Tuesday, June 2, 2009

let's make a circle

I put all my stuff in boxes, moved them 26 blocks directly eastward and up a flight of stairs, and then disassembled them all. This new room looks a lot like my old room. In fact, these are the same things in it that I have used since college or, in some cases, for as long as I can remember. The blankets on my double bed are for the twin bed I grew up with, and even though I read these books years ago I continue to schlep them around with me, move after move after move.

This move was precipitated by the motive: I want some sunlight to call my own. Really, that's all. My old landlord didn't believe me. "Come on, Julia! You knew the room didn't have a window when you moved in!" he said. Which is true. I had also never lived in a room without a window, and so I resolved to call it cozy and secluded and did so for 2 years. Now feeling that enough is enough, I have some natural light to call my own.

An amazing thing happened this morning. Despite the fog and general dreariness at 7am, after getting dressed I opened my blinds, and turned off the overhead light. Packed my bag through the gray light coming through, yes, my window.

I have come to accept the fact that anything within my price range will come with at least one quirk. The ones from my old place: no window, no closet, small space below ground. The most noticeable of this place: street noise, unusual flatmate, small space.

Small, well, I do live in San Francisco. We pay a lot for the atmosphere, I suppose, not how much space we can claim to shove full of stuff we can claim.

Street noise: I live in the hub of the Sunset District - on 9th Avenue in between Irving and Judah. The N Judah train goes by my window, so does a bus. So do many pedestrians, coming and going from the various cafes, restaurants, and bars all within half a block of where I am.

There are times in the past that I would see someone going in to an apartment on a busy street and dream about the romanticism of it, of having a private space in the middle of a public meeting ground. And here I am.

Also, my desk is under my window and I can look out at everyone and wonder about their lives. My flatmate says that when the brewery across the street was open you could wave at the people drinking on the second floor. (Much to what would be my father's disappointment, the brewery across the street is now closed.)

Quirk 2: unusual flatmate. A writer/artist/activist/athiest/vegetarian (fish ok), 40ish year-old man who I really enjoy being around. I don't think everyone would get along with this eccentric character, but I'm enjoying the San Franciscianity of him. My new living room is full of his art, books, and... well... other stuff. Books on food, books on graphic design, books on religion, books on travel - some of which he's written.

So, this is me now. Tonight I unpacked a few more boxes, pumped up my exercise ball, and drank wine out of my watter bottle. Tomorrow I'm moving my kitchen and the few remaining other things from my old place, then I will asses what if any dishes I need - maybe I'll buy a wine glass. Maybe I'll buy 2 wine glasses and plan for visitors!

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