I cannot believe how long it has been since I have put in a post! It’s been a happy and busy time since Em and Harry packed me up and we drove west from Ferndale, Michigan where I was stuck for five long years.
We had about a week’s notice before I moved. Em and Harry rented a car and drove up and packed me within about two days. With no help. It was amazing to see Em going high speed on overtime! I am so grateful to her and Harry and Hart for the last minute planning and execution of The Move Home!
It was about the last week of June when we drove Home. Em and Harry drove the Uhaul and I drove the Subaru full of cats and Zeph, the super service dog. It was quite an organizational nightmare. Not even “kind of” like herding cats. It was LITERALLY herding cats!
We spent the night just south of St. Joseph. I had a great plan to organize the animals in the hotel room. Em and I put up two large dogs kennels and put Pascha in one and Cielle and her sister, Faerie, in the other, each kennel having a litter box, food and water. Perfect!
We arrived in Iowa the next afternoon. Em and Harry unloaded my stuff into my friend, Gwendolyn Countryman’s garage. The animals and i took up residence on her three season glassed in porch. Gwen was on the road for a week so I was helping with housesitting.
The weather for the week that we stayed there was up into the nineties or higher every single day. I hung batiks over the glass windows and used my floor model air conditioner and it was perfect!
After a week, we went to live in the very famous Bloom County House at the corner of Summit and College. Berkeley Breathed made it famous by putting it as the location for his world famous “Bloom County” comic strip with Bill the Cat and Opus the Penguin. By the way, Opus can be found in the second floor bathroom! I am still looking for Bill!
I loved being on the third floor of that famous mansion! We were in the room where Berkeley hung out with his girlfriend! The view from the third floor was wonderful! I felt like I was in a treehouse overlooking the beauty of the richest street in Iowa City!
I put the floor model air conditioner in the window and it stayed on max crank for the whole month, which broke all previous heat records. Sometimes it would still get up to almost 90 but only for a day or two, cooling off at night down to the mid 70s.
I loved living in community! I had always dreamed of living in The Bloom County House! Back in the day, artists and musicians rented rooms in it. It was finally purchased by the River City Housing Collective and was upgraded and fixed to its present state it has today.
My roomies were amazing! Kim Scribble has worked for political campaigns for years. She got on with Bernie this time too! She is the untitled head of the house.
Zofia is from Poland. What a spritely faerie! Artist, balloon girl, barefoot Ped Maller and very smart scientist to be! She had the room next to me and we shared the third floor bathroom.
The only other people on the floor were a nice, calm giant of a kid who worked at Walgreen’s and a super gay bartender at Studio 13, the gay bar. Everyone was quiet and minimal. It was surprisingly quiet on our floor.
Kim and Tam and Eddie and John were on the second floor. I was jealous of them because their tub was not corroded like ours was on the third floor! I was also jealous because Opus lives in that bathroom! Add to that the upstairs “cupola” porch which has room for two chairs. It overlooks the front of the mansion down onto the garden.
Tam is a vet who has PTSD pretty bad. We connected on more than one level. We had more than a few intimate support based conversations. We understood each other on a level that no one else there had.
Kim I mentioned before. Smart, nice and very organized. She headed up the House Meetings and dinners. She has lived there the longest, over two years!
John, older grey haired and ponytailed, has a home in Mexico but he had to be here to care for a dying relative. Nice of him! He is a widow as his husband died recently. Unfortunately he was “voted off the island” while I was there for some vague and unspoken incident. I was sad to see him go.
Eddie. Yes, Eddie… his actual birth name! What a charming, kind and loving man! Eddie offered to be my house buddy. I was assigned to Kim but I didn’t even see her for almost the first week. I did not expect to have a guy help me but Eddie is not a “guy” in the normal sense of the word. I felt immediately that I could really trust him.
Eddie plays a green sax on the ped mall for money. He is a thoughtful philosopher who has had a rough road. He and his brother were sent to an orphanage at a young age in Hyattsville. It sounds like he had a confused childhood, staying with a pretty strict but wealthy uber xian family. The damage inflicted from all that confusion made him vulnerable to The Drink.
I hung out heavily with Eddie who helped with the yard work and vegetable garden. I taught him a few things about watering and harvesting. It was good to sit peacefully on that famous front porch and enjoy that beautiful garden.
After the month was up, Em moved me into a beautiful upstairs of a house just seven houses away from her on Webster St. I was so excited. I have always loved older Victorian style street houses! It had a huge backyard and my own driveway.
The dream of being in a beautiful place like that was crushed after the first night. I woke up with hives and asthma like I have never seen! After going to Quick Care, I knew I could not spend another night there! It was so sad. It was like a dream come true to be right down the street from Em and family.
I went back to the Bloom County House on a temporary basis. This time we were in Room 2 on the first floor next to the kitchen. I liked it for its easy entry, nice windows and solitude, being the only occupied room on the first floor,
I had to finagle a way to get out of my lease with the upstairs place. Legal Aid was on board in case I needed them. Denise from housing was ready to help me get out of it. The landlord was rather rude about it and told me it was up to me to find a subleaser.
After three weeks, the landlord found someone who wanted to move in, releasing me from my contract. What a relief. There I was, feeling unsettled and homeless again. I have a permanent aspect of PTSD from all the times I have become homeless at various times in my life.
My kung fu nephew, Steven, is with KMB Mgmt. He and Em had looked for places for me since March. He is a very respectful nephew who takes the kung fu lineage very seriously. We looked at two places and I fell in love with the second one.
I am now in The Hood of the Iowa City Area. Love it! Reminds me of the best parts of the inner city of Detroit! There are at least 20 multi unit apartment buildings on Boston Way, which used to bring to mind gangs and tenement slums before I moved to Detroit!
I am in a half basement apartment. Number One. Nice numerology. Also the house number comes to 8, which is a sign for wealth. Add the number of my apartment to that and it represents home and family! Love it. So far it fits well!
The upstairs geek works nights as a computer guy at the U. Having so many friends from the old days who did just that, we get along very well! He shares his internet with me but I don’t know how to make it work on my end. Very nice of him though.
The people across the hall are Chicago. They come and go and the place is often empty, sometimes for days. The grandmother is a nice looking black lady. I think she works day shift. The adult son, El, works nights at a retirement home. They are cautious and to themselves.
The upstairs place was empty for a month or longer. I told my nephew, Steven, to please try to choose a quiet family, hopefully without a large dog. The couple who moved in are great. They are on disability. Two heavyset, slow speaking kids from some rural area. The guy is a trans who has to take testosterone shots once a week. Nice guy and very friendly. They have two doxies and a cat. So far, we have not run into the dogs in the stairwell.
So there you have it. I feel more at home here than I did all those years in Detroit. The vibe of that house was very abandoned and sad. Here I feel that I am the one putting the energy into these four walls and not the other way around.
I have three ongoing clients at this point. Two are professors at the U and one is a famous writer/musician and friend of mine who is elderly and handicapped. I keep doing estimates but so far these are my go to guaranteed people.
The strong sun is coming through the east side windows so I can foresee a nice day for hiking. I think Kent State Park would be a good walk for today. Talk soon, Beej & Co