The dining room becomes visible as the boxes that once spilled out of it slowly disappear, one by one. The apartment looks beautiful, filled with all of the things I was once holding onto, waiting for the day I would finally have a place to call my own. This is a home that 19 year old me would be stricken with envy over.
Somehow, though, the place still doesn’t feel like mine.
I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop; inability to make rent and therefore facing the humiliation of an eviction? Perhaps the checkout date of a gorgeous hotel at the end of a two-week vacation? The furniture in this apartment is nearly intangible. When I sit on my sofa, it feels like I’m sitting on my Aunt’s couch. It means nothing to me. I have no ownership. I’m a vagrant merely here by the graciousness of a sweet young couple, for the free grub and a temporary place to lay my head.
Some mental excavation leads me to wonder if perhaps I can never truly feel as if I own anything, attributable to my home life pre-move out; we never owned a stick of furniture in our lives. I also ponder the lack of maturity that might cause these feelings; it’s possible that I’m just not ready for this step after all. Maybe I’m permanently bonded to my mother, so irreparably that it’s akin to conjoined twins ripped apart and left raw and bleeding a million miles from each other. Maybe I feel that like everything that’s come before it, this will also be snatched away from me too soon.
It’s always night time when I become immersed in a cold pool of sadness. I lie there on Auntie Macassar’s couch, aching a little inside, struggling to breathe with my allergen-infested lungs, missing my mother and sister. My boyfriend is little comfort, it’s like living with Dino, my family’s Chihuaua; hyper and excited and always needing more attention than I can afford to give at the moment. He recognizes an increase in my moodiness, he realizes that I am angrier and sad more often than usual. He’s happy and doesn’t understand why I’m really not that happy right now. I’m unsure how to lay bare my struggles in a way that will make sense to him.
I simultaneously love privacy and hate being alone. I appreciate the click of my boyfriend’s key in the lock when he comes home from class. I like being able to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, naked. I enjoy keeping a neat place. I like being the ruler of my own little kingdom. I just wish it didn’t have to be without the people I love the most, wallowing in the silence and fears.
In the back of my mind, I’m unwilling to let go of that check out date. Just in case.