What Would I Do in a Real Emergency?

And by that I mean, what if Tracy unexpectedly, suddenly dies? This happens, you know. 

Hollywood movies and my own experiences tell me that the prime scenario, if you’re blindsided by grief and lucky to have the resources, is to be at home, first in bed and later at your home desk, surrounded by capable family and friends who help you through both the grief and the paperwork, which diminish at varying rates. 

This is how my mom got past my dad’s sudden death at age 40, and, when her second husband died, with lots of help she returned “home” (near where she’d lost her first husband) to deal with all the details.

Later, when she and my sister died at about the same time, I had the support of Tracy, friends, and generous time off work to dig myself back out. 

So, what about my situation now?  If this were a “Pick Your Ending” book, there would be no page I could turn to that would let me go “home” where friends and family would accompany me through grief and paperwork.  My home is here, in this trailer, where I’ve slept and brushed my teeth and been inches from Tracy for a year and a half.  

Let’s say I finish with the ambulance, the hospital, the sheriff or whatever.  I sign papers.  Then what?  I get a ride back to the trailer and Banjo, and—I’m stuck.  I can’t hitch it up to the truck; I can’t drive out by myself. 

My first idea (here in theoryland) would be to go back to Maryland to gather my wits and make a plan.  But how do I get there, and what do I take?  When my sister died in California, I needed time to deal with her real and digital stuff, so I packed all I could in suitcases and flew it back to Tracy’s house. Here, would I try to get the truck and trailer to Maryland?  How? Ask some friend to drive it across country with me and Banjo?  Who of my friends has the experience and the time to do that?  

How about hire a professional to tow it, then park it in a storage lot in Maryland so I could deal with everything in it and the truck at my own pace?  That’s an idea. Wait, what?! Pay for the towing service and storage when I could easily sell the truck and trailer on the west coast?  Nonsense. 

Okay, now we’re getting closer.  Let’s say I get a hotel room for myself and Banjo near wherever this tragedy happens.  I hire someone to drive the truck and trailer to temporary storage nearby.  I gather what I want to keep from both, then sell them.  Again, then what?

I could pile Banjo and my few possessions into a rental car and drive across the country to start a new life someplace. (Banjo certainly is not going to fly.)  Actually, I hear rental cars are super rare right now, so maybe I buy a car.  Big enough to fit Banjo and all my stuff that I own?  Big enough to tow a small Airstream in case one day I resume Tracy and my dream on my own?  How do I know? Why not just learn to drive the damned truck?

What’s strange is how untethered I would feel if I had to suddenly leave this transient life.  The bed in the trailer is my bed, where I reach over to feel that Tracy’s there while I’m half asleep, night after night. But it wouldn’t be home if it were parked in some trailer park, if it weren’t on the move, if Tracy weren’t driving us.  

In a emergency, it turns out, I would lose my home as well as my heart.  

I don’t mean to be so morose, and I know that I do have friends and family who would help.  Heck, now more than ever as I’ve gotten to know Tracy’s friends and family.  

I’m thinking more about how much life has changed now that I live on the road. Home is definitely where the trailer is, but even more so because Tracy is with it.  Other people know this feeling: either they’re unfortunate not to have a home, or they choose to live on the move, or they travel for work. But this lifestyle is new to me, and I’m amazed at how it’s changing me to the core.