Friday, July 23, 2021

Journey Through the Past

There's a lot to dislike about Amazoomer Billionaire Space Phallus Thrusters, but one of the few small pleasures they offer is that they have my old addresses on file, dating back through every dodgy apartment or shared house I ever had. All the way back to when I was in grad student housing, somehow ordering Krazy & Ignatz books on my Mac Classic, probably paying with a postal money order. Kind of crazy to think that I've been involved in internet commerce for nearly thirty years now. But I digress.

One of the things to dislike about Amazoomer is that they keep all your old addresses on file. My wife was ordering a few little trinkets for the boy, and somehow she ended up sending them to a house where we haven't lived in fourteen years. I pointed this out to her and we both gasped. "It's OK," I said. "I'll drop by there on the bike with the boy tomorrow. It's not that far out of the way."

So yesterday I'm riding home with the boy (he does not care for the unannounced detour AT ALL) and I stop by the old house. Weird to be there, right? I walk up to the door and there's package 1 of 2 with her name on it. I ring the doorbell and wait. I notice the "Protected by ADT" sticker on their window. I knock. No answer. I look in my bike bag for paper and pen. The only paper that I have that is at all usable is one eighth of an old church bulletin, so I tear that off. Sweating, I write a little message and my phone number and wedge it in between the handle and deadbolt. On the way out, I grab our package and I feel like a total criminal.

Today I get a call from the current resident of the house, and he says to swing by after 7. I ride my bike over, and on the way there I get a message saying that he's going to be late. No problem. I pick blackberries by the side of the trail, ride up some trails on Powell Butte, ride around the old streets, largely unchanged. It is awesome.

I head over to the house once he says he's home. I knock on the door, he opens, I pick up the package, and I resist the temptation to look past him into the nondescript ranch house where I lived for two years and where I nearly died once. I know what it looks like. You always remember the places where you nearly die, right?

Somehow I wedge the package onto my bike rack and I head back home into blinding sun.