bedrest.

Being pregnant was a pain in the ass.

And I wasn’t even the pregnant one.

The summer of 1995 was hot.  Blistering hot.  A quick internet search shows that the summer of ’95 was the eighth hottest on record in the Northeast, and the sixth hottest in New York.  In Baltimore, they had a string of 25 consecutive days where the temperature was 90 degrees or more.  On July 4th, temperature records were set for Atlantic City and New York.  The entire Northeast was in the midst of a severe drought that left lawns yellow and the Jersey Shore packed with weekend visitors, looking to escape the heat and get into the water.

In the middle of this, Sandy was big and bulbous, carrying around a kid.  She was uncomfortable and miserable and grouchy, and didn’t want to go anywhere because it was so damn hot.  Meanwhile we were shopping for a house, trying to learn how to become parents to an infant, and looking for whatever would be our next record to release.

Really, all we had was the Yankees, who were having a great season.

At some point in July, Sandy started having contractions.  I don’t recall any of the specifics, only that we were due in early September and this was way too early.  It’s like I’ve blocked out the details and only remember the key points.

We rode to the hospital on pins and needles – we hadn’t even picked out a pediatrician yet, and had no idea what was about to happen.

I don’t really recall how the whole thing shook out – whether we went back to the hospital twice, whether Sandy had to take any sort of medication, I just don’t remember it.  It’s all like a big blur to me.

All I remember was the end result:  Sandy was going to have to go out on maternity leave early, and had to go on nearly 100% bed rest until we got closer to the due date.

In bed.  All day.  In the middle of the hottest fucking summer on earth.

We had a window air conditioning unit, but that barely kept our bedroom cool.  The door had to be closed, which shut off the bedroom from the rest of the apartment.  Essentially, Sandy went into exile in July of 1995.  I would leave for work in the morning, get Sandy some tea or decaf before I left, and she would sit in bed all day.  Then I’d come home, most days make dinner (she’d sneak out of bed a few times a day, but usually I’d yell when she did), and then sit in the bedroom with her.  Which is the most boring fucking thing I can envision my 20-something year old self doing.

Mostly, Dromedary disappeared in July, save for the occasional phone call, demo tape, or email.  I had to skate by, doing the bare minimum, which was frustrating to me.

But the whole thing was also, on some level, pretty scary.  I wasn’t ready to have a baby, by any means.  A really tiny, two months premature one?  And what if there were some sort of complications with Sandy?

It got to the point where any time Sandy was in an upright position, I was yelling at her.  I couldn’t bear the thought of her risking her health, or risking a two month premature baby.

Meanwhile, we were still looking at houses.  Or, at least, I was.  The deal was simple: I’d go out with Angie, and if I found anything I really liked, we’d make another appointment and bring Sandy to look at it.

And eventually, in mid-July, that’s exactly what happened.

Angie called one afternoon and said “There’s a house in Boonton that’s about to come on the market, and it’s going to sell right away.  It’s perfect for you.  I need to come and get you right now.”

“I can’t,” I said.  I don’t remember what I was doing, but I couldn’t do it.  Maybe I was just frustrated with the process; it would be just like me to make up some excuse as to why I couldn’t make it when I was too frustrated to bother.

“Well don’t be surprised if the house isn’t there when you can finally go.”

The house was on the market for four days by the time I got to see it.  It was on a very short, private road, just a few blocks from the apartment where we lived – but the neighborhood was so nice, it may as well have been on another planet.

It was a small Cape Cod with about a quarter acre of property.  It had a nice front and back yard, well-maintained with some overgrown shrubs around the house.  It had a small driveway and a detached, one-car garage.

Inside on the first floor was a three-season porch, a decent-sized kitchen, a full bathroom, a living room, a bedroom and another bedroom that had been converted into a dining room.  On the second floor were two more bedrooms and another full bath.  There was a full, partially finished basement.

The original owner was living in the house.  He was an older man, and his wife had passed away a year prior.  He had build the house with her, lived there for nearly 50 years, and wanted to get out before the first anniversary of her passing.  He cried when I came to look at the house.

After looking at the house, Angie and I drove right home and got Sandy.  She took a look at the house and agreed – this was the place.

It was even nicer than the Denville house.  There were opportunities to improve the place, but it was essentially in move-in condition (save for some upgrades that would be needed in the kitchen and bathrooms).  But the owner wanted to close quickly and get out, and we could move into a cozy little house in a quiet, well-kept neighborhood within a reasonable time frame of having the baby.

We made an offer, he accepted.  I drove to the house that evening and formalized the offer, left a deposit, and scheduled a closing date of August 31.

It was that simple.  We bought a house.

~ by Al on September 4, 2009.

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