In August, I moved to what I like to call my "bachelor pad." It's where I entertain the ladies, eat take-out, and let things get as messy as I want.
The "ladies" consists entirely of Clementine, my take-out is an occasional splurge at the local Thai restaurant, and "as messy as I want" is not messy at all (I sweep every other day).
My apartment on Park Street marks my first apartment I've ever lived in alone; while I did live alone in the studio in France, I had a lot of guests, and I hardly call sleeping in a room the size of my current bathroom "living alone."
It's an odd thing, living alone. No roommates, no boyfriend. Most often, it is startlingly refreshing. Not only has the bathroom door rarely been closed in the two months I've lived here, but my electric bill is down 80% because I don't have a television or gaming systems! (okay I made that statistic up. But it is much cheaper.)
On the other hand, not having a roommate or someone to come home to other than an unruly cat who tries to trip you until you feed her, means paying all the bills alone, rattling around a large apartment for hours, and often talking to that unruly cat. I also, despite my love of cooking elaborate meals, tend to lapse in my culinary and gastronomical talents. Like, we're talking lunch is four cherry tomatoes and a hardboiled egg lapse. Like, we're talking dinner is a weird mixture of black beans, romano cheese (the cheddar was gone! what can I say?), and sriracha folded into a corn tortilla kind of lapse. I've always known that my penchant for kitchen crusades required an audience and multiple mouths to feed, but I didn't really expect to be eating roughage and squirrel food when left to my own devices.
It's also led to a regression to childhood fears of those things that go bump in the night. You know, serial killers and the like. I spent the first month in my apartment having vivid obsessive images of a ghost sitting in my desk chair, watching me sleep. I avoid what I've come to call my murder basement at all costs--unfortunately this is where my oil tank, my hot water heater, and my circuit breaker reside. I do not know where the light switch is, and as Ian got the flashlight in the divorce, I will only go down there in the daytime. With a large, intimidating man with me. And, as I don't really know many large, intimidating men in New Hampshire, I have gone in to the basement only a handful of times. There is an old abandoned tricycle in one corner.
I also tend to avoid the two holes in my apartment that lead directly to the basement. There's the one round hole stamped out of my bedroom floor (it's now covered by a box), and then there are the faux-drawers underneath my bathroom sink that seem to be an erstwhile laundry chute.
I spend as little time as possible in the shared inner entryway/mud room outside my front door. Not only does the mudroom house the door leading to my murder basement, it also contains the lingering smells from my upstairs neighbors' ambiguously ethnic cooking. And they linger. And linger. Eight in the morning is not a normal time to smell those kinds of smells...
What I've left out, of course, is the good stuff. The quirks and idiosyncrasies that make a place worth living in, instead of just the ones that make living there vaguely terrifying. There are wood paneled walls, and the kitchen floor is covered in possibly the most hideously beautiful orange linoleum you've ever seen. The hardwood floors everywhere else are old and still shiny, and the consecutive squares in the pattern of the bedroom's wood floor is much better than simply laying the wood slats side by side. The light switch and outlet covers are inexplicably jeweled, and the baseboard heating makes the apartment go from 60 to 70 in fifteen minutes flat.
And--most importantly--it's mine. Despite the ghost in my desk chair and the water that scalds your hands unless you tweak the knobs to just the exact temperature, it's home.