Yesterday afternoon, I found myself crouched beneath my neighbor’s window, using a kitchen spoon to frantically scoop dirt from their garden into a ceramic mug, all the while poised to bolt if the door opened.
And I thought to myself, “Self, how did we come to be crouched beneath our neighbor’s window, using a kitchen spoon to frantically scoop dirt from their garden into a ceramic mug, all the while poised to bolt?”
Let me explain.
A few weeks ago, one of my roommates moved out, and my friend Marx, who you may remember from some of our previous shenanigans1 moved in—huzzah! However, when the first roommate moved out, I discovered that everything that was useful in this apartment was hers, and everything that was a Cat in the Hat pennant and three copies of 500 Days of Summer on DVD was mine. So me, Marx, and our third roommate, who is making her blog debut so I will call Galactica2 have been left to refurnish what a few weeks ago was a completely furnished apartment.
Now something I relearn about myself every time I move is that I don’t like living in a state of flux. There is no gradually buying the things I need, no slow acquirement of necessities and then luxuries, no operating out of boxes until I find the time to unpack. I need a decorated apartment and I need it NOW.
So over the past few weeks, we have furnished our apartment in what can only be called a frenzied manner. The most notable acquisitions include a hundred year old steamer trunk purchased from Craigslist3, a flaming red foot locker, a free TV because Galactica has great friends, a World War II propaganda poster, a slightly incorrectly sized frame for said poster, a blue lantern in the style of Paul Revere, and some sunny yellow paint to cover what was once ghastly pea soup-colored benches.
Also some plants. Those were my idea.
You may remember that last summer I played mother to two lovely office plants, Sherlock and Mycroft. Being back in an office for the first time since then has made me yet again pine for greenery, so I made a snap decision to invest in two hanging baskets, some fern-ish things, and a flowery bush for our back deck. Then I ate a lot of food in jars with the thought I would repot the fern-ish things into these jars and be super Antorhopologie-esque5.
Except it turns out to repot something, you need dirt. Which I failed to consider.
You also, it turns out, need nerves of steel to nick this dirt from a garden that might not technically be yours but is on your property, except it’s technically not your property because you just rent the second floor, and the garden on what might or might not actually be your property is mostly cultivated by a downstairs neighbor who for no apparent reason dislikes you. Also the dirt in question just happens to be located directly underneath his office window6.
And that, kids, is the story of my now furnished apartment, my repotted plants, and my crouched spoon digging in the dirt.
- Such as the Ikea trip from Hell and our iFrankenstein opening night escapade.
- Because of our shared affinity for most things nerdy and awesome
- And a failed acquisition of a hundred year old piano, because apparently I wasn’t a “serious buyer.” Whatever that means4.
- Though I admit, my entire plan of how to get this piano back to our apartment was a set of bungee cords and the roof of Marx’s petite Mazda.
- It should be noted that I sincerely meant to take pictures of all these things to accompany this post, because a picture is worth a thousand words, or so I’ve been told, but somehow I forgot to set my alarm this morning, so blog pictures sort of slipped down the priorities list.
- And by the way, he has this fantastically cool pop up model of St. Basil’s Cathedral on his desk. Neighbor, you and I would probably be friends if you did not insist on hating me.