July 22, 2016: The Day I Learned the Vampire Might Not Have Fangs

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Dear Diary,

This past week has been a blur. Each day went by frustratingly slowly and appallingly quickly at the same time. I've felt like a seahorse with no reef to anchor myself on, tumbling through the dark ocean at the mercy of the currents.

But today I found my reef, and it was rooted where I should have seen it all along.

On Tuesday morning Lydia called to scream at me. She said I'd given Dad the bright idea to make each of his daughters pay him $300 a month to stay in the house. He'd cruelly disturbed the twins' beauty sleep at seven in the morning and commanded them to get dressed, eat breakfast, and find summer jobs. He was being totally unreasonable, and it was all my fault.

I didn't point out that charging rent for the rooms was actually Mary's idea. But I couldn't help pointing out that one-bedroom apartments in Bend rent for $1,000 a month or more, and that it was hardly unreasonable to expect a twenty-four-year-old woman to find a job. Lydia cursed me out and hung up.

On Wednesday I visited Annie's Bookstore & Cafe to find George. I wanted to tell him in person that I was sorry I couldn't work on my feedback for his book, because my life is topsy-turvey right now. Though I couldn't tell him about my personal problems, because Famous Literary Authors don't have problems, I said my family is in crisis and I need to help my sisters find jobs.

George was sweet and understanding, as always. He even offered to help. His manager is looking to hire some temporary employees during the tourism season, and George could put in a good word for my sisters. "If they're related to you, they must be really smart," he said.

I wish I could apply to work at Annie's. What could be better than spending all day in that lovely little store, surrounded by books and coffee? But Famous Literary Authors don't need temp jobs to get by, so I thanked George and sashayed out with the breezy air of one who is far too busy and successful to have worries.

Over the phone I passed the job tip on to Dad, who assured me the twins would be gainfully employed by the end of the week and I needn't worry about the house. He didn't try to convince me to come home, because he knew I'd refuse. He only joked that he's glad he was environmentally irresponsible enough to have more than two children, because now he doesn't need to go through the effort of finding tenants. It took thirty years, but with patience and daily watering he grew four of them himself. I tried hard to laugh.

Yesterday Mary asked me to meet her for lunch at the community college. She said she was planning to move out too, and she suggested splitting the cost of an apartment. Though every day I leech off of Charlotte is another fatal strike to my pride, I'm not sure Mary and I could live together without one of us eventually committing sororicide.

I told Mary I'd think about it. Then Mary handed me a print-out of a job posting. The college Writing Center is looking for part-time tutors. The hours are limited and the pay isn't great, but as Mary so tactfully said, it's something I "might actually be qualified to do."

Today I grabbed my laptop and wandered down to Mirror Pond. Though we call it a "pond," it's really a calm section of the Deschutes River between two dams. On clear summer days like this, the water reflects the bright blue of the sky and the deep greens of the surrounding pines and weeping willows.

I sat down at a rustic picnic table outside the Crow's Feet Commons Cafe. A historic landmark, the building was once the residence of Arthur Goodwillie, who in 1904 became the first mayor of Bend at the ripe old age of twenty-seven. Now the Craftsman bungalow is a quirky cafe filled with colorful oil paintings, floral couches, a cozy fireplace and an apple-red swing hanging from the ceiling.

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