I’m sitting upstairs in my new bedroom in our new house. After eight months in an apartment complex I called the “California Projects” for many reasons, most recently a murder in the apartment above us, it feels good to be in a house. A real house. There’s a yard and a small playground. My room has a bay window; something I fantasized about having as a child, and now at 28, my window dreams came true. There are men downstairs installing the floors and speaking in Spanish. In typical white girl fashion, I say Hola! and ¿Cómo estás? and that is all I know so that is the end of the conversation. They are nice. I wish I could creep on their conversations, but I chose French in college which, outside of my semester in France, I never ever speak. Except for my dreams and a French dude I sat next to on the plane last time I flew.
The people who lived here before us hadn’t paid their house note in two years. They are one of thousands among Southern California and America whose eyes were bigger than their wallets. Their inability to pay made for a steal on the house but an insane amount of paperwork and complicated buying contingencies. After a lot of back and forthing, Amelie and Keegan got the house, and then tore out all the ugly stuff. Right now we don’t really have a downstairs with floors, or a kitchen or a living room. So I hang out in the yard with Monty and notice that when the old tenants kids were younger they carved their names into the cement on the side of the house. I feel a little bad. I’m sure when they moved in however long ago they figured this would be their house for life. But I guess it’s a lesson thousands of Americans learned these past few years. It makes me afraid of money. Which is fine because I don’t have any.
I mark this move as a symbol of better things to come. The last apartment was both literally and figuratively dark. There was definitely not enough windows and the light that shown in my bedroom came from fluorescent bulbs that burned in the corridor outside my room. Yellow and artificial. I spent my sickest days ever there. On the couch or in my bed. And those steep stairs you had to walk down to get to our place–my God I hated those stairs. Each one I cursed when I walked them and my legs were shaking with weakness. Screw you screw you screw you screw you screw you. All the way to the bottom. Or the top. Didn’t matter, I hated those stairs, and Sunday was the last day I had to walk them. I flipped them off from the car as I drove away from that apartment. In my mind that song “Movin’ On Up” played in my head and I hoped that this literal upgrade would also be the symbolic mark of how all of our lives turned around. How once we moved, everyone got everything they ever wanted. But even I know that’s not how it looks. Still, a girl can dream. Only good things here. Leave all the crappy stuff at the bottom of the stairs or in my old closet with the broken door.
Now we’re in real Suburbia. A three car garage and neighbors that say “Welcome to the Neighborhood!” You can hear kids playing outside and there are minivans and such. It’s a nice street in a nice neighborhood and you don’t have to go down any stairs to get in. Now when my large and loud family visits, there will be room for us- presuming we don’t all spit out a baby in the next nine months. But hey, you never know. Although last time I checked you have to have sex in order to have a kid, so, you know, I’M GOOD THERE. Monty is my one and only, and he’s happy to sleep on the floor. Here’s some pictures from the heart of the burbs. Enjoy.
Health, Happiness, Suburbia
11 thoughts on “That New House Smell.”
dude, taking out the prairie and putting in astroturf. yea!
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cue the applause!!
Much Love Marie !
Are you in So.Cal? You should do a lil’ coffee/bloggie meet up
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I’ve been wanting to pave my backyard and paint it green for years now. But my wife won’t let me. Sigh.
Astroturf kind of freaks me out, but I would not hold it against the neighbors. May you have many blessings in your new home.
I’m happy for you, of course — but I think I’m even happier for Monty!
I’m so glad you’re in a new place, bright, warm, & full of hope.
But I have to say.. that picture of the neighbor’s yard with the astroturf? LOL, I’m suddenly seeing the scene from Beetlejuice, the tree’s almost an exact match for the one in the little model that Alec Baldwin’s character made! *snort*
Gorgeous picture of Monty , I am sure you will both be really happy and at peace their xxxxx
I was assisting in bankruptcy cases for a few months. It brought me down, I became very depressed. And I decided to stop being a volunteer there. It was good to study English there but I lost that feeling “joy of life” completely!
I’m so happy for you! And for Monty who looks so happy, it warms my heart (I have a black lab too :D).
I related to this so much. I’m currently trying to find a new place to land, after years of living in a place I call the Cave. I never wanted to live here, but my landlord filed bankruptcy on my last place–which meant I had to move because they foreclosed on her. I took the easy, cheap way out. Which was both good and bad. A three year relationship ended right before I moved. I lost my job a week after moving here–then was laid off from two others over the course of 3 years. I spent 2/3 of my time here wondering how I’d pay rent. I started and ended two relationships…endured lots of conflict with my roommate, mostly because of space constraints and just getting on each other’s nerves because there was no where for either of us to really go while we were here. Life has been relatively stable for little over a year (no love to speak of, but I have a job now that pays everything). It’s almost as if places absorb everything good and bad about our lives. It’s nice to move on. Hope your new place feels like home.