Lee talked with another realtor.
“So, anything you haven’t told me about this place I need to know about?”
“Anything in particular you’re wanting to know?”
Lee looked around the open floor plan of the small two bedroom house. Should he gently inquire about the realtor’s evasiveness, ask why the house had been on the market over 700 days with barely a drop in the asking price?
Lee reached into his pocket and pulled out the thick mobile phone.
“Wow, that’s an antique!” The realtor motioned as if using an old Army field radio.
Lee laughed. “Yeah, I know. I gotta replace it one day.” He made a circle with the phone as if looking for a radio signal, walking around the room a few paces.
Although the realtor knew Lee was purchasing his second home in as many months, she didn’t know that Lee was setting up a large communications network, connecting the houses as a giant transceiver.
He tapped on the phone screen and looked at the summary report generated from his sweep.
He was satisfied with the results.
“I only have one question. What kind of deal are you offering on closing costs?”
The realtor smiled. He hadn’t asked her about the uneven flooring or the odd slopes in the small yard that hid the entranceways to a large cavern in that part of town, making it difficult for her to sell the house to potential buyers with smart appraisers.
She didn’t know that was the very reason he wanted the place but he wasn’t going to tell her.
Lee still had a lot of packing to do, deciding what he was going to move where.
Memories of the emotional strain of a few weeks gently massaging his friendships fed his imagination while he tried and sometimes succeeded in giving the right amount of attention to the right people.
His was a public face, drawing attention wherever he went, including strangers somehow aware he was possibly someone they were supposed to know but couldn’t exactly pinpoint why.
Lee hid in plain sight.
He didn’t spend time explaining to everyone what he was doing.
One evening, he wanted to wander his old house, taking inventory of what to move.
Instead, he started meditating and then was offered dinner and conversation in exchange for a trip across town, reducing his time for counting objects.
Lee accommodated his friends.
He was a people pleaser.
He was both an immovable boulder in the middle of a stream, slowing eroding, and a willow tree swaying in a strong breeze, bending over backward but not breaking.
His plans outweighed him and his daily concerns.
Big plans lead to bigger joys.
Lee closed his eyes.
He looked at the 13-day boxcar window at the front end of a 12,057-day total until Mars was populated.
The plan was on schedule but he never doubted otherwise.