it's just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right

These days I'm living in an extended stay hotel. My possessions are in pods stored in a nearby warehouse. The equity from my houses is in savings. I'm running my business from what is, I assure you, the only hotel room in Cooterville that contains a LAN. This is the plan while I look for a new home. Minimum vulnerability. Maximum flexibility. I'd been looking forward to this day for a year.

But it's a thin line between The Plan and homelessness. I was pulled over by a cop the other day and realized that no honest answer to his questions would satisfy him. No, that's not my current address. I don't really have one. I don't really have a state of residence, let alone an actual residence.

"Yes, that address is accurate," I lied.

With my assets hidden from view, there's a striking resemblance between my life now and my life decades ago, when I was dirt poor. I live in essentially a one-bedroom apartment, and my neighbor is batshit crazy. I use a common laundry. My car has body damage. There is fix-a-flat in my car for the first time in decades. I have very few clothes. (I can hear you in my head, Allie. Stop shitting on my point.) I pull my stereo out of my car at night. Today I bought lock de-icer and used the term "cold-cranking amps" for the first time in a very long time. There's a striking lack of diversity in my life, only this time it's unemployable white miscreants. I bought a locking gas cap. Not coincidentally, I hear police sirens a lot.

By complete coincidence, the only extended stay hotel in Cooterville that accepts dogs is 100 feet from where I crashed in a friend's apartment in 1993. I see my old home every day. "Jeeeeeeezus," I wince. Sometimes it feels like 20 years of progress didn't even happen.