For those of you just joining this program (already in progress), this is the trailer I thought I would be moving into when I moved back to Los Angeles from Florida. Thank you, Pinterest.
This, however, is the actual trailer I moved into before it was cleaned.
And this is the actual trailer I moved into after it was cleaned.
I don’t know what I was thinking, but I put all of the blame on Pinterest.
Now I know there are a lot of happy campers out there who would love to be able to spend a night or a weekend or even a month in this trailer. To roll down the open highway in some kind of monster truck, dragging this thing behind them headed to wherever happy campers head to when they are on the open road in some kind of monster truck. I have a friend named Francesca whose dream is to live in a tiny house. She has 5 dogs and a husband who creates a lot of large statues. And she keeps adopting more dogs and he keeps making more statues.
To all of you, and to Francesca, I say, you are INSANE. Or on drugs. Or both.
I am not a camper, happy or otherwise, but I was happy there was a place to lay my head and the heads of my 3 Chihuahuas. I was happy there was a roof over my head with very clean skylights thanks to the magicians at Master Cleaning Services. I was happy there was a place to put some of my clothes and a coffee pot I bought at the Rite-Aid Drug Store. I was happy there was a place to shower.
Until I actually had to take a shower.
That’s when my happiness dissolved like the multitudinous amount of layers of dust and dirt and filth that caked every surface of this trailer, walls and ceilings included, under the massive efforts of Sergio and his Master Cleaners, aided by some extremely powerful cleaning equipment.
I do not care what anyone says. Anyone. Taking a shower in a camper such as this is totally impossible. You might as well use a Wet-Nap you get from B-B-Q restaurants. I am about 5’2″ and about 120 lbs. I barely fit into that shower. There was barely any water pressure in that shower. And even as an ex-gymnast, it was impossible to juggle soap and shampoo and razors and anything else you need to get reasonably clean. You can get some parts of you clean, you can get other parts of you wet, but it is almost impossible to get all parts of you both, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what taking a shower is all about.
So I knew, even if I could delude myself that living for any amount of time in this trailer, even if I renovated it to make all the retro-vintage-trailer remodelers on Pinterest green with envy, that my days, if not hours, if not minutes, living in this trailer, were numbered.
And the clock was ticking.
Because right next to the shower, was the toilet. And right next to the toilet, was the sleeping area, with the thin mattress on the sheet of plywood ensconced by the plastic folding door.
Do you KNOW what a TOILET in a camper SMELLS like???
I do now. I do now because I had to SLEEP NEXT TO ONE for the NEXT 10 NIGHTS.
It is a fragrance that still haunts my dreams. So much so, that I can no longer use a laundry detergent unless it is fragrance-free. So much so, that I had to throw out all of the clothes I had brought back with me from Florida back to Los Angeles to put in the tiny closet of the tiny camper next to the tiny bathroom with the tiny shower and the tiny toilet with the massive stench.
So much so that I was going to give away my 3 tiny Chihuahuas because no amount of baths would remove that smell from them. And they sleep in my bed with me every night. On my pillows. On my head.
And that smell permeates every area in that camper. Wherever there is AIR in that camper, there is that SMELL.
So I knew I had to get out, but I didn’t know where else to go. I had had so many dreams that past year. Had Had.
I had had dreams of beginning a new life, with an old family. I had had dreams of making new friends and accommodating old friends, weary of the winter cold and snow. I had had dreams of working in my old occupation, while exploring new ventures. I had had new beginnings in a new place with new enthusiasm. 60 was going to be my new 40 and life was going to be the beginning of a great adventure.
Instead everything had become a nightmare. And by nightmare, I mean the last scene in Carrie (the 1976 Original), which was the last horror movie I ever watched because it frightened me so much that I never saw another horror movie again. If you don’t count The Shining. Which really did me in. (I had a scene in a Jack Nicholson movie with Jack Nicholson and after the scene I went outside and fainted. Paramedics were called. True story.)
I was going to be 60 in 3 months. I had no job (which is another VERY SPECIAL EPISODE). I had no place to live. (No place where a Normal Person could live). I had 3 dogs. I had a horse. (OK, the horse was living extremely well, but if I had to move someplace else again, he was going to have to move with me. Again.). And I had neither any idea nor any direction in which to go. The life I thought I would have been living for the rest of my life had become the life I had left behind.
Was happy to have left behind. And now that I was back from the life I had had to the life I had left behind, there weren’t even any pieces to pick back up and try to put together. That dumpster had sailed.
So I did the only thing I could think of to do.
I plugged in my iPad, added about $1000 worth of data to my AT&T plan and started watching Gordon Ramsay in Kitchen Nightmares.
Because watching someone else’s nightmares is a sure way to make yours seem so much better.
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END PART TWO