I already know this, but I thought I’d tell YOU I have badass friends who write badass things.
I found out that the realty company that bought my old cul-de-sac tore down another duplex today.
Before the person who lived there moved out.
Because his lease, you know, wasn’t up.
When he wasn’t home they went in and removed his belongings, and then bulldozed it. I’m so in shock I am sputtering. Homes-destruction-privacy-safety-interiority-blah-those-things-I-won’t-shut-up-about, WHAT THE FUCK. Setting aside all my deep philosophical feelings about renting and homelessness, there is something seriously wrong with the housing situation in Tuscaloosa. The rental laws are holdovers from much earlier in the last century, designed to take advantage of people who don’t have enough money to advocate for themselves. A fair, honest landlord is a valuable thing. A landlord who won’t knock down your house while you’re still living in it is not too much to ask.
[Photo courtesy of a friend–ironically, that beige house on the left is where I’m moving soon]
Today, I discovered my cartoon alter ego:
Today was a really nice day. I set aside grading to do something fun, following last night’s MFA prom (really–there was a dance floor and a photo backdrop). Today was also the two year anniversary of the tornado here in Tuscaloosa, and I am lucky to have the privilege of a nice day, I think. So many things were destroyed, but two years later, there can still be nice days. A lot of the people at the prom last night will leave soon, which is so strange, because I am a perpetual little sister who wants someone older around, someone who knows what’s what. The eBook that we all made together is still out there on the Internet, all of us huddled around a buffet potluck dinner. After the storm, they were the ones that organized us all, but somehow, soon I will be one of the oldest siblings (you know, in a metaphorical way). I will be an organizer. There’s something both incredibly empowering and terrifying about this.
Last fall a friend gave me one of her orchids, in need of some TLC (its roots were scraggly, its leaves were cracking and curling, and it promptly lost a leaf when I brought it home). Not only is it currently growing a new leaf, the first growth I’ve seen, but it is growing THREE NEW ROOTS. I recently admitted to both my landlord and myself that I am not an outdoor gardener, so it’s nice to know that I can grow something. My other tiny orchid is also growing a new leaf, because it is all about growing new leaves but never any roots or spikes, so I’m hoping it pays attention to its larger sister.
OH HEY THERE ALICE GIRL–
and, gratuitously, because I caught him sleeping like this:
In the name of shaping things, in the name of movement and transformation, in the name of central air conditioning and mornings sandwiched between boyfriend and cat, I am leaving this open, lighted space. I’m giving my ladybug house to someone else, and paring down the long list of objects I’ve compiled. Our new apartment will be a small puzzle, and I do so love it when everything fits together neatly [See: my grading spreadsheets]. This past year has been the only time that I’ve lived alone, and I’ve enjoyed that sense of control, but I want a shared couch and an interlocking library. I spent a lot of time, in college, longing for a stable living space, but moving into this new space is the thing I’m longing for now. I wrote 33 pages last semester about the moment of interface between states of being, and I can feel myself approaching this point of breakage, the halting lock that opens, the lapse. One month and one half month until the chaos of boxes and sweat rises and subsides into a new sense of daily reality. The cat likes to curl up in my lap and press his forehead against something stable, so that he is entirely contained, the pressure of the other reminding him of the safe walls of his own body, I imagine. Like being tucked into bed, I imagine.
The shower curtain is making the move this time, though. That thing is a beauty and it’s going to live with me until it molds.
Last night I dreamed that I was on a college campus the size of a city, criss-crossed with bus routes too complicated for me to understand. I needed to get to a different part of campus, but I kept getting on the wrong bus, or missing the right bus because the place was so crowded, everyone pushing around and not looking where they were going. I went to the wrong place over and over, and time was running out. I hate not having a clear direction, so this dream does not entirely surprise me, but it is frustrating. Especially because I have never had problems with public transportation, even in cities I was visiting for the first time. Even in cities where the signs weren’t in English, or another language I understood.
Running parallel to my dream, I am currently stuck on campus because my car is parked in a deck that needs payment to exit, and the web site where students put $ on their student cards is down. So I really, actually, can’t get where I need to go.