Montana Jones

Montana n: A state of the northwest United States bordering on Canada. Admitted as the 41st state in 1889. The fourth largest state in the union, it includes vast prairies and numerous majestic mountain ranges.
Syn: Treasure State, Big Sky Country, Last Best Place.

Jones n: slang. An addiction or very deep craving.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Doing Business

The snow gave a reassuring crunch under foot and the cold pounded at my legs through the thin denim of my blue jeans. T__ was trying to tell me something, but I did not hear it. He was facing away and loosing breath to the uphill trudge just as I was. A part of me was not too sure what I was doing here or what I was looking for so I tried to concentrate on having some fun with an impromptu snowy romp. T__ would point and say "This area here is where the front ten are, then there is the another ten acre plot behind that that was sold to * and on the other side are the back ten. The Heavens Peak property borders it over on this side and right over here is the plot that I am going to keep. I'm thinking it would be a nice place for a little cabin." Which is all nice and good I think, but where exactly is the piece of land that I am supposed to be looking at now, and where is it in relation to where I am standing? K__ is talking her piece as though she and T__ are on the same wavelength, but I don't see how she knows any better than I what exactly we are looking at. I pause to peer through the trees and gaze up at the twilit sky. A brief moment of peace.

It had been a long day. I had begun to find solace in the office work. Attacking the pile of mail as though it were a game to see how far I could make it dwindle. Experimenting with new ways to talk cheerfully on the phone. I had a quiet and productive time in the morning until K__ showed up all a bubble with her latest progress on her projects. We talked about some things that she and I needed to cover and I felt like she actually understood my points this time. Then when L__ and P__ showed up from their closing everything erupted into the chaos that I knew would come. P__ was preoccupied with her thoughts about the closing and business, and I am sure that having K__ there was not helping her disposition. L__ and K__ loudly tore into some sort of agenda of their own. Nothing is calm in a room where people love to hear the sound of their own voices. It was a good time to quietly turn back to the mail. One ear open to the conversations behind me. Listen and learn. Good thing the phone was quiet.

When the clock ticked two I switched off the phone, closed out the credit card slips, double checked my notes and reminded K__ to start thinking about our afternoon mission. I was giving her about a twenty minute lead. Good thing too, these people can't turn on a dime. I wonder if that is a Montanan trait? The twenty minutes was about right, K__ used most of it to refocus on our new task and we left to meet the realtor. K__ had some different takes on the properties that I did, but that was good. It helps sometimes to have that different perspective on hand. Three properties total. Lots of walking and talking and looking and estimating property lines. By the time we got back to home I was tired and getting hungry and heard enough voices trying to make sure they were acknowledged through volume alone. Putting L__ and K__ in the same room will always accomplished that. I can deal with them one on one most of the time, but together I would usually prefer not to be in the conversation. My throat goes dry just trying to get a word in edgewise. I could feel myself getting cranky.

K__ was still working full blast. I don't think she felt the realtor was giving her all the information she wanted to know. As if he were holding back the best properties for himself. Driving down the highway she would point out the for sale signs and call out "Oh and what about that one?" to what were obviously oversized and expensive and not appropriate properties. When we got to the diner for diner she had the cellphone to her ear having called the numbers on a couple of the signs along the way. "Did you learn anything?" I asked. "Yea, that land just over there by Coram is going for 1.2million." I nodded and smiled.

I was ready to call it a day, but K__ had arranged one more last minute property viewing. And that is what put me out in the snowy woods with the cold biting and a shiver lurking just under my ribs. T__ struck me as good people. The sort of person I would feel comfortable befriending if life diddn't revolve around the wife and kids and we had a chance to kick back and find some common ground. Preferably somewhere with a familiar environment like smog and city traffic and noisy urban hangouts. I doubt if I will ever see him again.

So for a few minutes as the sun set and the half moon hung large in the crisp sky. My head was filled with too many things to worry about and my ears ached from the yammering of everyone's opinions around me. I walked in the woods and pretended to care about property lines.