The first night was the strangest, perhaps because it was so abrupt in its motion, aloft in the air and rolling across the dark highways to retrieve necessities, that I had the sensation of outrunning a great, powerful beast, slamming the door shut and enveloping myself in the sweet, stale scent of leftover cigarette smoke and chipped mirrors before it could open its jaws and swallow me whole.
I have retreated to a new space. Like a lover, I am learning its quirks by the day. How the oven knobs are sticky in the morning, but loosen up at night. The shower nozzle spits water out with the force of a prison hose, but it is hot and soothes my forehead and wipes me clean. The top shelves of the cabinet are useless without a stepstool. My list of things I need grows longer, my anxiety ebbs and I can feel myself sinking back to a better place.
I am greedy in my affections. I claim the floors and walls and freezer space, luxuriating in the notion that all of this space is mine and mine alone. I look out at the vast expanse of trees in the backyard and stand at the fluorescent-lit bathroom mirror with my arms crossed, my face bisected by the uneven vanity doors. All of this is mine.
My fantasies can tell I’ve regressed, a little. The joy I used to feel leaping over my 20’s is now settling back in, rolling into the Ikea-furnished, clearance sticker days with no thread count and no end in sight. And yes, it makes me a little sad. I am living within my means and I can’t help but sigh a little. For the moment, there will be no lazy Bauhaus and bombastic Bose afternoons by the snow. My dreams of mid-century modern and Danish daybeds will have to wait for a time when I can afford them, but even as I lay on my air mattress, I can feel myself moving. My molecules are insistent, they will not be stopped.