and hiding behind the washer. Brody spent a good part of the afternoon glued to my hip, squishing his massive frame next to me on the couch, not to the left or right but wedged right in between me and the cushion so I half levitated over the edge. They are a little freaked out too.
We were having a better afternoon, with the pets settled into the living room watching me unpack, when our upstairs neighbor decided to unleash the beast and do what I can only assume is some unholy combination of Zumba, p90x, and paramilitary assault training. It was rhythmic, it was loud, and it involved no small amount of crashing onto the floor. It’s fine. I will get them back by bringing Koa over and leaving her alone in the living room at 2 am.
It’s Halloween and I didn’t do Halloween costumes this year. For some reason, this, above all other things, upset me. No Bret. No Gaga. No Charlie. No Katy. Does “dessicated husk of a corpse, straggling through the parking structure like a lost extra from the Walking Dead shuffler audition” count? This year I’m going as Emo Vet and Brody is my Appropriately Anxiety Riddled Pet. It’s the best I can do.
Intellectually I know things are actually pretty peachy. We have our health, stability, and a perfectly utilitarian place to hang out for the next few months. It’s hard to muster up a lot of sympathy even for myself when you see all these people on the news who just lost everything, though I’m not grandiose enough by half to frame this massive disaster as one long teachable moment meant for my own edification.
At the end of the day, I’m just taking my cues from the dog: wander around the place in a curious yet slightly perplexed state. Find out where the bathroom is and where one might eat. Hopefully these are two separate locations. Panic slightly, find a warm body to lean against, and then take a nap. If it works for the Golden, it should work for me.
Besides, I’ve learned there is a Nordstrom not 5 minutes from this place. That should count for something, right?