So, yeah. We moved.
I might have forgotten to tell you that we are moving. In fact, I don’t think that I’ve mentioned it at all. It’s not like bitching about our charming little shithole has become a central theme here on Saturday Jane. I don’t tell you about the problems with our appliances or the frustrations of trying to take a proper shower. This is all new and mysterious to you, and for that, I apologize.
But yes. We moved. The process has been more or less completed, and as soon as our new place stops being a graveyard of half-packed boxes, I’ll try to snap some photos, or even do a little dance.
I’ve been excited about this step for a long time. Since before we found a new place to live, even. I daydreamed about the wonders of having a walkway unobscured by various leavings. I contemplated the merits of sleeping somewhere that didn’t double as a spider rave. In the early mornings, when fresh slug trails glittered across our gummy carpet, I imagined a beautiful day when I could invite my friends to sleep over without the obligatory warning that they should not sleep on the floor. All of these things were wild and sexy fantasies that I indulged when I had nothing else to think about.
The problem with fantasies, though, is that they carry the risk of becoming imperfect when they are made real.
Despite being a wispy creative type, I’m really not big into change. Change means that the jury-rigged security of my day-to-day life may be compromised. Change means that I may discover problems that can’t be solved with apathy or any length of sturdy string. When Taylor and I signed the lease on our new apartment, it was all glitter and sparkles for about twenty minutes, before the usual nagging anxiety set in.
Something was about to be different, in ways that I couldn’t prepare for or define.
Our old apartment blew, both literally in the sense that our insulation was poor and figuratively in the sense that we hated it there, but it was a known quantity. We had seen the new apartment, yes. We had strolled its depths with the apartment representative on hand and we had asked our questions about the heaters and the quality of the maintenance crew, but living there is something else entirely.
As I scrubbed the dishes on Sunday night, I realized with a horrible sinking feeling that really, I didn’t know anything about this place that we were going to. It was all just a black hole of questions.
What would the tap water taste like? How cold will the tile floor be in winter? Will there be friendly dogs around to pet? Are our neighbors young? Or old? Will they be nice? Will they be douchebags? Will they like me? Will they think I am annoying? What if they do think I am annoying? What if I am too loud? Are the walls very thin? Will I have to prewash dishes before putting them in the dishwasher? What if it breaks? Will it spew water and bubbles everywhere, like in the movies? Will they make me pay for it? Will there be a gas leak? Carbon monoxide? Will my neighbors leave their burners on? What happens in case of fire? Hurricane? Floods? Bears? Will people be able to break in through our sliding glass door? Will they kill us? Will they take our teeth and sell them on the black market? How much are my teeth worth? Are they worth murdering me for? Should I start wearing false teeth to hide their value?
New home, new obscenely unlikely fears.
On Monday, we moved. Our couches and desks and bed arrived with the least amount of crying possible, and all blood loss was avoided. That evening, Taylor and I took a solitary five minutes to sit on the couch and start out of our window, into the collecting dark over the Oregon wetlands.
“I’m happy,” Taylor said. “Are you happy?”
“Yeah. I’m happy.”
And I meant it. Sitting in our living room together with our books and our kitchen felt immeasurably good, like a hot meal when you’re in from the cold.
We still refer to the new place as ‘the new place’, but we’ve finally quit referring to the old place as ‘home’. We are still settling in, but I feel positive about this. The unknown is going to be okay.