June 28, 2014

Becoming invisible

We're in the process of selling our house so that we can move to a horse farm. And this particular farm just happens to be the real-life setting for my novel, Xmas Carol. The idea of moving into my book is appealing.

However, having potential buyers tromp through my house on a regular basis is unsettling. Last night a group of people came through at 7:30 pm. On a Friday night! Oy. And of course, I have to sweep through the house and hide my existence from these buyers. The place should look clean and nice, but not lived-in. I've got it down to a system. I can literally sweep away my existence in about 20 minutes. And then after they leave, I have to put all the stuff back where it belongs. It's really creepy.

Doing this reminds me of a situation that a friend experienced when we were about 20 years old. He worked for an institution that had its offices in a lovely townhouse in Manhattan. He was basically the office manager. But no one knew that he also lived there.

This was a deep, dark secret. Each night, he let all the visitors out and said goodnight. This didn't seem odd because it was up to him to close the place up and make sure everything was ready for the following day. But of course, he never left. I'd go there to hang out with him in the evening. We couldn't even turn lights on and off unless they were in a central location that wasn't visible from any window.

And each morning, he had to tear through the place and hide all the clues that might reveal the house was occupied. No bed could be rumpled, no food could be sitting in a side-room, no clothes could be in a closet. He had to clean up all his magazines, papers, etc. He was an invisible person. It worked, too, until he opened his yap and told the wrong person. And then he was out.

Sometimes I find myself thinking of him as I wipe my existence from my house. It's a hell of a way to live. But if it gets me to the horse farm, I'm willing to put up with it. Horsies!

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