So as I’ve mentioned at length, I moved house last weekend.
Now, instead of a ground-floor studio with (blissfully) separate bathroom and kitchen, I’m in a top-floor apartment with four rooms – bed, bath, kitchen, office – that are each the size of my old place.
Needless to say, this is an unbelievable upgrade. Some mornings I just walk out of my bedroom, make breakfast, then stop at the entrance to the living room and just stare dumbfounded. There’s a great big sectional couch, as well as the recliner I brought with me from my old place, and I literally can’t decide where I should sit. Talk about spoiled for choice.
Of course, there’s a flip side to having enough space to comfortably sleep 10 people, and that’s that there are a lot of nooks and crannies in the place that I can’t immediately see. At my old place, I could see the whole apartment from basically any vantage point. There was no way anyone could hide in it, because who can hide in a shoebox? (For the record, I quite liked the shoebox.)
But coming home from work at 10:30 p.m. for the first time to the new apartment provided me with some great fuel for my overactive, horror-story-reading imagination. I’m trying to keep my electricity use to a bare minimum, so that my landlord doesn’t jack up my rent accordingly since I bargained him down so hard on the whole “all utilities included” deal, so I only leave one lamp on when I leave for work. That means I come home to an extremely dark house, with many rooms and hiding places, with a floor that’s creaky in many different places. SPOOKY.
Back home, between my senior year of college and 2013, I lived in eight different houses and apartments in nine and a half years, somehow. I’m pretty accustomed to moving, but that never makes it any easier.
One of the best parts of the whole process is the first couple of weeks in the new digs, determining where everything is going to go and how to configure the contents of the kitchen cabinets, the storage areas, where to hide all the furniture that was already here when I arrived that I don’t actually want to use (answer: in the spare room)?
Given my work schedule, and general apathy for doing anything before work other than go to the gym, I’m yet to unpack most of the belongings I’ve accumulated over the past six months in Augusta.
There’s not a lot, but it’s still more than I can be bothered arranging. The kitchen is all set, and the bathroom is adequately stocked, but aside from that I couldn’t give a damn. I’ll be rummaging through suitcases for clean shirts for another month, I’d say. In fact, the only reason I even set up my desk today was because it was either that or drag my hungover ass in to the office to do my overtime shift. Yeahno.
Of course, the benefits of my new digs grossly outweigh the downsides, especially when it comes to the intangibles. Yesterday I went down to Lewiston for the awesome Great Falls Brew Fest with a couple of coworkers, and when I got home around 6:00 p.m. I was ready to crash in a big way.
But as I was walking up my steps to the front door, one of my new neighbors popped her head out, asked what I was up to later in the evening, and invited me to join them on the front porch for margaritas later. While I probably didn’t need more booze, it was a difficult offer to turn down, and sure enough by 8:00 p.m. we were all watching the sun go down behind Howard Hill with cocktails in hand.
The weather ended up getting a little cooler late in the evening (I could see my breath, in June: what the HELL, Maine?), so we all retired to my apartment to watch a movie (I think it was a movie, or maybe it was a TV show; I was kinda drunk by that stage.) And it was a strangely pleasing feeling to be “hosting” people or, more accurately, it was strangely pleasing to be able to host people in a manner that doesn’t require someone to sit on a bed and another to stand by the door.
Every time I’ve moved house over the years, I’ve thought to myself, “this is the year. THIS time I will be on friendly terms with the neighbors, and perhaps even interact with them socially.” And despite the best of intentions, and a couple of weird drunken paths crossed, it’s never actually happened.
But this time, within minutes of me pulling up to move my stuff in, one of my new neighbors was out on the stoop asking me whether I’d like any help carrying furniture upstairs and then, an hour later, bringing me a pile of home-baked cookies, Rice Krispy Treats and cupcakes to say welcome to the building. How good is that?
Of course, that just confirms my suspicion that Maine’s conspiring against my waistline. Like I need ANOTHER source of delicious calories that are impossible to turn down.