Locking Up for the Last Time
I locked up my apartment for the last time this evening. I haven't slept there since mid-October. And I have been living with the boyfriend since before Thanksgiving. But the lease is finally running out at the end of March. And after weeks of procrastination, mixed with bad weather, we taped the last box and threw away the garbage.
I'm certainly not going to miss it. The carpet was awful, the heat hard to regulate, and the refrigerator was ancient. I was living in one of the last units in my building to forgo a renovation and it would have driven me crazy if I had stay much longer anyway. My rental company was run by shady people who had were guilty of tax evasion. Too many big dogs lived next door. And I never really talked to any of my neighbors.
But, it was mine. It was where I moved on after the most difficult year of my life. It was where my friends showed their love for me by moving all of my stuff, building my kitchen table, and picking up my estate-sale love seat and couch, without any of my help thanks a hospital stay and a Coumadin prescription. It was mine in a neighborhood that I loved, just steps around the corner from the first coworker I was ever really good friends with, and with a fantastic pizza place only a block away. It was spacious and warm and where I always knew quiet would welcome me home.
Two years. (Or, more correctly, a year and almost a half.) Here's what happened inside those walls.
- Radley Cat was adopted.
- I learned to sleep alone in a big bed nearly every night.
- Many bubble baths were taken.
- Chinese food was ordered. Regularly.
- Hours of Parks and Recreation were watched.
- The cable bill was often paid late.
- A guy once made me cry in my own bed.
- I cried on the couch, not related to a guy.
- Friends danced to Thriller.
- Friends burnt themselves on glue guns.
- Cards were played at the kitchen table.
- Bean burritos were cooked in the kitchen.
- Parades were watched.
- Pierogies were taunted.
- Dance parties. In the living room.
- Many bad dates were never invited over.
- Dance parties. In the kitchen.
- Piles of clothes were ironed while watching television.
- Tipsy friends slept on couches and in beds with me.
- Floors were scrubbed.
- A vacuum was borrowed.
- Many candles were burned.
- One online dating profile was created.
- My first Christmas tree was displayed
- Snow fell.
- One Christmas party was hosted.
- Pictures of far away places I've visited were hung with care.
- Friends moved away and I stayed.
- Saturday mornings meant shopping at the farmer's market.
- Weekday walks with my mom were treasured.
- Books were read in bed, in the bathtub, on the couch, in the kitchen, and on the floor.
- So much of this blog was written.
- One smoke detector woke me up in the middle of the night.
- Artwork was purchased to decorate white walls.
- Clothes were always on the floor.
- One great date was invited upstairs.
- Two beers were sipped after one great date.
- One first kiss.
- One boy and girl up against a wall.
- Two people pretended to watch Lincoln.
- One girl fell in love.
So many things changed within the walls of that apartment. Not overnight, to be certain. There were a lot of lonely nights, uncontrollable self-doubt and sobbing, and unending life questioning. But slowly, things turned around. I may not miss that apartment. And I will certainly not miss those crippling feelings. But I will always look back fondly on that place simply because of the journey that was all about discovery, and failure, friendship, and family, and love.
Good-bye crappy apartment. I hope your next person experiences just as many things.