your first glimpse into my new life

18 06 2010

lunch today is me on the open porch of our second-story apartment, where the cat is free to roam out onto the roof when he wants to (he’s too old and too smart to jump), watching butterflies and bees in the pollen-heavy blossoms of the huge linden tree out front, just a few feet out of reach, eating buttered greens on toast with English mustard and sipping slightly sweetened chamomile-and-black iced tea. wolf_majas‘s coffee mug and power cord are still here with me, relics of his morning stint of article-writing (and scores-watching), but he caught a ride in to campus with sangeethadevi, who had stopped by to drop off a key for ccangels and gossip a little about last night’s inebriated exploits of nellthegreat, whom she and Matt together failed to rouse an hour ago, even with the combined forces of their text messaging. she also got the not-done-yet tour, but i’m not posting pictures until a few more Piles Of Random Crap are taken care of and one or two more home-defining artifacts positioned on the walls. we could, perhaps, get most of that settled this afternoon, but we’ll have to see; there’s an England match on in an hour, and we don’t have cable, so we’ll be “down at the local,” him hollering at the screen & wearing a flashy red jersey, and me smirking and shaking my head indulgently (probably bored; i wasn’t during the last one, but that time i had a kid to play with).

just after they left, appalachienne, now downstairs rather than next door, knocked on the back-stair, inside, kitchen door to ask if she could come peer out the back room windows into the tall grass of her own backyard; one of Escher’s shoes had disappeared, she explained, and she was hoping an arial view might make the difference (it didn’t). it does afford a lot more sky to watch than i could see for the four years i lived downstairs, giant linden tree notwithstanding. the porch’s other attributes include a loveseat abandoned by the old residents, Mom’s adirondak chairs, a few plastic ones i brought along, Matt’s little grill, a small dumpster-dived cabinet full of garden-stuff, 3 old windchimes, a birdfeeder, and the remains of the “garden”–a potted azalea, a small potted rosemary, three tiny sprouts each of thyme, basil, chive, and parsley, five or six of reluctant cilantro, and a birdcage full of thriving mint. there were baby pepper plants a few days ago, but the survivors were moved into the house after a cheeky black squirrel ran off with one whole. there are also the oldest and newest members of the flora family: a small, squashed-looking, lopsided cactus i think i’ve been moving–still green, and still hardly growing–since college, and “Bruno,” a young offshoot of a snake-plant Shawn has been moving since college (and giving away occasional offshoots from, all of which retain their family name).

as for the fauna family, we’re slightly-more-than-half-the-time three, me, Matt, and Piddy-the-cat, but we’re also sometimes four, when Caleb comes, sometimes for a few hours and sometimes for the day, and now that most of the boxes are unpacked and we’ve acquired a baby-gate to block of parts of the house to give the aged feline a break, we’re due for an upgrade to sometimes five, as the small boy’s mom says he’s happiest going places when he gets to bring the dog. sometimes the cat will come and sit with us beside the baby boy, when he’s calm enough to apply the lesson taught to him by the cat–“pet the cat, don’t poke the cat, or the cat will bite you”–but i’m not holding my breath that Pids will want to curl up with Maggie any time soon. post-OTP, we’re going to start working our way up to adding a fish tank by way of stirring up a batch of sea monkeys to see how they do. his room is blue, with his new wooden trains on the floor, a dragon-blanket on the bed, and a donated collection of my old books and stuffed animals on the shelves beside a picture of him with his mother in an “i love my mommy” frame she sent along on visit #1. apparently she expected me to resist this, but that’s because she doesn’t know me very well; if she hadn’t sent it, i was going to frame one of her for him myself.

last week we had a lot of Caleb, because he was sick and cranky (but not contagious) and his mom couldn’t bear the tantrums of sending him to day care, & on our third day in a row of canceling our grown-up plans (hardware-store trips, grocery shopping, a kitchen-scouring of the old apartment) to play with trains instead, i invited Escher up to join in, and we practiced a couple hours’ worth of having two two-year-olds–a process that turned out to involve settling a number of disputes about crayons and trains, playing chase in circles around the living room chairs, and sitting all together on the guest-bed watching stop-animation of Where the Wild Things Are sharing toast and cheesy-eggs (on plates for the bigs and in bowls, toast cut into sticks, for the wees). in between the hours dominated by His Royal Imperiousness, we’ve been sorting boxes, shoving books all out-of-order onto shelves, hanging pictures on our freshly-painted (thanks to Annabel and me and Matt and Sarah but mostly Shawn) walls, trying to get desks and shelves arrayed into workable positions–somebody’s got a dissertation to finish this summer, and it isn’t me–and cooking-slash-experimenting with a seemingly neverending supply of CSA greens (hence the lunch menu), then doing heaps of dishes.

we haven’t roamed very far–campus and back, food, stuff, and hardware stores, the bagel shop, the library–prioritizing nest-building so as to get back from Raleigh to a fully home-like home that Matt can write in, and I can edit in and glut myself on fiction in until school starts in August, when I’m planning to double my adjuncting commitments in honor of living with fewer sources of income and more mouths to feed and thus may never see daylight again (it’ll be winter in Syracuse, though; nobody sees much daylight anyway). in the meantime, nest-building is physical and practical, but also emotional, conversational, confrontational, arduous, and good. last night we missed Lauren’s drag show in honor of staying home to fight. Matt will hate that i told you that, and i’m not going to tell you much more about it–it doesn’t matter who said what, what it was about, in what order, who started it, who followed whom into which room to say whatever else, who threw the stuffed animal (okay, that was me). that stuff never really does matter. what matters is that i say this much: we stay home to fight sometimes, because we’re fighters, both of us: fiercely emotional people whose hearts bruise easily & who are fast to get our backs up over it. anybody who’s known me long (or god forbid tried dating me) already knows this about me anyway, & here’s the reason i’m risking ire by outing Matt: he’s only the second person i’ve ever wholly trusted enough to really fight with like we fight, trusted to know that i’m always safe, i’m always loved, and in return my love is always wanted, no matter how hurt or mad we get within the words and moments. the first one is my dad. & so that’s part of why, even at its yelliest, i’m calling this place “home.”




One response

8 07 2010

Happy Birthday Love

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