I'm James Maxey, the author of numerous novels of fantasy and science fiction. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction. I also have a webpage where both blogs stream, with more information about all my books, at jamesmaxey.net.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Two months

It's been two months since Laura passed away. I intended to come home tonight and write another article about her, or, more honestly, about me, about my thoughts and feelings on life and death two months later. Alas, I don't know I have anything terribly profound to say.

Not having Laura around sucks. I still view the world through the filter of "would she like this?" I'm house-hunting now. I actually went and looked at a house today. And I kept thinking, walking through the dark, empty rooms, "What would Laura think of this?"

Not much, probably. The house wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either. My questions about the safety of the neighborhood were answered by the clear evidence of the door having been kicked in at some point in the past, and windows busted in. Still, the house was brick, in better condition than I thought, and had a big bathroom, which is a plus for me. I like bathrooms I don't feel cramped in. It also had hardwood floors throughout. So, from the inside, I could imagine myself living there. From the outside, though, I can hear Laura advising me that if I moved there, she wouldn't come visit me.

My problem is, essentially, I can't afford to buy a house anywhere I'd want to live. Correction: I can't buy a house anywhere I want to live within a reasonable commute of where I work. My budget would by me a quite nice house if I wanted to move an hour or more out of any major city. Up close to the Virginia border, there's a small town called Lillington that has a lot of houses that pop up in the MLS in my price range. It's a lovely old town, where I could get the house of my dreams... and a ninety minute one way commute.

Losing Laura was more than just losing her. I also lost a big part of my direction and purpose in life. I had a clear role when she was around: I was here to make her life a little easier and a little more joyful. Now, I don't know. The big picture stuff is still there: I write. I actually am producing quite a bit of work lately. More and more, I'm seeing the window to success opening. The biggest danger to this is my general all around rootlessness. I don't know where I'm going to be living a year from now, and it bums me out. The place I looked at today... I have a hard time imagining living there for five or six years. It would be purely a transitional home. I could buy it for less than I pay in rent, and make the gamble that two years from now I could sell it at a profit: a risky assumption in today's market, especially if interest rates keep going up.

Not having Laura around to talk over these big decisions makes them a good deal tougher. Laura was a terrific counselor. She'd lived in some pretty horrible conditions. Indeed, she's told me some horror stories that make me thing that the house I looked at today would be luxurious compared to one of the houses she lived in in Boone. I think having lived in poverty gave her a good view of the world. She didn't judge people by their net income. I miss the advice she would have been able to give me on decisions about moving to these marginal neighborhoods.

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