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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

I Have Blisters On Both My Feet

Flexitol Deep Cooling Gel. It's the shit, I'm telling you.
"soothes & cools HOT and TINGLING feet". Yes, yes it does.

Michael David Crawford, Baritone,

September 2, 2006

Copyright © 2006 Michael David Crawford. All Rights Reserved.

Before I left Truro, I posted an ad on the Vancouver Craigslist:

$600 M/42 Professional
seeks room in shared house

Hi, my name is Mike.

I am relocating to the Vancouver area because I have a new job as a senior software engineer at a downtown software company. I wish to rent a room in a house with a couple other people. While I could afford to rent a place on my own, for the next year my goal is to save money.

I am male, in my early forties. I don't smoke, use drugs or drink. I am quiet but friendly. I play piano but I can practice silently using headphones as I have an electric keyboard.

I have a bachelor's degree in Physics. I'm very into computers: I used to work for Apple and have a Macintosh laptop. If you don't already have wireless, I'll buy a wireless access point that everyone can use. If you don't have any Internet service at all I will get it installed.

I am married, but my wife is staying behind on the East Coast for a year to finish University. When she graduates a year from now she'll move out to join me and we'll get our own place. That means I want to rent for just a year. Because she's very busy with school, she won't get to visit much. I'll be visiting her in Nova Scotia every couple months.

I need to live within walking distance of public transit with a reasonable commute time to the Waterfront Station downtown. I can get there on the SkyTrain, SeaBus or West Coast Express. I'd rather not have to take a bus too but it would be OK if they run frequently and at night, as I may work late sometimes.

My email is mdcrawford@gmail.com and phone number is (902) XXX-XXXX. That's long-distance to Nova Scotia but I can give you my Vancouver hotel number once I'm checked in. Even when I'm in Vancouver you can still leave voice mail at my (902) number.

I expect to arrive in Vancouver Thursday night and could visit your house as early as Friday evening. I'll be devoting the whole weekend and each evening next week to house hunting as my new employers are putting me up in a hotel for just a week.

I have a cat that I'd like to bring back with me after my next visit home this Fall, but if I can't find anyplace at all that will let me keep her I can leave my cat with my wife.

Thanks, and I look forward to meeting you. -- Mike

They're paying me enough that I could easily get my own place, but that's not why I took the job. Bonita and I owe a lot of money and she has another year to go in art school.

We also have no savings. It's happened more than once that hilarity ensued when we were faced with some unexpected expense. Before I left, I promised her that all that would stop: we were going to achieve financial security or I would die trying.

To my surprise and delight, I got lots of responses to my post starting the night before I left, so I was able to set up several appointments for visits today.

But I discovered that while Vancouver has an excellent public transit system, the buses never take you quite where you want to go. Hence the title of this diary: I haven't walked so much in a long, long time.

Flexitol Deep Cooling Gel. It's the shit, I'm telling you. "soothes & cools HOT and TINGLING feet". Yes, yes it does.

I heard someone playing Stairway to Heaven when I got back downtown. It was my favorite song back in high school, so I had to go listen. I couldn't see the guy playing it, so I followed his sound until I found him.

I sat on the ground a little ways away, took off my shoes and socks then rubbed the Flexitol Deep Cooling Gel into my hot and aching feet. "Dry feet?" he asked. "Tired feet," I replied, "I've been all over town today looking for a place to live."

I applied band-aids to the blisters on each foot. But the Flexitol made my skin slippery so the band-aids wouldn't stick. I used a second band-aid to complete a wrap all the way around each toe. They're still holding.

I giggled at the thought of someone from my office finding me sitting on a busy downtown sidewalk at eight on a Saturday night dressing my wounded feet.

I tore a page out of the small, hardbound notebook I carry in my pocket and wrote:

I like your music. Perhaps you'll like my music too. Download my MP3s and see: http://mike.soggywizards.com

Mike Crawford mdcrawford@gmail.com

"I like your music," I said to the guy playing the guitar as I dropped my note in his guitar case. I know from the awful, soul-crushingly lonely time I had working in San Francisco in December of 2003 that making new friends is the key to my success at living in Vancouver. So I've been giving my name and email to everyone I meet.

I'm too tired to say much about the results of today's journey. I found one place that was nice but far from anywhere I could go on foot, and one place in a great neighborhood that I think would be way too small for me.

I have a line on a room just a couple blocks from where I work, and therefore also close to Vancouver's very lively downtown, but the guy who owns the place seems to be a complete flake and so I haven't yet actually been able to see the place yet.

When I finally got him on the phone after two days of being told that his voice mailbox was full, he said some visitors just arrived and so he couldn't see me.

I asked him to email when they left, but it's after nine and I haven't heard from him yet.

I'm going back to my hotel for a shower and some sleep.

Tomorrow I get to do it all over again. But I'm very determined to find a place I can call home.

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