The setting: an apartment that's too small. The characters: A woman and her dog, mortal enemies by the cruel providence of a cross-country move and an unsold house, that's now been sold but wasn't by the crucial moment of moving, necessitating this in-between "homestead" that was definitely made for one person, or maybe two, but certainly not two and a half, and a dog. The dance: the woman and the canine try to avoid each other but cannot; his fur flying everywhere, into socks and shoes and drains and newly cleaned counters and drawers; his dumb dog butt taking up the entire hallway as she attempts to bring out the laundry basket and doesn't see him below her, causing her to stumble, he screeches, pride wounded, but no wiser about stashing his dumb hairy self a little off to the side next time. Her toe is stubbed; temper rising melodramatically.
It's cramped in here.
My other little creature is slowly learning to talk, and more quickly learning how to manipulate me with her little whimpers and huge blue eyes. She started saying "mama" this past week and I'm absolute toast, all my determination to help her "learn to go to bed on her own" out the window because the second I put her down and her tiny, sing-songy and terribly dramatic little "mama"s start floating down the (too-short) hallway to the (cramped) couch I'm up and back in the bedroom, picking her up for a long rocking sesh. How could I deny the "mama"s?? YOU try.
Our old house sold almost immediately after we got here, and that is such a gift. We've saved so much money and angst. On top of that, we found a dreamy little brick house in the neighborhood to top all neighborhoods (library and giant historic bookstore within walking distance), and there's plenty of room for both woman and beast (and husband and babe) and even more, and we close on said storybook house at the end of this week. Lots to be grateful for, sighs of relief to sigh and hands to high five and gratitude journals to fill (who actually does this?)
Still, it's too cramped in here.
I miss my friends. The ones who would cry tears of joy with me at the "mama"s (and who did, honestly, over the phone, but it's not the same). I miss the ones who make us carnitas at 9 pm, patiently waiting for my evening run to finish and for us to zip over in our pajamas with wet hair and huge appetites and hearts convinced we deserve a weekday night beer (or three) with our Mexican pork. I miss the ones who run into the Church building Sunday morning, faces lighting up when we see each other like it's been more than four days, talking too loud about how we love each others' outfits and how work sucks and isn't this summer way too hot? I miss the ones with the cutest babies who watch the garbage men and love donuts and in fact, shall we stop over to Bosa and pick up a dozen on this lazy Saturday morning?
My days now are somewhat formulaic, and the formula is actually full of ingredients I like: coffee in the morning, an episode of something funny on Hulu while baby bounces in her little playset, then we eat (sweet potatoes are YES, JUST THE WORLD-EXPANDING SNACK WE WERE WAITING FOR), then we read books and play just before our nap while Mom e-mails and writes and reads, and then we cook dinner or go to the park or call desert friends or write sad letters to desert friends. These are all lovely things, but they're lonely too.
Our best friend is off at meetings during the week, driving everywhere and making friends and charming the pants off anyone who looks at him for more than 15 seconds, including your humble correspondent who doesn't get to hug his neck enough these days but loves counting down the hours until she gets to.
It's too cramped in here, both apartment and brain. We miss our friends but love the autumn, and we're so grateful for this apartment because so many mamas and babies and charming men and annoying dogs don't have a place to lay their heads, but we want more space and to be able to find all the cutlery. And now you're up to speed.