My top collectors are taking a road trip – which today took them to Utah, from where they sent me a picture of great big skies. Meanwhile, here in Houston the weather is beautiful, and I just got the keys to my new house. Which is actually a very old house. “Is it haunted?” I asked the landlord, it being Halloween and all. He told me he had been to haunted houses, but this one was not. It certainly doesn’t feel like it. And I had my dog inspect every nook and cranny.
The house is not haunted, but I am. After so many moves, I bring with me memories and fears from living situations that didn’t quite work out. I tried to make a list of the worst ones. And that’s when I realized that I actually loved the vast majority of the places I lived. I loved the place in Binghamton, NY with the one-eyed giant teddy bear on the porch and a kitchen window I could jump through when I locked myself out. I definitely loved my sweet little Laura-Ashley type apartment in a Victorian house, although there was a hole in the kitchen wall that let me smell my neighbor’s pot brownies. I loved my teeny tiny apartment in the Poconos where the sweet couple downstairs had surprisingly loud fights each and every night. I loved many many other places, including my haunted little place in Galveston with the ghost that smoked, the house in Norway with no drapes to block the midnight sun, and the place in Barcelona where my window overlooked a rooftop terrace full of cats and someone threw a friend fish head into my freshly washed sheets I’d hung out to dry. There were, amongst more than twenty living situations I remember with nostalgia, perhaps three I found unacceptable and unlivable and which I left before it was time, including a damp basement apartment in Madrid that looked deceptively lovely in the pictures sent by the expensive British rental agency, a loud loft in Galveston where I spent only one night before moving to the Tremont House, and the very last place I rented in Beaumont where so much was wrong I can’t even begin to describe it. Aside from these three experiences, really, I loved all of my many many places, and was sorry to go. I’m hopeful I will love the house. I got that sense this afternoon when I spent some time there with my dog. It felt sunny and bright and happy. Perhaps tomorrow we’ll spend the night there. I’m curious about that, also a bit apprehensive. But perhaps it’s a good sign that today I didn’t really want to leave?