Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Apartment By: Karen Pilarski

It seems like yesterday we moved in the apartment surrounded by weeping willow trees. Only it wasn't yesterday but seven years ago. Years of memories and boxes of the past compacted and sealed shut. As I put away our things, a flashback will zing my head like a ice cream headache.

 The wedding veil my mom made for me is tucked away in the living room closet. Five years ago after our wedding, we forgot to pack some items for our honeymoon. We walked through apartment parking lot in our wedding attire.

Strangely no one batted an eye at the woman wearing a golden specked wedding gown and gold slippers. A few weeks ago I hurt my ankle and the only flats I had were the golden slippers from that day.

Looking out the window I remembered strolling out the door with luggage in tow and heading to the airport for one of our trips. The annoyance in your voice when I asked a dozen times if you locked the door.

In the nightstand were pictures the kids drew for us. Tiny misshaped hearts and misspelled words on loose leaf paper. I found a note from one of the kids apologizing for being disrespectful. Smiling and reminiscing about the years when they were shorter than me.

The old apartment has been the backdrop of this life we built together. I'd like to think if the walls could talk they would haven taken my side when we quarreled. Although angrily hurling our wedding cake topper at the wall wasn't the best decision I could have made.Then again the reason why it was chucked wasn't the best choice you made too.

Every Christmas the kids and I would put up the Christmas village. When we started that tradition it was a few houses and a Santa figure. Now there is enough items to make a city!

In all honesty, I have always resented the Charlie Brown tree that was from your first marriage. Yet, I never tossed it out or bought another one. Somehow the tree was perfect and small enough for the crowded space.

Our apartment has big disadvantages, for example it is above the boiler room. The bathroom floor burns bare feet in the winter. The windows have to propped open in the dead of winter. Heat is included in the rent, but is not a benefit since the heat is never turned on.

The dishwasher doesn't do an adequate job of cleaning our plates. Often dried stains are on the bowls. The ceiling fan in the dining room creaks and cracks when turned on.

The other apartments doors have a peep hole but oddly our door does not.  People randomly knock on our door to try to sell something or they knock on the wrong door. 

We can hear everything the neighbors say and do. I mean EVERYTHING. From fights to love making the apartment has heard it all.  We can't be self righteous in that department. Hence the wedding topper incident.

The past year or so hasn't been the greatest in the chapter of our story. Some highs and miserable lows have been encountered. 

In the meantime the old apartment is poised to become someone's new home. I hope it will provide the same shelter and warm tidings to the new occupants. It certainly has served us well.

Next month we are moving into a house. That has always been our dream. Although we are still just renting, I feel we have moved up in the world. Even if only slightly. Perhaps this is the beginning of good things to come?