We told ourselves we weren’t going to wait until an actual emergency to figure out where the nearest vet is, but we’re terrible people. Fortunately, Jed doesn’t speak English, so we’ve decided he still loves us.

I moved into Bill’s house in Birmingham two months ago. The house is, mercifully, only a couple of miles from the nearest vet. Can confirm.

Aside from rushing Jed, and eventually his pal Smudge, off to the vet, we’ve also been navigating the adventure of a new life together. We’re working on making our home d├ęcor preferences be compatible with the other’s, which is proving to be quite the task. I’ll admit I’ve come around to the dead ducks on the walls, due in no small part to the compliments I’m getting when they’re my background in Zoom meetings. Also, there’s grace to be found in the space Bill has given me to spend all my money on a spontaneous new interest in buying plants and trying not to kill them. I’m proud to report zero casualties so far.

Bill and I also have learned that we prioritize differently and find comfort in different tasks. I don’t know if we’ll ever get over the dishes situation but I think I’ll just let him do all of them so long as he lets me handle laundry. I’m finding comfort in taking our time and chipping away at what needs to be done only when we feel like it, and never when we don’t. What’s the rush?

Montgomery is now in my rearview mirror, and although I feel a pang of longing for what I miss, I understand that life will never change if you never change it. That’s part of the game of happiness. I’m reminded of those I know and love who feel “stuck,” who don’t realize that the anxiety that comes with the act of doing something different is how you’re supposed to feel. Adventuring isn’t supposed to be easy. Bill and I aren’t supposed to agree on how to do the dishes. I’m supposed to miss Andrew, Rebekah, Tina, Kellie, Thomas, Tyler, Wes, other Thomas, Sara, and literally the entire El Rey staff terribly.

A hurricane came through last night and blew out our power from 6:00 PM until 2:30 AM. Bill and I played cards by candle light while we grabbed beers from the minifridge so our food in the main fridge wouldn’t spoil (note: last night was when I finally came to terms with having a separate fridge just for beer). Today the power is back, our roommate is at soccer, and Bill is at Target buying house things like carpet sticky pads, shelves for our pantry, and a hose. There’s a box of junk to give away at our front door. I bought fresh cut flowers from the grocery store when I made a candle run last night. The bodies of four sleepy puppies are strewn about my living room, snoring away the exhaustion of wrestling together all morning.

I miss Montgomery. I’m settling into Birmingham. I’m better at laundry than Bill.


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