Date 42 — Have Job, Will Fly

My 9-year-old son remarked today that I spend half my day “underground.” That is true. I have chosen to remain in the basement apartment since I let my ex back into the house because he couldn’t afford the apartment he was living in.

We were supposed to trade off living in the main part of the house every two weeks, but I’m tired of moving my stuff back and forth, and I like this downsizing thing. Having a space that’s not wrecked by my two tween boys and the mud they track in makes me feel in control.

What I don’t like is working by the light of the cellar window as I toil on meager freelance assignments that somehow manage to pay the bills but not really and I don’t know for how long.

My son’s comment motivated me to apply for a job today that allows me to work at home but requires 80 percent travel. Now, I could live with that. I’m not sure where I’d be traveling to—New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, or no man’s land—Peoria, Illinois or Laramie, Wyoming or anywhere in Alabama.

But living out of a suitcase and in a hotel that turns down my bed and puts chocolate mints underneath my pillow every night is better than sleeping in a double bed with dirty old sheets and stale crackers and dried apricots in the cabinet.

Best thing about being on the road is that I’d avoid having to see my ex spy out the upstairs window (he hides near the window frame) when he hears the slam of a car door, which signals to him I’ve come back home from a date. He imagines that my date will escort me to the front door, embrace and then kiss me.

That hardly happens, really, the date part. The door he hears shutting is from a cab.

The alternative to a job with high travel is taking a sit-down job at the U.S. Department of Justice. Yes, how ironic, me going to work for Justice. I’d take the job, if offered, for no other reason than I’m a responsible person, despite my trip to Antigua this Wednesday.

But I’d rather not wear Brooks Brothers when I could sport a bikini, even if it’s at the Marriott, and the pool water is cold.

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