Quickly, because I can't resist, though it's well past my bed-time...
I've made the decision to go full-time freelance. It's a big one, for several reasons, not the least of which is this: that's why I moved here. Over the weekend, while on a press trip to Seattle, I realized it. I was reading the NYT with my feet propped on a pillow, in a terry robe, drinking an '04 vintage pinot noir and popping hand-made chocolates into my mouth, thinking, this is work? All of it was free (all expenses paid) -- and I was paid to do (and, of course write about) it. Despite my gross overindulgence in little-known luxuries (like organic brut champagne, oysters, a ninety minute massage...), the trip shook me awake, and screamed for me to quit my job. (Quite literally, a new found friend, a NYT reporter, did, too.) So, after two days of playing hooky while on my working "vacation," I did. The morning I returned, I handed my boss the letter. I gave them thirty days. That said, I'm at once thrilled and terrified. In the long-term, I think I'll make three times as much as I've made as a teacher. But in the beginning, turning a profit may prove trying. I'm trying to be both optimistic and realistic, so I've been searching for a roommate. In short, it's been a saga:
In May, I met a woman who wanted to move in, but not until July. She seemed cool, so I held out for her until then. She signed the lease, gave me her deposit, then bailed because her house, down the block, had been burglarized. The neighborhood, obviously not Beverly Hills, sent her running -- to Rio Rancho. For those of you unfamiliar with RR, imagine a desert town where there is nothing but big-box stores and little box houses. Cooking-fucking-cutter.
The next guy, who I have a weird, roundabout connection to (which, for the time, will go unexplained), signed the lease and gave me his deposit last night. He called me this afternoon to say he can't move in. I'm presuming his current landlord won't release him -- which he should have frikkin' checked before singing my lease.
I interviewed another guy this afternoon, who was cool until he revealed himself to be a Bush-loving racist. I threw the redneck fucker off the front porch and told him never to come back. (I actually cried afterward, partly because I've never experienced racism the way I have in NM. Because I'm blond, those ignorant fuckers always expect me to agree.)
Tonight, I got a call from a cool-sounding college girl who was riding her bike in the rain. She said she was on her way over. The rain was torrential, so I prep'd a towel and sweatshirt for her and put on the kettle for tea. About an hour later, after I'd been fretting b/c she was so late (did she crash? lose her way in the dark? get accosted by a lusty drug dealer?!?), her friend called me from the emergency room of Presbyterian Hospital to tell me that the girl had been hit by a truck on her way over. My knees buckled as she said the words. By some great mercy, the girl is just fine, her friend reported. Thank god. I was practically weeping by the end of our conversation. I feel partly responsible, like I should have offered to pick her up. Getting in a car with a crazy-driving stranger (me) would probably have been safer.
Ugh. In New York, finding a roommate was never this hard! And I really need to find someone -- soon -- so I don't completely lose my mind fretting over finances. I need a roommie to float my income, at least for the time being.
Anyhow, apologies for being a deadbeat blogger. Finally, I'm back in action.