The Next Level

I am in love. I stayed the night.

It was heavenly. This is what I woke up to:

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It happened so unceremoniously. I had so much to do at the house, and I thought it might be a good weekend for an overnight. But Friday evening I had plans, and I’d wanted my first night with the house to feel like the culmination of a super special date night. So I decided that the time was not right.

However when I arrived back at the apartment, I ran into the lady who lives upstairs (with only a wood floor and drop ceiling separating us—except where there is no ceiling at all). She mentioned that she had to get up at six a.m. for work.

The last two nights she’d worked a later shift, and her dog was feeling (and expressing) the pain of loss more intensely than usual. From the time I got home from work until a half hour before bed, Bailey was ballistic. Six and seven hours of it, my only waking non-working hours. Saturdays I normally had some (relative) relief as my neighbor slept in, and there was also a chance she’d stay home for the day and the dog would not shriek and gurgle and cry like a gremlin baby, continuously, in the most distressing manner imaginable.

But she was working, and I was guaranteed to wake to the torture of the sounds of a tortured creature.

Oh, how I long for my mornings. It’s been so long since I’ve spent one leisurely Saturday morning (59 since Superstorm Sandy) with the whole lovely weekend lolling before me waiting lazily to become whatever I’d like.

These days, it’s rarely what I like.

It’s usually here, in this tomb with the stone that has not yet been rolled away. I have collected particles of hope from the few streams of light that find their way in. But I’m underground, and I am not home, and I am encased in sounds that accelerate my decay down here in the dark.

I did not think I could survive another Saturday morning disintegration.  And now, there was running water and a toilet in our house. So late Friday night, in heavy rain, I carried boxes, bags, Lucy’s dog bed, and Lucy out of the apartment and into the car. I drove to our house, backed into the driveway, and I was home. We were home. Not the full we (no Steve; he was working) and not fully home (that will be in due time), but still.

I went to bed in my own house, and woke in my own house. Again, to this:

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I worked in the house all weekend, and was so productive for not having to leave! By the time I packed up to head back for the coming workweek, everything we’d picked up from storage was in its place. Well, its temporary place, anyway. A place that makes sense for now.

Now: I can visit my own home without having to leave to relieve myself. I can bask in the afternoon light before returning here to the pit. I can run wildly from window to window, on two floors, to see the sunset from every angle, every changing minute, breathlessly, Lucy trailing me excitedly. And on days when there has been no construction inside, I can wipe down the walls and dust and vacuum every surface for hours—just for the chance at one night in my own bedroom, and one morning like this:

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Just for one Saturday all laid out before me in my own home, ready to take on the shape I give it, lit up from every angle through 24 wall windows, four door windows, four skylights, and two tube lights.

The house is littered with boxes and tools and coated in dust and covered in paper and sheets and yet it is the happiest place I have ever been. It is not done and there is anger about that and anxiety and sadness about loss, loss of years and days and moments and what they might have been. But when I am there on a date with my house, eating a simple meal and watching the world go by from our shared eye, the southwest window—I am positively giddy that we took it to the next level. I feel only love and light and joy.

I’m in heaven on earth.  Joy to the world!

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3 responses to “The Next Level

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