The title of this post is تصحیح , which means straightening things out.
This politically notorious term — a favorite of Arab dictators — is pronounced tass-heeh. Synonyms include Betterment, Change, Correction, Reformation, Remedy, and Repair.
So why use it as a title?
Simple: I’m reclaiming its original, positive connotations.
If you have read this blog at all*, you already know that I’m in the process of closing on a new house in Florida.
This is mainly a gift to my wife of many years, who has stood by my side during good times and bad. Me, I’m not that enamored with living the rest of my life in Florida, and in fact have no intention of doing so.
But I need to straighten out some things first.
On Wednesday, we are going to travel up to our house in Westchester, which we are going to put on the market by mid September. I expect it to go fairly quickly, since it’s ideally located near the Bronxville train station, Lawrence Hospital, Sarah Lawrence college, and an excellent elementary school. The house is in excellent condition, despite its age.
Since it has no encumbrances (ie, no mortgage or liens), I should be able to park a tidy sum in our joint bank account, which will more than cover the cost of our new house in Florida — which we will close on by October 14th.
Once these two things happen, I will unload our existing shack (an attached villa overlooking an artificial lake, with a golf course in the background).
There’s a lot to do here in terms of fixing up. Given the shift in the real estate towards it becoming more of a buyers market, I shall be forced to expend time and money this winter getting it ready. I’m not particularly worried about being able to sell it at a decent price, though, since we bought it for a song 20 years ago.
So let’s say Allah smiles upon us and all this straightening-out-of-things happens smoothly, without any unpleasant surprises.
Does this mean I’ve decided to spend the rest of my life in Florida (which some liberals refer to as DeSantistan, which you should avoid, as the term, unwittingly or not, gives oxygen to latent Islamophobia)?
I’ve only been here 3 days (since coming down from NY), and already can’t wait to leave.
I have lived a very different life from most who reside here. My interests, personal history, background, politics, religion, ability to speak several languages, and general outlook on life are nothing like that of the usual Midwestern rubes or conservative dickheads from Joisy or Lawngisland that infest this state.
The idea that I am prepared to spend the rest of what’s left of my life fishing, playing golf, and waiting to die in reclaimed swamp land is preposterous.
It simply ain’t gonna happen.
Moreover, given the uncertainty that surrounds what may soon transpire with respect to the fascist threat that is menacing democracy in the United States, I am leaving my options open in terms of living in this country.
After all, I do have British citizenship.
I have also loved the Mediterranean sea since childhood.
Places like La Marsa in Tunisia, Istanbul, Sardinia, and once-Arab Sicily beckon. It is a near certainty that I will be travelling extensively through these parts next Spring — again, as always, Allah willing.
Meanwhile, I will be reading Désert by J. M. G. Le Clézio this weekend. He’s originally from Nice, France, where I spent my Junior Year Abroad. Bought the bouquin at the Librairie de France in Rockefeller Center on the final day before it closed, but was lax about reading it.
I began remedying this problem yesterday. Right off the first page, I bathed in the sumptuous French of this Nobel Prize-winning writer.
One more thing before I close this post: Day 10 of no drinking, yo.
* Which would surprise me, since Google, despite my best efforts at having my site indexed, seems actively opposed to listing this blog. By contrast, Bing lists my blog at the very top of the first results page, if you type, say, “leaving amerika” in its search box. But few, alas, bing. Why Google is adamantly opposed to listing my blog, which has been around for years, is unclear. Since I am not going to modify the way I write to suit their bulllshit SERP-related “secret sauce” rules, this is going to be how it is. As a published writer since the late 80s (and getting paid for the articles I wrote), I will not twist the way I construct these posts to suit some opaque, capricious engineering concept of prosody. Google almost demands a flattening, on-the-nose way of writing. So to whomever sets the indexing agenda at Google these days, I say this: