Santa Cruz, California, May 1, 1997.
I am arri-ved.
Movers have finished scurrying in and out, the house is eerily quiet and I am finally alone with my thoughts. And the realization that beyond moving in to my new home, I have yet to formulate a plan for actually living here.
When I first announced my intention to move to Santa Cruz, I told my friends to watch out for three signs that would indicate that I might have lingered a little too long: 1) I got a piercing; 2) I got a tattoo; or 3) I started addressing everyone as "dude."
(Fast forward to today and I have accomplished #1 and #3. #2 is under *serious* consideration.)
What to do, what to do? In the quiet house, surrounded by boxes upon boxes and the sense of infinite possibilities looming on the horizon, I come up with the following:
First thing: Locate food supply. There is a store right down the block, kinda like a 7-11 except WAY cooler (cause it's NOT 7-11) and it's family-owned. No slurpee here! Around the corner from that store is an even funkier store with even funkier merchandise; still no slurpee. Both carry a varied assortment of overpriced beer and wine, too. Check!
Second thing: Locate cute boys. (Note: if you're a straight guy reading this blog, just substitute "boy" or "surfer" with "massage therapist" or "yoga teacher.") Steamer Lane is a mere 3 blocks away. Surfers hang out at Steamer Lane. Surfers tend to be cute boys (at least they are in all the Gidget movies I studied diligently before moving here). Plus, I love Beach Boys' music! Check!
Third thing: Identify helpful neighbor. Next door to my house is a German man married to an American woman; they have one little girl. Very friendly and very hippie-like, complete with a VW van. I am half-German so I find this to be a hopeful sign. Check!
Fourth thing: Identify scary/freaky neighbor. On the other side of me is a black family, reminiscent of the cast from TV's Sanford & Son. I am also half-black so I find this to be a hopeful sign--at first anyway. Upon closer examination I realize the house and stacked items in the yard appear to have been taken directly from the show's set. As it turns out, this house is a hotbed of activity with various people dropping in and out (!) for quick visits at all times of the day and night. SIGH! And check!
And so I embark upon my first official week as an "unmarried female" homeowner in Santa Cruz, lower west side.
Next: I attempt to make contact with the natives.