|Urban Outfitters couch via Craigslist! Turban from random beauty shop (thanks roomie!), clip-on earings from eBay, no-brand sequin top from Goodwill, skirt was a gift, fleece-lined tights from Hue, shoes from Topshop|
This our new couch. Her name is Maude. She is green and velvet and good at yoga (i.e. she does this crazy split thing and turns into a bed). She is the perfect balance of Victorian-ish inspired aesthetics and modern functionality. Thank you, Craigslist, for bringing us together.
Maude is very special to me because she is the first in a line of purchases made to turn our plebeian, Bushwick, atop-a-barber-shop house into a home. For some this seems trivial, and for me it always was, too. Let me explain.
Hitherto, I have resisted creating a home for myself.
North Carolina will always be my home home, but I've never fostered a nest of my own. I've painted a few rooms and sanded a few floorboards, but I've always had the feeling that I'm never going to stay in one place for a long time, so I resist making it fully mine.
No curtains to replace the ugly window shades. No rugs so that the cold floors won't chill my bare feet in the morning. No art on the walls to inspire. No heavy furniture that makes it hard to just get up and go whenever I want.
I've learned, though, that this can be a heartbreaking circle. Especially in a place like New York City, which is big and loud and scary; with millions of homes and thousands of homeless. In a place where everything is shared and everyone collides, you need something that is just yours. Otherwise, you'll just be floating.
When I moved here with a suitcase, I felt very free. Everything I owned was hanging from my shoulders and rolling on two tiny plastic wheels behind me. I didn't have to call movers or hang posters or strategically organize knickknacks. There was no chest of drawers and not even enough clothes to fill one. It was me, my shoes, and the concrete beneath us.
After six months I had accumulated a twin bed, three pairs of tweezers, and a poncho. Moving from Manhattan to Brooklyn took one trip in a ZipCar and the cost of dinner to bribe my roommate for help. It was easy. Fast. No commitment. I probably won't be at this place long, either, I thought. No commitment.
That was true. I did end up moving again, a mere block away, but this time the feeling is much different. For the first time ever, I feel like I can stay in one place. I still don't feel completely grounded, but I don't feel like I need to keep searching and searching and searching. It feels... safe. And I want to make it mine.
ACT 1. Stage Left. Enter: Maude in green velvet. She is heavy and a bit of a cunt when propositioned to move from one borough to another. People also snickered at us while we carried her a block down the sidewalk outside of Times Square to our moving van. But it was worth it, because now we have the beginnings of a home.