Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This Little House

This little apartment. It existed in my minds eye for such a long time. Of course, I had no idea what it would really look like, but a room of my own was so desired I could just about taste it. It isn't that living with a companion is so bad-- and of course there are things that are altogether wonderful about it. The comfort of knowing you are never truly alone, someone to dine with almost always, a couch mate. But then, you are always sort of anticipating someone else's rhythms. When they are to be home, when they are to be gone, when they are taking a nap, when they are hungry, when they are in the bathroom, when they will or will not, finally, pick up a broom. On your own, you have only yourself to blame, only yourself to anticipate, which is in itself frustrating enough after all.

I looked at lots of living arrangements before I picked this one, initially thinking I would need roommates, probably an old vestige of believing I couldn't make it on my own. But when I began doing the math, I found that the opposite was true. A hundred bucks extra per month, and I would have a little place in the world all to myself. The choice was obvious. When I saw it, I accepted it right away, and it took some struggling to get in. The circumstances weren't perfect, but once my mind was made up, I wasn't to be deterred.

I always sort of envisioned myself in Loring, on this side of the park, overlooking the pond and the greenery. Well, I didn't get a window shot, but close enough otherwise. My vague little enduring vision of a life here is the sort of thing that causes me to believe that time and space aren't always linear. In other words, I always sort of knew this would happen. New Orleans too, but that's another post for another day.

For now, a little retrospective of what I love about this place, and what I will inevitably miss once I am gone, in a few short weeks.

This place is just the right space for one girl. It's not too big, by a long shot, but it's also not too small. There is a place for (almost) everything I need there to be a place for. (Except for excessive pairs of shoes, and some kitchen issues, but hey, I wouldn't be me if that weren't the case). When I'm finished in the living room, sitting in my good and comfortable chair, listening to one of several music situations I have put into place, when I'm done with my books and a hearty dish of food in my lap and as many glasses of wine as I please, I'll go into my tidy bedroom that is little more than a fabulously comfortable bed, a nightstand, a window whose shade I'm always fussing with to quit letting in the sun of morning, and I'll feel relaxed and grateful.

In the morning (and in the night) I'll go into my sturdy little bathroom, all Minneapolis ceramic tile, deep clawfoot tub, suspicious dusty corners behind the toilet, hard flushing handle, substantial medicine cabinet fashioned by an artisan who cared, and frustrating old-timey dual temperature faucet handles, and again I'll feel happy.

I like the mustard walls in the living room and the sage ones in the kitchen. The colors are a little off, not at all just-so, but I like that. It's what I would have done, probably, if left to the devices of painting-- thinking I had the color schemes all precise, and of course I would have shot a little too vivid. And yet, who would care-- who would have the time or money or inclination to fix it, and life is generally too subdued anyway, isn't it?  So yes, they saved me the trouble of a funky little paint job, and its already done and totally me. My previous tenant also bequeathed me with a few tree branches, which lend a bit of character I haven't wanted to part with, and on their tendrils I hang detritus that I find here and there. Pigeon feathers, a silk flower that someone abandoned on the sidewalk, gift wrapping ribbons. This little shrine is nothing to someone else, but its everything to me. Mine. The moments of my life, propped in a corner of my own room.

My CD collection that I refuse to part with, encompassing the last two decades of my life, maybe longer. A dalliance with KC and the Sunshine Band. An enduring love affair with Prince. My Nana's cedar chest, filled with my entire life's worth of keepsakes-- scraps of writing that would make me blush to this day, the baby blankets that I was never able to utilize. I've filled a second chest. I've asked to be buried (or burned) with them if my time comes prematurely. Anything that means anything to me gets slipped into the top of the chests. To go through them at this date would mean an epic journey through memory lane that I'm not willing to take at this point. I'll assume that all is safely marinating in there. Safe keeping.

This little place encompasses, again, everything I truly need. Do I want a larger life? Yes, and that is why I am alighting off to find one. And yet, I could be perfectly happy here for a good time to come, which makes it that much more bittersweet, and pride inducing for leaving.  I'm not running from anything. I'll miss this all. Sometimes I might cry. Cleansing, cathartic tears that move me forward.

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