By the end of the second night I hit a wall. I’ve never been in a place where I had to contend with cockroaches – until now. They can live in the refrigerator you know. Judging from their desiccated little carcasses in the freezer, that seems to be the only truly safe place for food. You have to really think through food preparation and storage in a place like this. And then, of course, there’s the surprise factor: opening the silverware drawer to find that you have company.
I had managed to navigate the streets, I had come to terms with the noise, I was starting to figure out the neighborhood, but the cockroaches did me in. Something about that just wore me down. I decided to leave and went home that night with Rob.
All night long I lay in my bed in Ambler thinking: I should be in Kensington. I didn’t sleep well at all. I also thought about how grateful I am to live where I live – in a safe and quiet neighborhood, in a home that is familiar and secure, and where the only significant animal life inside the house is our aging and increasingly neurotic Jack Russell Terrier. By morning, I was ready to go back.
Somehow that was a turning point. Knowing that I could choose to leave made it possible to stay. I got up early, drove into town (and didn’t get lost this time), attended Morning Prayer and, afterwards, the ‘kids’ actually spoke to me. The Residents of The Simple Way aren’t really kids — they’re all in their late 20’s or early 30’s. But now that I’m 50 I can say these things.
Maybe I’ll figure this out yet.