September 23, 2008
Before: You remember how this place looked when I moved in? I was concerned that the paint didn't come out the same color as the chip, the rooms were small, and I had so much stuff that I'd just have to get rid of it all.After: Well, then I moved the furniture in and it did fit.In fact, it looked just fine in the smaller space. That wall of shelves, while looking a little like a library or a gift shop, surrounds me with the things I've collected for fifty years, including pictures of myself in various incarnations of my previous days.I was even able to get pictures up that had been in the closets for years, including a nonobjective my life's greatest friend, who unfortunately didn't live to see it in a place of honor on the wall above my new sectional sofa. The painting looks better than I even thought it would, and the fact that she spelled her name wrong on the signature makes me laugh a little almost in the way she could in life.
So I'm almost all done, most all boxes unpacked and put into corners, cabinets and actual closets in the little new place. It doesn't seem as much like a garret in Paris as the last place, although it's one flight higher and 200 sq. ft. smaller. It's quirky and cozy and I think it's just right for me. No big parties here--I figure I could probably serve six people, counting myself--but I'm no longer the partygiver I once was. My daughter says she'll take some of the exotic cooking supplies off my hands. The kitchen, for one thing has no work space to speak of and nowhere near the storage I'm accustomed to for the mountains of appliances, odd-shaped pans, bowls, and dishes. It's rejuvenating in a way, to see that I won't be baking bread (Hoboken is full of bakeries), and I don't need three pie plates and nine cake pans, one, never used, in the shape of a valentine. I'll keep the custard cups, the pans for sticky toffee pudding, and the ring mold for God only knows what (I used to do a mean salmon mousse). But I'm enjoying being a kid starting out again. I wonder what will happen next!