The Burton Tree

The books are still packed. When you walk through the front door of our house, just to the right of the door between the dining room and living room – you first walk into our dining room, which I guess was supposed to be the living room but it has an odd layout with a fireplace and french doors and we couldn’t arrange my gigantic couch in there – are eight whole boxes of books. I’d like to unpack them, but we still haven’t gotten around to finding another bookshelf, which we sort of need to get all of our books out of boxes. In my old apartment, I had surplus books stacked all over my big executive desk and in the deep windowsills. In this house, my big executive desk couldn’t fit in any of the doors, so I had the movers take it down to St. Vincent de Paul. The windowsills here are deep enough, but I’d like to live in a place where nobody mistakes me for a hoarder. I saw something online about taking planks of wood and some L-brackets and making your own floating bookshelves, but I’m not much of a builder and we have some pretty hollow drywall here, so I worry that the whole thing would crash down and take the wall with it.

Except I really really want these boxes out of my way, so I think today I’ll unpack a portion of them into the bookshelves I already have, because god knows when we’ll get around to getting another.

Unless someone wants to build one to spec for about $200. I would gladly pay that amount for bookshelves that I don’t have to find and transport. Is anyone handy and appreciative of literature? Anyone?

Every day that I get to wake up in this house is another day that I can’t believe how happy it makes me. Coming home to this house makes me say“ohmygodiloveithere” out loud before I say hello to The Cat. It sounds awfully bourgeois of me to credit so much of my happiness to a house, but this is (mostly) what I wanted for a very long time, and it really is incredible how a home you love in a place where you feel safe can make you feel (um, aside from safe, because I don’t know what else to do with this sentence).

Even though the pine tree out front vomited needles the other day, so we now have a blanket of brown needles instead of a front walk. This isn’t the only tree in the front yard; on the property line we share with the neighbors, there’s some weird Halloween-looking tree that I would love to just yank out of the ground. It’s about the size of a Japanese maple, but the bark is all gray, spackly, and gnarled, and the tree itself is dead. It’s great for the holiday and very Burton-esque, but hopefully Graham can get rid of it in the spring. Which will probably call up the souls of the dead or something, but whatever, have you met my family? We’ve dealt with this kind of thing before.

Graham and I decided awhile ago to be better in this house, because while it’s perfectly fine to live in your own filth when you’re alone, two people with messy tendencies should really get a hold of their habits when they’re living together. We’ve done pretty well, actually. The trash and recycling get taken out regularly. All of the food waste (except for bones, meat, and fat, hey I read the Internet!) gets saved for the compost bin. The dishes get done, the laundry doesn’t sit in a huge pile, and do you know how awesome it is to have a litter box on a completely different level of the house?! It gets sifted out every day and nobody has to catch a whiff of cat shit! Unless, of course, The Cat senses that the litter has just been sifted, at which point he takes a monster revenge shit that stinks up the whole basement. We have a to-do list that we’re sticking to, partially out of consideration to the other person and partially out of wanting to act like civilized people for a change.

I think we’re having Graham’s mom, aunt, and sister over for awhile on Sunday afternoon, and then some friends are coming over to watch the season 2 premiere of The Walking Dead. And (hopefully) sometime in the next couple of weeks, my cousins can come over to see the place before we go to Onesto, where they have never been for some ridiculous reason (living in Illinois is not an excuse) but would love. It feels weird not to have a “holy shit I have got to clean this hellhole before someone contracts disease” panic before people come over, but I can’t, because it’s already clean. Hey, world, I’m 29 and finally a grownup!

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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