Why? First off, I am terrified to go up and down the steep stair that are the only way to get from the water through the heavily-wooded forest and to the top of the hill where my car will be parked. On top of that, the lake is dropping. So near the bottom, we now have no stairs at all, and are going to have to climb by rope to the precarious ones that do exist. Second, at present, we have no electricity or water on the property. However, there are coyotes. And, I won’t have my tribe nearby. There is no Third Street Stuff or Holler Poets or Morris Book Shop or Carnegie Center or Sidebar where I know I will run into a friendly face. There is only the Village Inn where old men go to talk about what bait is working best on the bass. Also, here at the marina, I’m used to having neighbors, at least from April to November. There, I’ll be pretty much alone with myself most of the time. Have you met me? That’s a frightening prospect. Even more terrifying is all of the imagined monsters that may live in the depths and all of the horror-movie-scenarios that hijack the mind when darkness descends. Bad shit happens on the water…just watch Friday the 13th or Eden Lake or Zombie Lake or Lake Placid or Cape Fear or Lake Dead…you get the picture. But, there is something even more horrific than the thought of a disfigured and clammy Jason Voorhees dragging me into the murky abyss. Brace yourselves…this is a dry county. No bourbon to be bought.
I should have been petrified three years ago when I quit the job, that it was a miracle I got in the first place, and sold 75% of my belongings and moved onto a houseboat. But, ignorance is bliss. And I was still in the honeymoon- sexallthetime-livingonlove phase of our marriage, so I couldn’t wait to be all cuddled up in that tiny space with Frank. And, I had big dreams of writing a bestselling book about the whole experience, which just didn’t happen. And, I still had downtown digs that I could always go back to. And, I had money in the bank in case of an emergency.
And, I didn’t know what I was getting into. I had no idea how cold it could get on the water in the winter. Or how dangerous the lake can be if you don’t give it the proper respect. Or how tired you can get of dragging laundry and groceries and two giant dogs over treacherous terrain. Or how eerily quiet it can be at nine pm on a Thursday. Now, I know all of this and more, and we’re doing it anyway. Why? Because life is all about saying “Fuck you” to fear. So, the countdown begins. Wish me luck.