Have you ever lived alone? With a roommate? With a lover? With a husband? A Wife?
I’m thinking of all the places I’ve called home – some proudly so, some perhaps a bit reluctantly. The first time I moved out of my parents’ I was…well I think I was eighteen. That sounds right. I moved in with one of my brothers because his roommate was moving out and it just made sense. Kind of like baby steps. I adore my brother, but I’m fairly sure that although living with him was like THE coolest thing ever to me, he probably wanted to strangle me. I cooked fish without opening the kitchen (and every other) window, I let bathroom-cleaning duties fall by the wayside, I constantly used his Old Spice deodorant and his Paris Hilton for Men cologne, and generally was just a messy little piglet relishing in my newfound freedom. Whatever, we still love each other. More so now that those years are behind us.
After my brother got engaged to the lovely Sarah, I left the lovebirds to the apartment and moved in with my friend Marissa and a girl we found on Craigslist. We had a gorgeous townhome with hardwood floors, enormous walk-in closets, a cozy brick fireplace, and an awesome little patio where I grew basil and strung up pretty white lights. Marissa was basically as messy as I was, if not more so, and I felt right at home. We doubled our wardrobe and spent ninety percent of our time watching Will & Grace re-runs and nursing massive hangovers.
I honestly can’t remember why I moved out, but I think we had a bit of a spat and I hated her for like two months or something so I moved back in with my parents for a hot minute before schlepping my belongings to an apartment on Blanton Street with Hallie and my best friend Diane. Ah yes, Blanton….a funny little apartment with mold in the walls, cracked-out neighbors, and a mean Chinese landlord. We hung my grandma’s chandelier, painted a wall red, and I grew tomatoes on the balcony. I was living here when Mike and I started dating. The first night he slept over, he accidentally found the hatchet I kept in my nightstand and probably thought twice about ever talking to me again.
Mike was then living in a loft in downtown Los Angeles, a place I would soon think of as my second home. I loved that loft. I loved that the building was a really, really old bank with a vault and old elevators. I loved the high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and spiral staircase. I loved the view from the deck, and the nights we spent drinking wine and talking until 3 am.
The next year, I moved into my first ever all-by-my-self studio cottage. No roommates. Wyatt and I could walk around naked and watch whatever we wanted on TV. My grandma’s chandelier again lit up the room, and the French doors opened up to my very own little backyard. And while I basked in the glory of my very own place, Mike moved to Marina Del Rey and settled in a brand-new community right on the harbor. There was an ever-present salty ocean breeze, a big kitchen, and a nice gym. Again, we commuted an hour back and forth, making memories in each home.
Now here we are, scouring Craigslist in search of our first apartment together. A little nest. Finally, coming home to each other every night. No more “my house” “your house”. My side of the bed will only be in one bed. I won’t have to pack parmesan cheese in my overnight bag because he never has any at his house. We can hang pictures on the walls and we can still walk around naked because there will never be roommates to think of ever again ever. I have never been more excited to move.
Where have you lived? What walls have you known and what have those walls known about you?