I can hear you all clapping, by the way.
As I mentioned the other day, we’re all moved into our new place. The furniture has been assembled, all of the boxes have been unpacked, and the only thing left to do is hang all the artwork (ahem, leave “sorry for the noise” notes for the neighbors and then hang all the artwork) and get rid of the rest of the cardboard when the recycling gets picked up on Tuesday.
You guys, I love this place. It wasn’t what I thought I wanted but now I can’t imagine having wanted some other crappy, rundown house just on the basis of it being affordable. This place is clean. This place is functional. This place is in a wonderful neighborhood that might be a tad sleepier than our last, but the community center just down the block has two permanent outdoor ping pong tables in the back and we can play whenever we want! And have I mentioned the nearby bakery, cafés, coffee spot with the terrific cold toddy, sports bar, regular bars (including the Sloop Tavern, an establishment I now think might be one of the greatest bars in the world), and parks like the Locks? No, I haven’t?! Of course I haven’t, I’ve been too busy discovering them all and being totally psyched to have moved here. I long for that feeling of coming home while I’m at work, and that hasn’t happened since we lived in our old St. Louis house that I loved so much, even when our neighbor cut down the tree (*shakes fist at Larry*). I love, love, love this place.
Which is not to say the entire process was painless. Two days before we moved, I found myself unnerved awake from about 4:30am to 5:30am, worrying about all of the things I had yet to do and the fact that other dumb bullshit had happened on every other day before that and prevented me from getting any work done. Then I fell asleep again for about an hour, and when I woke up for good, my coffee maker overflowed twice and I started thinking more about everything I had to do, so when I barged into the bedroom (although, to be fair to that crap house and the fact that we now sleep in an actual bedroom, I should continue to refer to our old bedroom as the Sleeping Shack) to get dressed for work, I was panic crying a little bit and, especially to someone like Graham who has only been asleep for a couple of hours, that sounds an awful lot like asthma mixed with snot bubbles mixed with incoherent babbling.
“I don’t have the time,” I muttered. “I can’t pack and clean and I just don’t have time to do everything anymore. I can’t do everything, I can’t handle this.”
Then I went to work and completely ignored most of my responsibilities for about an hour while I made a to-do list. I even included tasks for Graham on the list, easy, manageable tasks since I knew he was working that night but would be able to handle some stuff in the few hours between getting off work and going to sleep (turns out he didn’t really go to sleep, but I maintain that was his decision).
Once I got home, my progress was slightly delayed by waiting on some people to come and pick up the old couch. I’d put it on the Craigslist free section because you have to be either remarkably lucky or shrewd to sell things on Craigslist in Seattle, and the only luck I’ve ever had is with dumbassed college kids or decent appliances. So the couch was up for free, and since the last guy had flaked (thus robbing me of like two hours of valuable packing time), I was anxious for these dudes to show up and get that thing out of the house. They were using it for their annual Solstice party, so naturally I expected hippies. One guy looked pretty clean-cut (and drove a minivan at what appeared to be the ripe old age of 30), but the other guy was the Hipster Jesus Prince of Fremont with Less-Feathered Jared Leto Hair and I cannot believe that he hasn’t been a Vice model at some point. Maybe he has. I didn’t ask. I get intimidated around incredibly good-looking people, plus I just wanted them to leave with the couch.
Once the couch was gone, I was able to manage my list. Even when the movers showed up early the next day, the list was my main reference point. And once I was taking the very last of the things from the old house, once I was standing there and realizing that I would never have to come back there again (so a) hooray!, but b) girl, you better make sure you got everything out of this dump), I held the list in my hand and told myself I could throw it away. As I did, I tried to remind myself what I’d liked about living in that house. The feeling I got when I secured a living arrangement from 2,000 miles away. My friends helping us move into it, making them the first people we spoke to in Seattle. The yard before all the trees were cut down. The neighborhood before all the bros.
I have to stop myself from being very new relationship about our current place. I’m falling in love with Ballard right now and I’m not sure if that’s smart. Not because it doesn’t deserve it (truthfully, I was a little bit in love with Ballard before but held myself back because I didn’t live here yet), but because, as in any relationship, the shit will surface and keep on rising and eventually hit the fan and I’m going to have to figure out a way to keep loving it in spite of that.
Although I really should stop trying to divorce Fremont. I still like Fremont. It’s just that I do this kind of thing all the time. With apartments, neighborhoods, jobs, relationships, everything. I begin mentally divorcing myself from whatever with a litany of reasons why it’s not or would never work out to my liking, so when the time to separate comes, I’m left with very few emotions about the situation. But I do like Fremont, I like it’s businesses and gardens and yes, Courtney, even the hills, even the fucking hills, plus my friends are still there and the Solstice parade is today. So possibly Fremont and I are having a trial separation right now. With visitation rights.