The one big thing that happened in the last three months is I got skin cancer, and we bought a house. I know that sounds like two big things, but they happened right on top of each other, so it feels like one really big thing to me. After two surgeries, I am all recovered now and have been declared cancer-free. As for the house, here's the first of a series of entries on the experience.
January 30th, 2010 - apartment vs. house
At 9:30 am, I head to the dairy (aka convenience store) down the street to pick up a banana and tinned fruit salad to go in my morning yogurt. It's already over twenty degrees C, and not a speck of cloud in the bright blue sky. Rarest of all, there's hardly more than a flutter of wind this morning. I have some chewy rye bread at home that I got from the Italian bakery around the corner, with which I intend to make toast with cream cheese. If I were in the new house, I would eat my breakfast at our new outdoor table and chairs, under cover of the umbrella. I would soak in this brilliant summer weather, out in the open air. Maybe I would bring a book.
Through the gate, up the stairs, around the corner, down a dark hallway, and through a door is my apartment. As I walk, I'm thinking about security. Despite the central city location, inside my apartment I feel safe and secure. I leave windows open, even the deck door open. Anyone who would go through the effort of scaling the wall to get to my deck would not be stopped by a locked door anyway. In the new house, I anticipate I might feel a bit... exposed at first. Outside the door, there will just be The Outside, not a series of other doors, some of them locked. I'm thinking about a story I heard, about some tribe living in a dense jungle. If one of them traveled out of that jungle, they would be very disoriented, because they wouldn't be able to focus on anything more than fifteen feet away from them. Because they'd never had to before. Even an anthropologist living with them for any length of time, would find themselves temporarily nearsighted.
Back in the apartment, it's stuffy and warm, even with the lack of sunlight. The living room windows are open, but they all face one way. I open our bedroom window, but the smell of the restaurants behind our building is too much for me. Instead I crack the guest room window, which I normally hate to do because the soot from the car park next door builds up on the window seal so quickly, and Goodness knows how much of it we end up inhaling. But we'll be out of here soon enough, so I'll chance it. In the new house, sunlight is angling in the North-facing windows in the lounge (living room) and master bedroom right now. If we threw open some windows, the worst we'd be facing is a little white noise from the freeway. Probably not much more than the hum of the city I'm hearing from our apartment windows right now.
This Friday the 5th, the new house will be ours. At 4:30pm we will be sitting in the empty house, waiting for the power to be switched on. We'll drink bubbly, and we'll eat take-away, and we'll talk about where we want to put the furniture.
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