After having had roommates continually from 1982 when I started college until then, I figured it was a good time to try living alone. I didn't know it would create a need in me for my own space. 510 Melrose was an old apartment building in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, one block from the lake. I could see Lake Michigan and the trees of the lakefront park from my windows. I had a 1-bedroom apartment with 2 huge walk-in closets, a big livingroom, a tiny kitchen with a dining nook, a workable bathroom, a wall of windows and wall-to-wall grey carpeting. I LOVED it. I miss it to this day. As much as I love our house and my family, and the life that I have now, there are days when the longing for that apartment is overwhelming.
Pooka and Toby and I thrived in that apartment. My furniture and my belongings were arranged harmoniously and to my desire. It was never a mess because I kept it clean...except for not making my bed—a bad habit I've never conquered. The ceilings were high and the closet in the living room, which was covered in mirrored squares, used to enclose a murphy bed, but for me was the repository of my work wardrobe. I don't think I can adequately convey the feeling of peace and at-home-ness that I felt living there.
I never had to pick up after anyone but myself. I never had to tell anyone else to clean up their stuff. I never had to compromise my decorating tastes for someone else. It was MY space in which to house my body and my soul.
If I wanted to spend the weekend in my pajamas, migrating slowly back and forth between bed and sofa with a book, I could. Pooka and Toby would happily curl up with me and my book wherever I came to rest. I could work on projects, nap, write, fix lunch, watch a movie, all on my own schedule. I could lie on my sofa and look around my apartment and just smile quietly, with total happiness in the space I found myself in.
Yesterday, I slept in, then I puttered around the house in pajamas and read a book. Then I fixed lunch and tidied up the house, and vacuumed. I cleaned the bathrooms and ran the dishwasher. Before going out to play pool (yes! I know!) and have dinner with the girls, I stood in the center of my quiet clean house and smiled. It will stay just how I want it for 8 days. The only thing missing was the cats. I'll be wishing for my family soon...but not quite yet. :)
Cracking Me Up: Say What?
Really Great Writing Out There Right Now: Mosaic Minds