Tiny White Flowers

Tiny White Flowers

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Centrum Journal, Part one

14 March 2010

Settling in. It feels strange. . .

It took awhile to get ready this morning, and I didn’t get out of the house until nearly three. Of course, I went back into the house three times; once to get my other shoes, then to toast an English muffin, and finally because I’d realized I still had the mail from the PO Box. . . Once I got going, I completely bypassed the turn-off to Port Gamble, and had to turn on Sawdust Hill Road, and get going in the right direction. And get gas. I’d forgotten that, too.

Once I got here, I stopped at the Centrum office and found my envelope with my housing assignment and the key, in the mailbox. I was surprised to find that I’m staying in the four-plex. My apartment is D.

I’ve got a kitchen, which is the first thing I see when I come in the (back) door. There is a front door, too, with a set of stairs leading up to the upper two apts., but I haven’t used those yet. My kitchen has a microwave, and small fridge, coffee pot and tea pot, plates, glasses, cookware, etc. Apparently, I don’t have to clean the place when I leave, according to the bulletin board on the wall next to the fridge. But I need to be reasonable, and take my garbage with me.

I reset the stove clock. There is a stove, too. I didn’t change the wall clock, not yet. It ticks. Hope I won’t mind this. Daylight time started today.

The dining area is next, with a nice little table and eight chairs. Table has room for six; the other two chairs lurk against the wall. The living room has a large cabinet which houses an old stereo, a couple of puzzles, and other oddments. There is a drawer with a torn journal, bits of paper, and on a shelf is a cup with three blue pens, and a pencil, and a couple of binder clips clipped to the rim.

There’s a leather chair and footrest, three glass tables, and padded bench, a large teal-y blue sofa (which could seat four, intimately), and the generous blue and white striped chair and ottoman I’m occupying right now. Two lamps, a pastel floral rug. Wood floors.

There is a nondescript bathroom with a leaky faucet. I tried to stop the drips, even turned off the water below, but the faucet still dripped. I closed the door. That seems to work.

Three bedrooms: two on the water side, one on the hill/blackberry bushes side. I haven’t completely claimed one yet. They all have their merits. I guess it will come down mostly to which bed is the most comfortable. I like the bed with the wooden head and footboard, but I’m not sure I like the room. It’s at the end of the hall. Not that that’s a bad thing. But, I do have the whole place to myself.

This makes me wonder if I’m alone in the complex, or if there is someone else staying here.

I had to go out (or so I thought) to get an adapter for my computer cord. All the outlets here are two-pronged, and my cord is three-pronged. I was wandering around anyway, a bit unsettled, so went to Swain’s for an adapter. I ended up getting a small extension cord, and stopped at McDonald’s for a burger and fries. Went the wrong way into the Safeway parking lot; parked and got two beers, some eggs, and fruit.

Turns out the extension cord is all two- prong, so I robbed the adapter from the microwave, which I hadn’t seen until I got back here. I’ll get another one tomorrow, maybe. I will need to use the microwave at some point, but not necessarily at the same time as the computer. Still, nice to leave the microwave adapter where it belongs.

Out one window (dining room side) it looks like rain. It’s about 6:51 pm, daylight time. Out the view window, it just looks like dusk. I can see the Hostel, an old white van, one of the white barracks buildings, the old brick building we sat near during one of our Grace Retreat outside discussions, the water with a small lighted ferry heading to Whidbey, and three or four grey cabins. I’d thought that being just one person I’d be staying in a cabin, but I guess not. I suppose this is okay. Being up here, I have a better view.

Now, I just need to allow myself to calm down into the mode of doing my work. Both times I was at Soapstone it took me a full two or three days to go through the process. And, I shared the place with someone. We had separate (but joined) cabins, had dinner together, and saw each other a bit during the day. Here, I’m on my own. Which is what I wanted. We’ll see how that feels by tomorrow.

I don’t want to put too many expectations on myself in the first day or so. I’ll read, walk, and do some revision. And calm down. There is a lot of excitement that leads up to a writing retreat, a lot of tying up of loose ends, getting ready, making sure I have all my files and other bits and pieces. Here, I’m not going be reading the comics daily. I won’t check the internet and my email whenever I want to. I can’t get internet from here. I’ll have to go to the commons or to Aldrich’s – somewhere there’s Wi-Fi.

In a way, I hope it is quiet here, that any neighbors I might have won’t make themselves readily obvious. I realize I could possible go through a day or days of total silence. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. And it might not happen here, either, but the possibility remains.

I need to do something different, so I’ll sign off for now.

PS—Its 11:24 now, and I’ve just wasted two hours, at least, playing mahjongg and Spider. And, it’s raining. It’s probably time to figure out what room I’m sleeping in.

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