This is where I wake up. The morning light is awesome. I slip out of bed, tuck my feet into a pair of pale green flower embroidered slippers I got from chinatown years ago, and tiptoe into the kitchen for a warm cup of tea.
All the while I’m being watched. Something happened to Jack when we moved into the new apartment. Maybe he knew boy and I were making things work, maybe he was just happy not to be shuffled back and forth between two apartments, maybe he’s just finally out of his punk adolescent stage, but
he’s cuddlier. Happier. Snugly. And Sunday mornings are his snuggle indulgence. The only time of the week when he is allowed to crawl up in between boy and me in bed and be smushed in between a tangle of blankets.
Weekday schedules are hectic with class, so Tuesday is the one evening a week devoted to cooking a meal and eating together. Other evenings during the week are spent me leaning against the fridge eating saltines and butter and boy mixing nuts from one bag with chocolate chips from another into the palm of his hand before dumping the mix into his mouth while we rush through conversation about how are days have been. I worried when we first moved here. Boy and I talk and talk and talk. I thought the apartment would be too big for us to carry on across room conversations, but we still manage…
This corner of the dining area is coveted. We live on a busy corner and the front of our apartment is open to the world in odd angles along the street – this is the perfect place to sit and watch. In the evenings with the lights on, curtains open, and the rush hour traffic outside, it’s hard to ignore the fact that half of our life is open for viewing. At some point in time, strangers have seen us hugging, dancing, or me picking my nose…
Hardwood floors are new for Jack. The layout of the apartment allows him to run laps from the living room to the hallway, through the kitchen, into the dining area and then into the living room to the hallway… If we get him wired enough, he chases us in circles. If he hears us flip direction when he’s not looking, he does the same. He scampers in place for a good minute trying to turn around and keep his feet under him and the pawing, clawing, scraping is hysterical. He has flipped backwards and slammed down on his side far too many times only to bounce up and play it off. Around bed time, he slides off the couch and has been caught letting his back feet sliiiiiiiiiide along the floor as he pulls himself forward in a long stretch.
And finally, I may complain about being stuck in a closet studying, but when we first saw this apartment boy noticed a curious door off the living room with 2 deadbolts on it. The landlord saw us looking and pointed out that the previous owner had an expensive violin that he locked away in this closet. Inside is a storage shelf, a window, and built-in desk. When I stepped in first I shouted immediately “This is mine!” It’s my study space. I can lock out boy and Jack and focus. It’s my space, not shared space, but my space. And while I thought we were getting a 2 bedroom apartment to ensure we have enough space to breath while we start this new phase in our relationship, all I really need is this closet.