...in the bottom drawer
I knew I'd lose it so I put it in a safe place, and now I can't remember where it is.

currently stashed in: Cheshire Street, London
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August 20, 2004 || 10:25 am

I have organised a small apartment in Greensboro, the main town of Hale County where the Rural Studio is based. It's with Mrs McCleskey, who sounds very sweet and very Southern. My voice starts to relax into a drawl when I speak to her. In our first conversation, she explained the apartment (it's very convenient, there's a microwave, cable television - do you have a television?') and then moved onto her other domestic arrangements:

'Do you like pets? a'cause I've got a dog, a German Shepherd, and I do try to tell her, but she will want'a sniff you whenever you come in'a th house. She's awful friendly, and she will jus' want'a sniff anyone who comes in.'

Today in an email from her it emerges she actually has '4 dogs-only one of which stays inside. Sometimes they get rather noisy, so I hope you're prepared for a little aggravation.' I've never really been a dog person, preferring cats myself.

Other than that she seems to have been making totally unnecessary preparations for my arrival. Her husband came back from Atlanta with new sheets, and today she writes ' Do you have a laptop? I realized that there is nowhere to put your computer, so I purchased a small table for you, but it's probably too big for just a laptop. It's not a problem, because if you don't need it, I'll just put it in my house... Do you smoke? If you do, I've got a container outside for cigarette butts. My husband shampooed the carpet today, so we're ready for you. The furniture is very old-very good quality-but my husband's sisters had it in their room when they were young. It is at least 40-45 years old. I have wiped out all the drawers with sanitizer, so they are clean. The furniture needs refinishing, but it's ok. Hope all is well with you, and hope you have a good trip. Just please call me before you come to the house and let me know when you'll be here so I'll be sure to be at home. Cynthia McCleskey'

I can't wait.

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