I began packing up my belongings for my move in with Jonathan. I’m very happy I finally unfroze and started the process of breaking down the apartment in which I have resided for the past three years. Three years is the longest I have spent living in any one place since I left my family home twenty-one years ago.
Each place I have lived since Chris died has acted as a third-way house for me.
First I lived alone in the apartment we shared at the time of Chris’ death, where I went through the motions, simulating a life from which I was so far removed that I may as well have occupied a chair looking out onto the green at the nearest sanitarium. That was back when sitting on the sofa, warm and protected, wrapped tightly in my comforter was all I could do to keep the thoughts of killing myself from becoming actions.
Eight months after that, I occupied a third-floor loft apartment in Malden, where, despite the fact that I wasn’t ready at all, and I didn’t believe I ever would be, I began dating again, only one year after Chris died. I resented that I had returned to a place where I had to date, bitter that marriage hadn’t ended that roller-coaster for me.
Lastly, I moved into my current apartment, a charming third-floor cottage-like abode featuring Charles Dickens, twelve-pane cozy criss-cross molding. I thought the apartment would be enough for me for the rest of my life, that I’d never need, or want, to share my life with another man. I was proud of my home, proud of the independence I had inherited, and I viewed my being able to reside, on my own, in Cambridge as a huge accomplishment I never thought I’d be able to afford on my own. I did it. I rose from the ashes and showed myself inner strength I would never have guessed I possessed. I would much rather have had Chris. Inner strength is overrated.
So, today, even though I’m supposed to be heading over to Best Buy to unload three old Macintosh computers I no longer need (They belonged to Chris. We regularly engaged in the MAC/PC war), the heat is causing me to hide, in air-conditioned comfort in my living room, and pack up stuff I plan to donate.
The further away my life with Chris becomes, the more the entire six years feels like something I dreamed. That thought hurts. We met. I lived with him. I married him. We meshed.
And now it’s gone, and at the moment, I don’t feel like sweeping it under the rug by boasting about how happy I am to be moving in with my new love.