Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Playing House


I hold my breath and exhale quickly. There is no way to quell my excitement. It is anxiety. It is genuine giddiness. I couldn't help but smile as I opened the cream pink Westinghouse refrigerator. It was original from when the unit was built. And I had found the place I wanted so badly. I didn't even look at Ciera. I would have broken and given away my thoughts to the world. Vulnerable and exposed. Especially to the older gentleman showing us the place. He spoke of the building with a fondness and familiarity that made the apartment home instantly.

There were flavors of childhood in an empty room. A strange thought for a place that was essentially walls. It was the smell. It had just the right tones of all my favorite relatives' houses growing up in the nineties. I could smell Yae's home, not the heavy distinct smell it normally was, but a subtle variety of it. I missed her instantly.

I missed being too small to navigate stairs without nearly jumping to reach them. It was rainy outside but I could feel the Berkeley sun for a moment. I wanted the place. I wanted it so badly. And I wanted to craft a future out of the bits of my past that I could salvage from the place.

The apartment felt so familiar; the fusing of fragments of forgotten memories into a one bedroom that I had to have desperately.

Ciera and I frantically filled out our applications and wrote the man with the yellow teeth a check for eighty dollars for the processing fee. Relief washed over me for a moment.

But then anxiety crept back; what if we didn't get it? What if it all didn't work out?

Ciera and I ate nachos at the place we had before. The nachos were good and I was happy to be eating something. We watched 12 minutes max at On the Boards. Theater and food and beer and a home. We have to make it happen. We just have to. I risked a lot leaving my friends and family. I am pursuing my dreams and I dreamed of that apartment. I dreamed I lived with Ciera and we were Bohemians in a beautiful city. I dreamed I could do it.

I never want to disappoint my younger self. I am playing house with the girl of my dreams, and living the life I want. I am thankful. I am grateful. I am hopeful. And I want to give it back—if I get the apartment of course.