The Silver Mother Diaries: episode 5
April 2nd, 2019
I’ve officially been living in the trailer for one month and two and a half weeks. During this time, the Silver Mother and I have gone through some ups and downs. The first week I found myself coming home to what felt like scenes in an HGTV reality home makeover house hunter flipping design series, the drama very present, never staged. There was the night I came home after a long day at the office, only to walk up to my new mobile home and see it hitched to the back of my friends (the owners) Toyota Highlander and moving forward and backward, forward and backward. As I walked toward the Highlander, my friends/landlords/owners of the Airstream were each in their own scenario, the wife was behind the wheel of the car and waving to me with a big, welcome home smile – and the husband was jamming some piece of large wood under one of the Airstream tires in an effort to level the thing out. All I could think about were my plants and books inside and wonder if everything was on the floor.
Then of course was the night I had just flubbed an interview I was conducting for a magazine I was on deadline with. My subject, an incredibly sweet environmental activist and rock climber. We met up at a “new Portland” coffee place, you know, one of the fancy ones that is in the bottom of a brand new condo building and allows dogs inside and has baristas that say “What’s goin’ on?” vs. “What are you having today?” The place was an echo chamber with a Spotify Discover Weekly playlist blaring and big shiny espresso machines screaming as they brewed six dollar almond milk lattes. What followed was one of the worst editorial interviews I have ever conducted. We suffered through weird service carts rolling through the lobby, and a key card entry door that tenants kept coming in and out of with a click and boom every 3 to 4 minutes. When we finally wrapped the interview, I went to double check the recording on my iPhone, and with horror, saw that we had stopped recording what was an hour and a half long conversation at the nine minute mark. “What can I do to help?” my subject empathetically asked. I was mortified.
A podcast instructor’s voice was echoing in my head “Every writer loses an interview. If you haven’t lost one yet, just accept now that you will at some point.”
Too humiliated to cry, I apologized profusely and headed home. As I walked up toward the Airstream I could see through my sheer curtains that some activity was happening inside, chaos was more like it. My friends were both inside, and the dog was jumping and whining in her usual routine she saves for when I get home. The contents of my closet was dumped all over the bed, and the husband was trying to fix a leak in the water line that had gotten water on the wood floor in my closet. I still had unpacked boxes and they were strewn about in the bite sized living room. “Hi Dez!” they both exclaimed with a smile. “Let us know if you want us to give you some space!” I plopped down on my loveseat and gave in to the madness. I proceeded to tell them I had just fucked up my editorial interview and was on deadline that week, exhausted and embarrassed for the rookie writer move. They both listened, and empathized. The husband was a filmmaker and had experienced the same agonizing moment in his career over the years. I felt better. The moment I had walked into would’ve normally been enough to give me a breakdown, but I just let it roll, and it wasn’t so bad. Trailer life will teach you to loosen up pretty quick, and roll with life’s punches.
Tonight I came home with fresh laundry and changed the bedsheets. My stove and propane leak are still having issues, so it looks like it’s going to be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some potato chips for dinner. The gas tanks are both off for the night (which also means no hot water), and I weigh my shower options for the morning.