It’s been sneaking up on me.
I’m walking out the door and as I turn to lock it, I stop to watch how the light comes in and floods the rose-colored carpet. I turn the key and walk down the halls, out through the stained glass door with the big rose etched on it. I step down the marbled entrance stairs where there is a triangular piece out of place from where it broke a few years back. I turn the corner to the driveway and see the tow signs on the side of building where someone crossed out and added letters so it says Los Manos. I back out and drive away into my day.
Every day is closer to the last.
I’m headed home from the office and the drive is automatic for me. I think about how I will have to learn a new route, that my timing will be off for a while not knowing the way like I do now. I’ll find a new grocery store and get lost in the aisles. It’ll be harder for me to get to as many dance classes. We’ll have to make a point of going to our favorite restaurants instead of just, on the spur of the moment, walking to one of them from our apartment. I’ll miss the familiarity of my neighborhood which only six years ago was a complete mystery to me.
This neighborhood is where I became a Seattleite.
The cats are confused as the boxes pile up. Are these our new toys? They wonder and climb. Soon we’ll be up to eyeballs in boxes. The shelves will be empty. The walls bare. And we’ll be sleeping in our bed, in our first apartment together, for the last night. Typing that makes me tear up.
I’ve been avoiding feeling sad because I don’t like good-byes or endings.
Mr. Darcy is often the one who can access his emotions easiest in this relationship. As we were packing a box the other night he stopped and said, “I need a hug.” I tried to brush it off as him being a sap (he’s frequently a sap) but I envy that he can feel sad and ask for comfort. Me? I make a plan. A list. I forge ahead. No time for feeling! Let’s get this done! It’s a ruse. You knew that though. And so does he. Especially when I tell him I’ve scheduled my tears for around noon on June 8th (when we’ll likely be leaving this place for the last time).
I’m trying to make room amidst the feelings of excitement and joy while I feel the fear and sadness because they are all here and they are true even in their contradictions.
I’ve loved this apartment. As Mr. Darcy aptly tweeted the other night, “I’m going to miss this apartment. This is where I found love. The BIG one.” (See the sap level I am dealing with?) It’s true – this is the place where we had our first kiss, where he first told me he loved me, where we fought and made up and have chosen each other every day. This place is the beginning of our love story. I pack up our belongings and tuck away the many memories of this well-loved place so I can have them with me always.
Home isn’t necessarily just a place but it’s also the life and people that inhabit it. With Mr. Darcy, Dot, and Dash, I’ll always be home no matter where we are.