July 18, 2012
A Place in Brooklyn
I found an apartment in Brooklyn. When I share the news, I qualify it with the distance it is from The Brooklyn Neighborhoods. It's far. And they ask how long it will take me to get to class. It's far.
I cried on the subway platform on the way to see the apartment. It was too good to be true and the hope of it all - the hope that it could be mine - suddenly became too much to contain. It exploded and calmed in the same moment, warm tears spilling over. Yes, this is me. This is me. I kept thinking.
New York can be hot and unforgiving in the summer. (Although, I have for years now said it will never compare to a DC summer.) The sun felt only warm and the breeze - there is a breeze in my new neighborhood - just a bit cool. I will be on a shoestring budget and an off-hours schedule. The place fits both and a large kitchen with enough counter space for a coffee pot and a blender for smoothies. Enough floor space for morning yoga. High enough ceilings to hold my hopes, clearly.
I'll be getting rid of my bed down here in DC. I have a sordid history with beds, mainly comprised of me trying to get rid of them. "You cannot, cannot, cannot get rid of your bed," she insisted four years ago. I responded by bursting into tears trying to explain how difficult it is to move a bed alone. She acquiesced on account of my tears and asked me just to think about not getting rid of it. I did, but I got rid of it any way, piece by piece, until I moved to DC four years later with an aerobed that I slept on for six months. I inherited a real bed when I moved into this place, but I'll donate it before I move to Brooklyn. I can't move it alone, so away it goes. I'm somewhat independent, I suppose.
There will have to be a trip to Ikea for a new bed for my new place. I'm exhausted just thinking of the production it must entail get to an Ikea and get a mattress home. There is always the mail order option, but my shoestring budget cringes. And then I realize. I will have help in New York. My brother is a borough over and my parents are a car ride away. Moving a mattress no longer has to be an "alone" project. And maybe I will not look at my next bed only as something I have to get rid of or move. Maybe it no longer has to be attached to my independence.
I'll move my dresser and bookshelf and desk from Connecticut to New York. I'll hang the artwork I've collected the past year. I'll put up curtains the first week. I'll unpack my boxes and my bags. How long has it been?
I have an apartment in Brooklyn. When I share the news, I qualify it with the distance it is from The Brooklyn Neighborhoods. It's far. And they ask how long it will take me to get to class. It's far.
Because how am I suppose to say: This is me and it's home already. I'll buy a bed and unpack my bags. It's time and I'm ready.