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  • I had planned to make a plan
    With great care, I planned the time in which to make this plan
    I planned to set aside several hours in several days and then, to plan
    So arranged, my plan to plan the plan
    Of my life moving forward
    Moving had been an unsettling constant in my life
    Most of it not planned
    Now, I would have a plan
    To avoid moving and to avoid interruptions in my life
    That, was the plan
    To be settled and safe and secure
    Secure, yes, that was what I wanted
    Security and safety and stability
    Stability now that equaled security and safety
    So, yes, stability
    I wanted that.
    Sureness, like I envisioned other people had
    They – them, the others they all had

    I once met a girl. We were classmates in middle school and one day walked home together. I can’t say we walked home together on purpose. Just this one day, we found ourselves walking home at the same time and fell in step.

    I asked her about her family. She lived on one of the tree lined streets I walked through to get to our apartment. We’d lived so many places by then. This place was very nice. Gated. But rented. It was inevitable that we’d move soon. By then I’d long let go of the idea that our family would ever own a home or live anywhere for more than a year.

    She was an only child. Had lived nowhere else in her life.

    I looked at her as if she were an alien. You’ve had the same bedroom your whole life? I asked. She nodded.

    This was normal to her. She would have college and be able to come home to her same room whenever she wanted or needed. She had stability. Which even then I knew freed up her mind and her energies for other more normal things than trying to fit in to some new school somewhere or telling herself that having friends didn’t matter because she’d be leaving soon. She, this other worldly person, would have life-long friends and several layers of paint on her same room.

    I felt dizzy just thinking of it. Something I knew I would never have. Planning made no sense in my life. And I gave up the practice. It only broke my heart.

    But now, thousands of years later, in my adult life after having had some sense of stability, after a marriage that worked until it didn’t, after living in a home we owned for ten years – which was the longest I’d ever lived anywhere – and after being single and going unwilling and stunned back into the moving and renting and unstable life I’d had before... after all that... I wanted to plan again.

    So I planned to plan.

    I’ve been in my little beach cottage a full 2 years – breaking all records since my divorce. And that, was not planned. My plan had been to be here one year max and move to a larger place. But here I am. Unplanned. I needed another plan. A bigger life. Hadn’t I done all that was possible in such a restricted space? I’d worked on my inner life. Cleaned up a lot of psychological garbage. Most of my past life stuff had been in storage for two years. Wasn’t it time to move that stuff to a bigger, more accommodating space?

    So I planned to plan.

    And then the terrible flu hit me hard. Knocked me down into bed with such violence that I could not muster the strength to read. Who knew reading took such effort? There was only sleep and the triumph of making it unaided to the bathroom several times a day. woo hoo.

    All my plans went out the window, including a 4 hour drive north to see clients. All things were rearranged and I went north a week later than planned. Weak, but able to drive and near the end of whatever it was I’d had.

    The plan was – four days. An intense four days in which I would set up meetings, evaluate gardens for spring readiness, schedule crews for work and select plants.

    It was going OK and I was determined to return home, where I planned to have a real life after living only part time there. It was my only home. My original plan had been to write while south and go north once a month in short spurts to work.

    Eh. The first year it had gone OK. The second year, I was over it. The drive. The disruption. The lack of continuity in either place. I decided my plan was to be and work south.

    On day 4 of being north I was ready to go home. Even if some of my plans for the time north hadn’t been what I’d planned. Enough. I was going home.

    The night before I was to leave, I stopped at a friend’s house. So tired at that point that I could not drive any further, I fell asleep on his sofa.

    An hour and a half later, he was packed to go to the gym and I was ready to drive back to where I was staying. A fine plan it was.

    He and I had been lovers, haters, quasi-friends, annulled, and were currently in the who knows what we are phase.

    It was cold in the canyon where the sun leaves early on most days. He hustled to his car, I hustled to mine. My car would not unlock. No response from the key fob. No click. No beep. Nothing.

    I raced back down the street to his driveway, where he was loading his car and getting ready to back out.

    Don’t leave! I shouted , terrified to be left freezing on the street where my cell phone didn’t work due to the canyon and wanting his companionship and support in whatever this problem was.

    He, who had been through so many years of unexpectedness in our relationship – it seemed something odd was always happening to one of us – calmly turned to watch me scramble up his steep driveway.

    He sighed and dropped his duffel bag outside his open car door.

    We determined that my car was indeed dead. For unknown reasons, in less than two hours, the newly replaced battery had failed.

    We stood there, dumbfounded and just looked at each other.

    He put his arm around me as we slowly walked together up his driveway to his house where a land line would give us access to the outside world. He picked up his duffel bag and closed his car door.

    No one understands our relationship but us. And even we don’t. I said.

    He chuckled. That’s about it. He said.

    We trudged to the house and began another unplanned evening.

    And thus, I can never seem to find the time to plan a plan that won’t stay planned in the first place.
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