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Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 8:40 pm | A Few Clouds 51º


She Said, Z Said: The New Shack Is Hell on Wheels

We strive for a better life, but sometimes the drive stalls ... or just disintegrates

Z: Now that we’ve been in an actual house for more than a year — a house with four walls and a ceiling that we don’t hit our heads on — do you miss the shack?

She: If by missing the shack, do you mean do I miss knowing what the weather is like outside, because it’s the same as what’s inside? Do I miss having a single bathroom smaller than the footprint of a single toilet? Do I miss the easy access of the neighborhood methadone clinic, payday loans and porn shop? Is this what you’re asking?

Z: Yes.

She: Not so much.

Z: Me neither. Partly because there’s still a little shack in my life.

She: I know our new house isn’t very big, but it’s no shack. When we moved here I finally threw away all the double prints of the blurry outtakes from Koss’ first birthday. I cook now. I rescued 300 wedding guests’ worth of kitchen appliances, cookware and gadgets from storage, and actually had shelf space for them. We’re using our wedding china on a regular basis. I’m offended that you think we’re still “shacking” it when we’ve so clearly moved on to more gracious living quarters.

Z: I’m talking about my car. My car is the new shack.

She: Have you moved into your car? I missed that. You didn’t take any of my china, did you?

Z: No, I’m not living in my car. It’s just replaced all the shack-like-things in my life. It’s my new shack.

She: I think you might be overstating it.

Z: The driver’s side door handle just stopped working, so I have to reach across from the passenger side now.

She: You might not be overstating it.

Z: I’m afraid to wash it because it might clear away the leaves and dirt that I’m pretty sure are keeping it from leaking.

She: So is your car not really the color of dirt?

Z: It’s silver. It’s a silver 1984 VW Rabbit. I traded a buddy a pizza for it.

She: You got ripped off.

Z: I ate some of the pizza.

She: That’s fair.

Z: The roof lining is falling down again, and I don’t think my staples are working that well any more because the lining seems to be disintegrating.

She: I noticed that when I drove home behind you last night. I was afraid the ceiling lining was going to fall down and impair your vision even further.

Z: This time I’m going to duct tape it first, and then staple the duct tape. I got silver duct tape, so that it will match the silver color of the car.

She: You’re a mechanic and an interior designer.

Z: It is cool to be able to take things apart on a car and not really worry if I’m scratching or wrecking something. I got the trunk open by removing the whole key thingy, and now I just stick my finger into a hole and press on a lever.

She: I saw a movie like that once. It didn’t end well.

Z: I even found the perfect mechanic to work on it. I’ll take it in to get something fixed, and he’ll say, “Really? It still runs. Why would you fix that?”

She: I like the price of that.

Z: On the other hand, it’s getting harder and harder to find parts. When a piece of the radiator fell off and then another piece crumbled like a mummy, he had to get one new part, one junkyard part and one custom-milled part.

She: That does sound exactly like how they used to fix the shack.

Z: Look at you, getting all misty over the shack.

She: Misty only in the sense that the dishwasher is my favorite appliance. Misty only in the sense that when it’s windy I no longer worry about our house blowing down. Misty only in the sense that I’d rather die than have to share a bathroom with you and Koss again. Is that what you mean by me getting misty?

Z: Yes, dear.

— When She and Z aren’t reminiscing about their love shack, they can be reached by e-mailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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