The First of Many Moving Musings

The Move is on.
Tears of over-whelmitude and financial freak-out have already been shed.
The lamest game of insecure girls everywhere has begun: "Okay. Pretend you're me."

I need someone to find places for me and then I can go, "Oh I love this! I want to live here!" My favorite apartment, ever, EVER of all time was located by Chippers and it was awesome.
It was like, the best time in my life so far to live there.
Perfect neighborhood, big windows, great landlord, boyfriends and friends and two porches and big old wooden stairs....

When I think I am about to give up looking, that I'll cave and go to a complex that, while full of amenities, isn't in a cute trendy neighborhood and doesn't have a whole lot of charm.
When I think about doing that, I think about the place on Fayette and how great life was when I lived there.

And no, where you live isn't what makes you happy, I get that, but life was sort of charmed when I lived there.
I had this job where I was never allowed to work over 40 hours but I traveled a lot so I would often be at 40 hours by Wednesday afternoon.
I'd come home and I loved coming home to that place, watching out the big window in my room to see who would pull up and stop at the curb into front of the house. I'd change into into these army green pants from The Gap, pretty much every afternoon that I got sent home from work for being at 40 hours. They had been Chips' but I over-took them.
I'd put them on and go out on the porch and wait for various friends or co-workers to stop by and smoke cigarettes with me on their way to appointments or the bar or home. One time, I reconnected with a long-lost high school friend who happened to drive by and happened to look over and happened to see me on the porch in my trusty green pants with my boyfriend and my best friends.

This was right around the time that I lost the bulk of the weight that made me actually fat. This was right after the last time I was ever a size 14. If you're about to throw your hands up and go THAT'S NOT FAT, keep in mind that I am hella short, people. I have good posture but I am fighting for 5'2. It was fat, trust me.
But it was a lot gone when I moved into that house on Fayette.

I lived there when I met Steve and I remember those very early nights when he would come over, before we went places together, before we went upstairs, when he was stuck in my living room and an evening ended with making out and giggling - flirting him out the door. I lived there when I fell in love with Steve, before anything else unfolded and before I had any idea of Arizona, rollerderby, cubicles, Hondas, dogs, or dui charges.

Steve had this digital camera, and this was back when they were kind of new, you know? Like you could get them but to get one that was good, you had to have money that needed to be spent on something for sophisticated photography needs.
Steve of course had one or his boss did or something.

I remember this one night in my living room. I was wearing these jeans that were an impossibly small size and a pink long-sleeved thermal shirt that I still have, although it's long-since faded to less pink and more orangey-white.

It wasn't really late and it must have been in the Fall because we took up in the Fall. The sun had just gone down to the point of being down for good, that kind of dark blue with a yellowish haze that happens before the stars come out. I hadn't turned on any lights in the living room yet because it would have changed the feeling too much. Sometimes, don't you just want to suck up every single molecule of the mood in a moment that you know you will love intensely for the rest of your life? Those are the times when you don't go put on a different album because the other one is over or turn on the lights just because the last of the daylight is firmly gone.

Anyway, Steve had his camera. I didn't really want my picture taken. I wasn't used to looking good in pictures, it had been a really long time since I looked genuinely good in pictures.
He took this picture and he probably didn't know it but I was FREAKING OUT inside. I was laughing but mostly to cover up the edge of tears from being so nervous at having to see a picture. The picture probably doesn't exist anymore.
But it was so cool because I was slightly over-exposed from the flash being the only light in a dark room. I was sitting on the arm of the couch and my face was reaching out of the frame because I think I was reaching up to move him so the picture couldn't be taken.
All that was in the frame was my torso and crossed legs and I wasn't ugly or fat - I looked normal-sized, with normal curves and normal everything. That was new to me, and the over-exposure fit the moment of a night when for a second, I felt terrified by and ripped open by my nervous self-consciousness but when it was over, I was looking at a really pretty figure. When it was over and he showed me the picture on the diplay, I was in this apartment that I loved, falling in love with the first person I fell in love with and also.... starting to fall in love with myself for the first time.

So when I'm driving around now and looking for places to live, I'm thinking that I could easily get a place with a 6 months lease.
I could get a place with a dish-washer and a health-club and a dog run.

Or I drive around some more and make a few extra calls. I could drive around until I find a place in a beautiful neighborhood, a place that echoes a little of the way things felt the last time I lived in an apartment that I loved, the last time I felt like things were just exactly, brilliantly the way they should be.
With a bit of extra work, I could find a place that makes my heart beat one and a half times of normal when I pull into my parking spot or when I turn my head to a large window and see something pleasing outside.

You know, instead of my current view which I don't have because there's a weed, a Lantana, that's grown so much up the window I can't fully close the window.
Naturally, I can't see out of it either.
And if I could, I think I remember that the view is a pretty sweet ally where sometimes, very late at night you hear footsteps crunching and Rosie growls real deeply and the motion lights don't light up.

arizonasarah at 3:10 p.m.

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