So, it’s happening again: water making its way from our upstairs neighbors’ apartment down through the ceiling and into our apartment. Last summer a soggy chunk of the living room ceiling fell onto the floor. The summer before that, we had a hole in the bathroom wall that after many, many calls to building management was finally patched up the day before the Critter was born. This summer (more specifically, Wednesday morning), the leak dripped dripped dripped onto the thick pile of towels I placed on my desk, in the corner of our bedroom by the fire escape.
For years I struggled with my apparent inability to arrange and organize a beautiful, comfortable home. It felt like an existential crisis. It actually probably was an existential crisis. As in, why can’t I get my shit together? As in, what do I want? As in, who am I, anyway? Now, finally, after much Apartment Therapy and many consultations with one of my sisters, our apartment has begun to take shape. Beckett and I still stack piles of stuff everywhere (which the Critter merrily tears apart, then points at afterward, saying, “mess”), and I often don’t have the space to work properly in the kitchen, but at last I do see colors and forms in my home that make me happy. Like the green-and-blue-and-brown striped rug in our bedroom. Or the bright red pillows on the dark gray sofa in our living room. Or the dark brown shag rug beside the bed. I have a shag rug! Lucky me!
And then, the leak. Reminding me not to get too comfortable, that nothing is ever fixed, and that after all, we’re just renters. But it’s OK. Well, Wednesday morning I was plenty pissed off, but overall, something has changed in me in a big way, to the point where we’re seriously talking about giving birth to our planned-for next child at home. I never would have considered it before, mainly because I never felt at home at home. Whereas now, my favorite Critter word is what he says when we’ve returned from an outing: “Humm.” As though our home were a song, or something very good to eat.