And as much as I love them, no one seems to be backing down on this issue, least of all me.
This afternoon, I came back to the house and found my mother in the driveway looking sad-faced. Once I pressed her, she said, “I don’t want anything to change but we’ve gotta talk to you.”
Really? My father hasn’t spoken to me in three days. He’s already made it clear he’s got nothing left to say to me.
I don’t understand or see their point of view at all. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no reason for this much hassle. After all, if I’m out, I’m out working to make sure they don’t have to pay for my toothpaste, car repairs, socks and briyani. It’s not like I’m out partying or anything like that.
To preserve my own sanity, I know that this is something I have to do.
The apartment I viewed today was in Hamtramck, the most diverse part of town. Flats there are dirt cheap, everything one needs is within walking distance and three major motorways run through it. It’s also close enough for me to visit home when I like but far enough away to put some much needed distance between us.
It’s a 3rd story walk up, the last house on a dead end street. There is a sausage factory across the street. The carpet is cheap and hairball gray. All of the rooms are small, though there is a claw-foot bathtub. The appliances are at least three times older than I am. And the closet has no door. But there are no signs of pests, the tenant that lives underneath is quiet and the house is literally around the corner from the grocery, the hospital/ doctor’s office and the Kingdom Hall. Downtown Detroit is a stone’s throw away as well.
The landlord wants 450 monthly.
The other place I’m interested in is a room in a boarding house around the corner from the flat. It’s about the same price as the one I viewed back in April, but it’s not nearly as rundown. I don’t mind rundown, but this neighborhood has more to do in it, and fewer gunshots at night. I’m supposed to meet with that landlord Saturday afternoon. She shares her name with an Indian god—Shiva. Considering how much Devanagari script I’ve seen on Hamtramck’s streets, it seems fitting somehow.
My mother’s friend Laverne has furniture that I can have once I move out— a table and chairs, some bookshelves. I have a chair and a desk at home with my name on it, as well as 70+ books I also own. There is a mattress that my parents could bear to part with downstairs, but even if they don’t give it to me, I know I can easily get a blow-up one and buy some bedding (and curtains) at Family Dollar. I have six or seven mugs, a dry-erase board, a tea pot and some plates that belong to me. Everything else that I own is miscellaneous— notebooks here,a pair of hand weights there. Everything else that I use at the house can stay.
Besides updating my online shipping address and state paper work (insurance + driver’s lisence), I’m practically ready to go. The flat is practically mine. The landlord likes me. I have to see this other place before I make a final decision, but it seems like this is the month I finally freaking move out. I’ve also taken care of some minor repairs on my car this week too, so I’m not really concerned about that. As long as it still works, I’ll still drive it.
Why have I been working so much? Mostly to distract myself.
I finally had a long talk with Dante the other night. We had one night together before we decided to put that side of our relationship on indefinite hold. I’m not hurt about it, honest. I think it’s great that both of us can be mature enough to take care of this without falling out.
But I will never forget how my heart ached, just a tiny little bit, when it was time for me to go. He invited me in to say goodbye. He wanted me to stay, but I insisted that it wasn’t proper for me to do so. After all, it was 2 in the morning…and his mum was upstairs.
“All right.” he said, quietly. “I guess I’ll see you later then.”
“Sure, dear. You will.”
We gazed at each other for a short while. Then I walked up to him and embraced him. Our bodies close, our breath practically still, my heart galloping in my chest, I whispered to him “Good night.” I rested my nose on his shoulder and breathed him in. His arms enveloped me as I took another breath. I stood on tiptoe, leaned in and kissed his cheek. He kissed me back, with no hesitation, and with tenderness.
After wards, he let me run off into the night, but called me so that I’d stay awake during the long jaunt on the motorway.
He called me yesterday, and I called him today. Practically nothing has changed about the way we talk to each other, except his voice has lost a little bit of the lilt he used to have. Mine has lost a little bit of the huskiness I use with him.
He has comforted me during this month. His warm embrace has made me (almost) forget how it felt to bury my face in Sal Paradise’s shoulder. Dante’s laugh has almost drowned out the sound of Sal’s voice when he would say my name. Holding Dante’s hand underneath the stars has almost erased the memory of how Sal would flush red all over when I wore seamed stockings.
Almost. Almost. Almost.
But not quite.
My heart has fresh stitches, however. The softness of his lips against my cheekbone was the thread of those stitches, along with his soft-loud laugh and the way his eyes soften when he looks at me. I feel like healing is possible, now that I’ve had a foretaste of love.
It’s not that mushy kind, either. It’s the “I-don’t-care-if-your-hair-is-frizzy-today-I-have-so-much-fun-with-you” kind. It’s the “we-can-talk-about-this-embarrassing-thing-because-I-know-for-sure-you-won’t-judge-me” kind. It’s the “Oh-wow!-you-too?” kind. It’s the we-laugh-play-dance-sing-badly-and-love-every-second kind.
What can I say? I’ve been left only with love. I hope for permanence soon, just not today or tomorrow.
It sort of feels like Brief Encounter, only no regrets
This adulthood thing sure is hard. Do the choices ever get easier?