After the layoff and as I struggled to find a place to stay, I drove through mid-level neighborhoods in Bloomington wondering where I had gone wrong.
That's a pathetic and embarrassing thing to admit.
The houses were modest, but there were two cars and nice lawns. Sometimes a peak into backyards would should a nice deck, outside furniture, grills. All of them a very, very nice house, with two cats in the yard. Life used to be so hard. Brought to you by the law firm Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
I've never necessarily wanted a middle-class life but I sure as hell didn't want what I had.
All of this occurred to me this morning as I backed out of my two-car garage, in my two-bedroom home, on my way to work. I could see my new neighbors doing the same.
And it all seemed surreal.
Am I now normal? Now do I have to fight the respectability of normalcy, as I am wont to do?
What seems more likely is I'll buy a crock pot this weekend to start cooking for myself until I can move my stuff here. In the Nort'woods, crock pots -- called slow cookers now -- are like having a grandma cooking for you. Chop up stuff in the morning and when you get home at night, the house smells of schmaltz -- a Yiddish word that means both "rendered chicken fat" and "love."
Have a beautiful, normal weekend my friends.
Peace and schmaltz unto all of you my brothers and sisters.