December 16, 2007
There's a major storm system in the Hoboken area. Now is the time to face the reality of my life change and explain how I'm coping.
It hasn't been all that hard. I didn't make the move on an impulse, even though it took everybody, including me, by surprise. I have lived in this part of the country before, and I remembered the need for wraps, layers, mittens, scarves and hats as well as umbrellas and snow boots. The cold hit the second day I got here, and snow came gradually, giving me time to beef up the wardrobe of layers of clothes necessary to travel in the cold.
And today, snow and slush are all over the sidewalks. By nighttime there might be a good deal of ice. So I'm staying inside. I keep my eye on the weather forecast which says it won't go above 40 until Wednesday. I'll mostly stay in, going out only for trips that are absolutely necessary. Luckily, the cable guy came yesterday and hooked up everything, including the television set I bought the day before. Therefore I have already had a visit from Charles Osgood and the Barefoot Contessa and Nigella Lawson, as well as those designer guys over on the Discovery Home Channel and Chris Matthews who helped me catch up with all the politics I've missed over the past two weeks.
Unpacking is a challenge. I can't put the cartons out on the street until next Thursday night (I missed last Thursday by my own fault; in the meantime I've filled my apartment and the halls on all floors with stacks of cardboard and newspapers. I've tried to arrange my furniture and leave paths between those stacks of trash to simulate the cozy home I hope to have, some day, some way.
It's become increasingly clear to me that I won't be in this particular apartment more than the one year for which I've signed the lease. Maybe the Fairhope house will sell before then and I can look at putting that money into a condo or at least upgrade to a classier apartment. In the meantime, this is a nice enough place, with closets big enough for the tons of unpacked cartons I have yet to deal with. I like the location, I like the layout, but of course I need a bigger kitchen and a classier bathroom -- and a real bedroom would be nice. (I'm sleeping in what's known in brownstone language as "a hall room," 5' x 10', which holds a single bed and my laptop and not much else. Of course there is a nice living room and a decent sized but less than inspiring kitchen. All this makes me think the parties for which I used to be rather famous will not happen until I move. But never mind; I don't know anybody to invite yet anyway.
The reality is that everything takes time. I'm old enough to know that; don't remind me. In a year my life will be very different. That's what I like about this choice. In my previous life, I knew exactly what to expect each day would bring, and I came to know what the rest of my life would be like. And I didn't like the picture very much. It made me feel old just thinking about that.
Not that I feel young, exactly, but I don't know what lies ahead. That's reality for me.