“Well I woke up Sunday morning with no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt” — Kris Kristofferson. Returning the Sprint equipment, Verizon’s purchased-elsewhere hotspot worked though the cost was hefty still. But I had internet (after a two-hour installation and account setup) and spent an entire day leveling and unpacking and replacing all the things that move and break when one pulls a trailer down the miles and miles of Texas roads. Just before dark, I had settled down to read a theoretical perspective of how freshman level composition should be taught (because I like a little light reading in the evenings) and a knock came at my door. The park assistant told me that Matt, the owner, wanted to know if I would move to another spot. “No, I got my internet and I’ll be fine here.” But Matt needs the 50-amp connection for others coming in and you only need a 30-amp. “If you had asked me this morning, I would have happily moved. But I just finished leveling and unpacking, so I think I’ll stay here.” “Okay,” said Jessie the poor assistant forced to act as a go-between. “I’ll see what he says.” That was Sunday.
The next morning, I made coffee, broke my fast, showered, listened to some Dylan, and wrote a bit. Then, as I was leaving for the university, I found Holly (Matt’s partner in confusion), waiting outside my door, and she told me very politely—not being sarcastic, she was polite—that I would need to move because I had a 30-amp trailer. After a brief discussion, I told her that I would move on Thursday. “Oh, it doesn’t have to be this week,” she said, as if I want to spend several weeks getting settled in before I uproot my life again. I explained that it would be Thursday or never. Then I added, “In fact, prorate my rent; I’m leaving Thursday.” “Leaving the park?” “Damned straight!” Yes, I cussed. Not cursed, I got angry and cussed. That day I found another location to which to move. I checked on electricity, internet, cable (no, but a cheap satellite package included with the low-cost internet). I received a call from TXU Energy saying they had refunded my deposit from my previous attempt in Commerce—they hadn’t. I received an email from Bounce Energy saying they needed a deposit before they would process my order—I had already paid it (by the way, it was almost double my previous deposit because I had immediately terminated my service with TXU. “Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day” – The Mamas and the Papas.
I woke the following morning and followed my routine worried that I would again be accosted as I walked out my door. Nothing happened. I stopped by the park office to make sure we were communicating correctly. After discussion we parted amicably agreeing that I would pay a weekly rate since I was leaving. I could probably have argued for a lower cost but I didn’t want to push the issue. Instead of paying the less than $7.00 per day that I expected, the rate more than doubled. Time-Warner contacted me to say they couldn’t find my address in their system again. I told them fine, I no longer needed them. The electric company contacted me saying that refund had been processed. It hadn’t. Bounce Energy contacted me again saying they need the deposit I had already paid before they would process my order. I needed to focus on my studies and did so. Though one of my professors is a little cheerier than I generally like my professors to be, my classes look good as I move forward along the path of earning a PhD in literature. So, “Tuesday’s gone with the wind” – Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Clichés are clichés for a reason, such as the oft whispered, “It’s quiet; too quiet.” On Wednesday Bounce assured me that my deposit had been credited and my power would be turned on. It was. TXU assured me that they were refunding my initial deposit and they did. Nothing bad happened on Wednesday. “It’s quiet; too quiet” – Shaggy and Scooby.
On the morning of my departure from Shady Lakes, an evil breeze wafted in from the gulf. The owners who had promised my refund were not to be found, the assistant, who suddenly had no knowledge of the situation, couldn’t get in touch with them on their cell phone. I don’t know if was the look on my face or an actual epiphany, but the assistant suddenly remembered that they might have another cell phone and that one worked. He refunded my balance. I drove to my new site where I had been promised the internet service would already be connected. The phone lines they needed to bring that service didn’t exist. The electricity was on, but in order to get close enough to plug it in, I was required to get too far away from the wastewater port, and had to install a new hose. Then I decided to connect my water. Water—cool, clear water. This particular site doesn’t have water. Beneath the pile of rubble outside my front door (see accompanying picture), is the water connection I will use once the trash is cleared away. That was Thursday, and I will end there.
During the next few days, the lagging services will be melded into my multitude of requirements for existence. On Friday, my water and internet. On Sunday, my satellite dish. Maybe.
One of two things has happened during this move. Either I am so perfectly walking in the will of God that the enemy is attacking me at every turn, or I am so far off the chosen path that the universe refuses to function properly. However, it is perhaps that sometimes when dealing with human beings, things seem to happen that make us wonder, that force us to ask the question in near hysterical laughter, “What’s next?”