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Thursday, 10 July 2014

People in a Strange Place

Apartments are mostly the same. No matter how many you have been to, the creeping sensation of corporate sameness is never far away. The walls will always be white--or off-white, but who can really tell the difference? The carpet is nice but not too nice. And the layout will vary little. With two bedrooms and the obligatory kitchen, the only great surprise will be whether or not there is a hallway.

Yet, like a Woody Allen protagonist, when in another's apartment for a prolonged period of time--even if I had been there repeatedly on other, shorter occasions--I grow uneasy and neurotic. I take to pacing, or following Melissa from room to room, like a lost puppy or a shadow. In every corner I think of how my stuff would fit in the space; where might my "work" area (e.g. my typewriters and pens and pencils) be?

"Will you stop following me?" Melissa asks, as she moved about the kitchen barely large enough to warrant steps between the sink and stove, even when cooking.

"I can't! I don't know what to do." I look around the apartment. 
"I don't know what to do in here."

"Don't do anything. Just relax."

"I can't! I need my stuff. I've got nothing here."

I have people, though, of a very precious nature. There is Melissa my fiance and Zander my son. He is off in the other room cuddling with a stuffed toy. But we are still people in a strange place, when we long to be in a home.