Friday, August 8, 2014

The First Apartment

Interior decorator, I was not, but I still have that comforter.

Nick has called five times today so far. It's the day he's moved into his first apartment.

And I wasn't there. 

No one was.

One of the drawbacks of going to school 1000 miles away means there's no piling up a UHaul trailer full of secondhand furniture and helping him get settled. 

His roommate doesn't move in until Monday, and Ali's family is bringing up some furniture in another weekend to help out. 

But today, tonight, tomorrow, and Sunday, it's him in an empty apartment except for a mattress (just delivered, which he shopped for and bought on his own) and his clothes (no hangars or drawers), not even a trash basket.

He does have his T.V. and game system, which has to sit on the floor. But he can watch Netflix in high definition. 

That's an improvement.

25 years ago, almost exactly, I sat on the floor of my apartment, no couch, a T.V. on the floor, catching all of one, scratchy, squiggly channel out of Austin with antenna extended as far as they would go. I had my bedroom . . .  and four bar stools. 

Marci would arrive the following day, with living room furniture handed down from an aunt, and we'd make it our own. 

But on that night, scrounging around with the one saucepan I had with the couple of bowls I'd brought from my dorm days, I managed a bowl of macaroni and cheese and sat, in the middle of the floor in the dark, watching some show I cannot even remember, with just the light of the television to keep me company.

Rite of passage, I told Nick.

It makes you appreciate everything you left at home, that you took for granted, and that you realize you have to build from scratch, because you are, finally, on your own. 

Later, with Marci's microwave and kettle and breadbox and blender.
But my bar stools and bulletin board, which, strangely, I also still have.


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