I'm going to need a day or two to recoup from my hiatus. There's a whole swirl of feelings and emotions to work through. My entire psyche has been through the wringer.
I was especially attached to the thing in a positive way early on and midway. It wasn't till it became oppressive and repulsively personified that I recognized the terrible trap I was in. And that I needed to get out.
Now that it's gone, I'm left with a very quiet house. The heaving and hissing, and even the refrigerator opening and closing during all its midnight raids, are all now stilled. It's peace, peace, wonderful peace. But the difference is so stark that anyone would be set back.
I did get out yesterday afternoon. I used a knife to cut my way through some of the scum that had the south door sealed. Then I kicked it open and it felt great to have the bright sunshine of the south side. Truly it was an "Afternoon Delight"!
I walked out in the backyard. I have this thing in my mind with songs, how they speak of everyone's personal history. So I started the day with "The Morning After," striking an historic pose as I listened to it, heroic with an image of being huddled yet having prevailed. The record ends and it's wobbling back and forth in the inner grooves and I need to shake it off and get back to reality. Then, as described already, I kicked open the door and went outside, and soaked up the bright sunshine. "Afternoon Delight" running through my mind, I again struck an historic pose, meant to proclaim I was no longer huddled but joyous and free.
The TV news indeed told about the homes that were destroyed yesterday by fire. But according to the proper authorities, it's going to remain "an unsolvable mystery" as to what happened. It appears that they thought at first they should track it back and determine where the thing came from. But thankfully, with the manpower shortage and the city and county budget in the red, they decided not to go to the extra expense, saving about five bucks by ending the investigation a half mile from my house. So I'm off the hook.
As to the numerous families displaced, they said it's working out well for them. The Salvation Army gave each family a $50 voucher for clothes at any of their retail outlets. As to insurance covering the damage, since there's no officially known cause of the disaster, it's all being declared an act of God, meaning they're out. So what can you say? All's well that ends well.
I'm hoping I can see a happy ending come out of all this for myself too. It's been a long, drawn out hiatus. I've been very identified by this thing -- immersed in it. We shall see.
I might take a few days off, with your kind forbearance, and look back, documenting some of the different aspects of the hiatus, what possibly we can learn from it, and hoping to know where things should go from here. It's unlike the investigation the authorities did. With an extraordinary situation like this, you don't just give up. You poke and prod and follow the trail where it leads. And I believe you do that even if it takes great effort, more than you think you have. I don't personally think you spend a second worrying about the extra expense.
To me, knowing the truth itself is the reward and that's well worth any price I have to pay.