home, sweet home

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Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places. ― Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

A few nights ago I woke from a deep sleep to discover the heat went out again. Since November, men with tools and pipes and electronic gadgets filed in and out of my apartment. They adjusted nobs and grunted and talked about water pressure, how there was never enough of it, and I exercised a sort of patience of which I would never think capable. The heat would work for a week and then it didn’t, and so I’ve been spending this rather cold, dark winter hoping that my space heaters won’t set my apartment on fire. And just when the last of the men came, just when I thought I’d make it into March in a warm home…

MY GODDAMN HEAT WENT OUT AGAIN. GODDAM IT ALL TO HELL, I THOUGHT.

My landlord {and building owner} and I are old friends. He’s old New York, Brooklyn-raised, and the fact that we grew up not too far from one another sometimes brings out the nostalgic in us. He hugged me when my Sophie died, and played with Felix, and we text and chat about the boiler in my apartment like how one would talk about about building a jet engine. So when I texted, Charlie, it’s on the fritz again, and he responded with, Be there tomorrow. There’s an extra space heater in 2A, it didn’t initially occur to me that the apartment I’ve been wanting for three years is finally vacant.

Until I entered Apartment 2A and nearly screamed. Crown moldings, intricately carved doors, a 100-square foot loft space in addition to a bedroom — this is a home engulfed in effulgent light. This is a space worthy of a Calvino-type possession. In the dark, I texted my landlord and he offered me the space for 30% less than market rate. There was a moment when I hesitated, when it dawned on me that I’m moving into a home that carries a higher price tag, but I stood in that space and felt something.

That something being possibility. I saw a home office where I could write and work. I saw dinner parties where friends no longer have to eat on the carpet. I saw food photography. I saw space. I saw a new life.

In a span of an hour, I found myself with a new home. It’s as if I’m playing the hand as it lays. Working the cards as I see them, as it were.

Naturally, I’m gawking at tufted chairs and kitchen islands. While packing and making the thirty-odd change of address calls, I found myself obsessing about marble stones and home office decor. But then, you know, I got back to reality and focused on moving.

One day at a time. One card picked up. One discarded.

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7 thoughts on “home, sweet home

    1. I agree with Ashley, totally jealous but not in the “green-eyed” envied way. The space is truly beautiful and look forward to seeing the possibilities of how you will decorate and share more of your thoughts and experiences from this lovely space…

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      1. Thanks! I truly do believe that a space’s energy in inextricably bound to one’s creative output. I recently purchased an all-white desk (very simple, very cheap, and very clean) and I know that with the right ambiance I might finally get this novel written! 🙂

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