Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Change Will Do You Good

Various piles of junk comprising the chapters of their lives started appearing beside the plastic recycling cans outside the building as an announcement of the couple's impending move. An old fishing hat was crumpled next to dozens of books on bar tending, spirituality, and investing, all on top of a neon boogie board. We call him the creeper because of his tendency to stare a little too hard, linger a little too long, creep us out just a little too much. His girlfriend is slender, beautiful, silent. We are glad to see them go.

I heard a soft knock as the dogs went wild and quietly scurried to the peep-hole in time to catch our boisterous leopard coat-wearing upstairs neighbor from 4F slowly pushing open the door to the newly abandoned apartment. Genius! I was giddy waiting for Nick to come home with his supermarket bounty, eager to entice him into sneaking over with me. Eyes sparkling, he whispered "Go!"; in part I'm sure because he knew I would not. It wouldn't be right. What if someone was still inside? What if the creeper was still inside? Before I could truly consider any of those possibilities I shoved my socked-feet into crocs*... And, I snuck into the neighbors' apartment.

I'm inside, afraid to actually close the door so I can maintain some kind of "I'm lost" excuse should the need arise. The living room faces the south side of the block, with three huge windows and bountiful light. To the right is a ballet-wall mirror reflecting slick hard-wood floors opposite exposed-brick kitchen walls, and another window. This room was made for dancing. Then the huge bathroom, down hallway, past a narrow window-ed bedroom, I pressed on. The final bedroom with exposed brick and three bay windows overlooking garden made me pause and forget both place and purpose. I've never been in an empty un-furnished apartment in the city without broker, nor man, nor dog and I have to say those few moments filled with adrenaline and hope were enough to warm my heart and give me butterflies. Excitement about moving on, starting something new, taking a risk, finding a new place this summer. 2R was nice, but far more than what we are paying now, and despite its glory it lacked a certain charm of our crown-molded, 15-foot ceilinged, 1900-built parlor room. We love certain things about 2F, but it is small, with very noisy hallways, and if we can't keep a single plant alive in two years, imagine what atrocities this lack of natural light is wreaking on our little human/pet bodies. And though it felt like home, even in its raw-est state, I'm finally ready to say goodbye to this place. I forget that in my last apartment, I spent lazy afternoons alone and curled up in the sun with my puppy, day-dreaming out the window and forgetting about the world. I'm not alone anymore but I'll never stop daydreaming and I sure could use some of that sun!

I often cringe at the what-ifs, settling for good-enough because I'm afraid of changing things for the worse. Do you ever feel like that? The good thing about living in this city is that you don't have much of a choice but to expect change as the norm. You know what they say though, a change will do you good :-) xN

P.S. ooh look at this mantle! And it is in our neighborhood, in our price-range!

*They were a gift and are the best possible shoes for people who have to walk dogs in the rain, particularly in a neighborhood with 10,000 other dogs and owners who are incapable of scooping poo. Plus they are pink and look like ballet-flats. Plus you shouldn't judge me.