Thursday, April 8, 2010

Across the Street . . .

. . . is a two-flat. For the past few months, when The Girlfriend and I leave for work, we've seen someone working on the place. Either installing new windows. Painting the overhang. Mending the wood board of the porch. Lacquering the columns on either side of the door.

A For Rent sign appeared last week and we figured it wouldn't hurt to see about the space.

We currently live in a spacious one bedroom on the border of Uptown and Andersonville. At least it was spacious for her and The Cat until I moved in. Then I brought stuff. Not that I packed the joint full. I was able to take my one bedroom apartment and reduce it to things that could be moved in four carloads. Still, the union of two people's live does hell on a place. Moving into someone's home, you feel like a guest for those first few months. Worried that whatever you're putting anywhere is in the way of something else. And though there's a particular joy in having your rent cut in half, there's also the understanding that you'll never be alone again, ever.

She's the first woman I've ever loved enough to want to live with. I felt like moving in was a new stage in my life. A putting away of childish things. A standing up straight. Our generation is one that clings to its youth like none before. Telling ourselves that by still liking the things we did in our youth, we're still not that far removed from those years that were in reality decades ago. So there was something strong in me saying, I'm going on to the next chapter.

Turns out I was completely wrong. Moving in with your girlfriend doesn't make you wiser or more mature. In fact, I devolved by moving in with my girlfriend. I've already forgotten stuff I knew how to do. I've done my own laundry for the past ten years. My laundry was two machines. Towels, jeans, socks in one. Everything else in the other. A cap of Tide in each. Done! Now my laundry is mixed in with things that I'm not even allowed to look at. And I feel like a dick sorting out my clothes to wash while leaving hers in the basket, so I just leave the house when I see she's starting the laundry. I go hang out in a neighboring town. Far enough from the shame. But close enough that it's not too long a drive home.

When I lived on my own, masturbation was something enjoyed at my own time, pace, and leisure. Now, if The Girlfriend so much as leaves the room for longer than a minute - it becomes go time. I've gone back to my junior high self, sweating into a JC Penny catalog, having to fathom some reason why I'm suddenly sweaty and out of breath when she returns with her glass of water.

I sat in the McDonald's parking lot, eating my four double cheeseburgers, listening to the NPR. Chewing each bite slowly. Only to return home and have a light dinner. It's not that she prohibits the consumption of those things marketed as food. It's that there's a shame in eating it. No intelligent person eats fast food. I know it. Even the people that subsist on the dollar menu know that each bite is shaving minutes off their life. When I lived alone, the only person there to pass silent judgment was the door guy. And fuck that guy. He was a dick that never let my friends in the building and made me put on a shirt to come down and meet them. But now it's the person I care the most about. I care what she thinks. So in the parking lot it is. Listening to some folk duo talk about their tour of Tunisia while people walking past stare at me. Slowly chewing.

When I had that allergic reaction last week. She only found peace in being in the same room as me. With her there, I felt safe. I think about a world where we didn't meet. Or one where phone calls went ignored after the first date and I still lived up the street and her apartment was in tact. I can't imagine how miserable it would all be without her. Not just this. Everything. I sit up and give her a hug. She doesn't know why. She looks at me. Confused. Almost worried. I lay back down. She thinks I'm weird. And she's right.

She finally got hold of the guy from across the street. The apartment sounds pretty awesome but it's almost twice what we currently pay. Though that's still less than we were paying when we were on our own.

from AVE to The Girlfriend:

That place does sound awesome. And I like the idea of having the side yard area as well as so much extra room. But even though we were already living in places that cost more separately, I worry that (only speaking for me here) the additional would sort of take away that security/fun monies.

Is there anyway I could continue to pay 400 and you could pay the difference?

She said no. She can also be a total dick, sometimes.


Lucky Punk said...

God, your girlfriend DOES sound like a total dick. I can't believe she didn't jump at the chance to shoulder the burden of the rent. I mean, does she love you or what?
Sweet post.

Commarrah Jewelia said...

I like this blog, a lot. It's refreshing to read something not written by a starving emo twelve year old who uses the interwebs to catalog her caloric intake and post pictures of various toothpicks she wants to look like.
Well done, sir. Well done.