Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Townie for a day

     I get to ease into my first watch at work, at least.

     I've got about 2 hours before we leave for our loading port and pick up a small cargo destined for an anchored tanker tonight. We've got a nor'easter headed in, so I anticipate this being a real shit show, but the pointy heads at our office care little for what I think. So it goes.

 Goddamn, though, I'm tired of this winter. I've missed a grand total of ONE little storm while I was home. It just hasn't worked out timing-wise. I've been here for all the weather.

          I wasn't able to see as many friends as I had hoped while I was in my hold hometown last week. The workload I had, coupled with constraints on my time in handling other business (lawyer, family, municipal, etc etc) meant that I was on the go from 6 am to about 9pm most days. Not that it was all work, either. That would have been great. I lost a lot of time waiting on things to happen... like the 3 hours I lost one morning at a Bank of America, while opening an estate account.

 Judging by the obituaries, people die every day. You'd think it would be routine to open an estate account to handle the final expenses of a dead person who didn't choose a viking funeral and take their things into the next world. Apparently it's nothing routine at all. Giant pain in the ass, in fact. But it did get done, though it cost me the best part of a productive day- the mid morning.

          It wasn't all rotten tomatoes, though. I got to see some people I wanted to see, and spending St. Patrick's Day in the Boston area is pretty much the best place to spend St. Patrick's day. I ate like a king and drank just enough Guiness and Jamison to enjoy myself, and not a drop more. I even got to see a neighbor who literally gave me the shirt off his back- serious, I told the guy I really liked his shirt (a freebie got when he had breakfast and an Irish coffee at a local Irish-owned restaurant), and he told me that he'd leave the shirt at the door of my mom's house that night... which he did. I loaded him up on shepherd's pie, beef and guiness stew and other delicacies as a thank you.

 I also got to go to the local old men's bar, which I had never done in my 40 years as a resident. This is a tiny hole-in the wall (it had 6 seats for 30ish years) bar up the road from my neighborhood, which no young person would bother to patronize... turns out it was awesome. As I'm in my 40's, I was one of the younger of the 30 or so patrons jammed in the place. It is a tradesmen's bar- most of the guys there were 50-70, and union tradesmen or builders or contractors. I spent too much time away or out fishing to really be a townie, but I see the appeal now. It was nice to just talk about whatever came up. I could get my head out of my own ass for an hour and talk about good tools, dumb shit that happened in the past, things like that. It felt normal in a way that I haven't had in a while. I'm not really a bar guy. I like to drink my drinks outside, either with my wife or in solitude, but I used to like pounding drinks with friends, of course, like most working-class people. Escaping from my roots comes at a cost, I suppose.

         Although the weather was utter shit for the week I was there, this past week was also a capstone for me. I was able to have one last block of time in my old hometown as we prepped the B family home for a new family to make memories in. In a few weeks, or a month, our familial base of operations will be gone, and my childhood home will be someone else's, While I was unwilling to spend a small fortune on a beautifully-situated small and old house in (blech) Massachusetts, that doesn't mean I'm not sad about it. The quiet peninsula located so close to Boston but far enough that the locks never worked, where the ocean was never more than a couple hundred feet away is a beautiful place.

hard to believe that it's only 15 miles to the city. 

At some point, though, moving on requires moving on. I'm sure that the future holds good things, and while I'm a fairly sentimental person, I do not require things to be foci of my emotional connections. Without the people I love,  our family home became just a house after my parents passed on, and the labor and preparation for sale has made it easier to let go. I'm pretty damn tired of worrying about it all.I didn't go back to work with the best attitude, feeling unrested and somewhat discontented, but the reestablishment of routine will be good. I am looking forward to things being more predictable and simple for a few weeks. Oil goes in, oil goes out. Rinse, repeat.

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