Return to Whyte

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Already fighting nostalgia for this apartment. Only a year ago we were painting the livingroom walls green. We got engaged and married in almost the same spot in the diningroom. It is not the apartment, it is the historical fact that we lived in it, struggled against it trying to make it reflect us, and fit us. There were so many strangely difficult things. The futurism of having a dishwasher. The pasteboard and laminate. The weather-proofed windows. The north side that painfully twisted some internal compass needle, jerking me around to face a direction I preferred not to face. And now, of course, that we are leaving, I see exactly where we succeeded in making it ours, exactly where it failed our respective, manic desires to thrive.

I don't know how to acknowledge that something so precious as our marriage is alive, how to acknowledge that its value lies in something other than being mourned, that (as Ursula Le Guin says) we make it every day like bread. Why is it that love is supposed to feel like grief? Dylan and I don't have time for that.

I try not to feel guilty for some vague failure, as if we would be better specimens if we loved spending all of our time deciding who will change the sheets and who will clean the bathroom.

I refuse to spend too much time looking backwards. Even as we move back within blocks of our old apartment on 99th St, I know that we would be mistaken to believe that we are trying to go back to the way things were. To put it bluntly, we are better people now. Living together has made us better. 

In my sadness at what we are leaving, Dylan reminds me that the whole apartment building is our house now, with two artists' studios connected by a carpeted stairway. He's christened this new building The Renaissance, for all that we will experience living there. Here. When we dropped off another load of books tonight, I noticed that I'll be able to see into Dylan's kitchen from the sidewalk that runs up to the back door, and this made me happy. And it looks as if my brother will be moving in to the same building.

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

It must be nine years to the day that I moved myself, my loft bed, and my four Superstore plates and four Superstore bowls into the tiny suite on 86th Ave, across the street from Ashleigh's house, where later a Dylan I didn't know yet attended their Infinite Jest book club.

I just came from the walk-through of my new apartment. I arrived with all of our plants in the car. Our bumbling landlord and his wife (?) were 20 minutes late. She spent the whole inspection scurrying around wiping down baseboards and he spent it whining about how the pharmacy was going to close. His eyes and his belly roll in tandem; he has a wild, bleary, sweatpants look about him. If he is dealing prescription drugs I will only be surprised because he does not seem smart enough to avoid getting busted for it. Anyway, I was worried about the plants freezing.