Sunday, November 17, 2013


Otto von Bismarck was giving me fashion advice and street directions in my dream yesterday.  The hundredth anniversary of the traditionally-recognized outbreak of World War I is just months away, and as to shots heard 'round the world, those fired by Gavrilo Princip have had perhaps more effect on the structure of world power today than those loosed at Lexington and Concord.

I am up again before dawn, dark circles under my eyes and phlegm in my throat, unable to sleep. I have observed three friends' birthdays since Thursday, and am frankly dreading mine in less than two weeks, because everyone will overlook it.  It's on Thanksgiving Day this year, as it was when I was born, and what with the travel and the trouble of the traditional dinner I expect all will forget what I've jokingly called "my first 39th birthday".  It's six months since I realized I must relinquish my apartment and retrench, and thus far my financial condition has not improved,  and the personal goals I set to achieve by age 40 seem further off than ever.  I really hope and pray that once I shake the DC dust from my feet in late December, there will be a significant uptick in my morale and motivation, not to mention my bank balance.

My boss has taken another sale for the second week in December, so after the Potomac mansion we'll have been preparing for a month (it's easily 7000 square feet and full), we'll have just four days to turn around that one.  I dearly hope that we do well at both, and finish the year on a strong note. The owner of the last house we did was so delighted with our efforts that he wrote a glowing unsolicited recommendation of us which he sent to several local realtors. He was a gem to work for--the night before the sale he cooked us dinner and brought it over, and on the last day of the sale he went to Costco and bought a party plate of sandwiches for our hurried consumption.  Would that all of our clients were so gracious. We do excellent work for everyone, but when we are treated well, and the quality of our toil is recognized, we are inspired to surpass ourselves.  Curiously, it is often those with poor-quality possessions, who have not taken care of what they have, who are the least grateful for our amazing ability to make silk purses out of sows' ears, who hover and complain.

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