What It Takes

It took two hours to duck out of work early, pack up all of my earthly treasures and haul them out to the curb. Do you know how strange it is to remove everything you own from somewhere you’ve lived for a month, but when you leave it, the room is still entirely lived-in, with personal baubles and bedsheets and cubbies organized in a way only someone else understands? I stepped back and it looked like I’d never been there. Subletting made me feel like a ghost in a lot of weird ways.
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It took 15 minutes to convince a cab driver, one of the many that stopped and then waved me away, that driving me and this pile of luggage behind me to Harlem would be worth his time. I had the faintest idea that the relief and breeze washing over me as we passed through the Robert F Kennedy Bridge, maybe, kinda, felt something like what a woman feels after giving birth. To two cardboard boxes, a duffel, a Swiss roll-y bag and a ricecooker.
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It took $21.76 and just a little bit of pouting to get me onto this island, instead of navigating an $100+ uHaul through Manhattan traffic. It took everything I had to get that last box up 3 flights of stairs. It took one “Hrrrrrng.”-sound of approval from John to seal the I-already-thought-it-was-sealed deal in my head: I really, really love my new place.
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A clean canvas. Yum.

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Here, my first I-found-it, I-picked-it, I-paid-for-it-all-with-no-help habitat outside of that weird snowglobe of a society called college. I’ve been financially independent for a while, but this feels different.
And while the airbed and the still-packed clothes and makeshift nightstand that’s really just my floor are all temporary, the temporary feels different, too.
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You take for granted the things you put down that get to STAY there. (Hi, Elena!)

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Maybe because it’s not one of the overpriced closet-sized dumpsters that I thought I’d have to settle for.
Maybe because I didn’t have to do WWF moves on the front door to get it to open.
Maybe because it’s finally, finally, finally… mine.

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The prettiest bedroom-on-the-floor that I ever did see.

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The kind of mine that I crafted totally on my own, away from the influence of parents or the paths of those before me. The kind of mine I grew from my own soil, that was a hope and an inkling and is now shiny, sweaty-sticky varnish under my feet.
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The kind of mine that stays.

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Home is where you hang your whistle-keychain-turned-birdhouse-keyholder-you-got-for-half-off-in-Midtown-that-one-night


Here’s to my first night!

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