The last week has been an exercise in odd nostalgia, since Renta is out of town and I've been living in the old place with the boys. Out of a bag, on the couch. I lived there 16 years, and it's only taken a couple of months for me to feel like a stranger in the apartment that still has my name on the buzzer. Nothing is where it was (I'm careful not to say "where is should be," although I'm thinking it), so when it came time for me to ride herd through the morning schoolprep, I jury-rigged my own temporary workstations. Otherwise I'd find myself ferreting fruitlessly through mountains of crap looking for a clean pair of 3T underpants.
The first night, Monday, you might have seen two winsome children and their strapping, fuzzy-headed caregiver dancing and jumping and whooping it up like it was VE-Day. We'd spent the last half hour or so cruising the nabe for a parking spot, and we'd decided that the best way to get on with our lives was to try our luck up by my place, where parking is about .002% easier, and take the subway back. We'd come to grips with having to surrender over an hour of our afternoon, yet I was going all "Life Is Beautiful" with it. It'll be an adventure! We'll make up a story of the three Jedi knights who ventured northward to the walled fortress of NoMa!
We all pretended to be excited, but deep down we all knew it sucked. But then, just as I began to accelerate out of Trawl Mode, there it was--a fine, wide swath of nothing, with no driveway, no hydrant, no cut curb, no debris. Suddenly furloughed, we sang and do-si-doed and celebrated with a large sushi meal, with extra everything. Then Robert clocked me in the World Series of Uno.
It's a good gig, this ultimate sitting. Reading at night, snuggles in the morning. But it surprised me how foreign the place already is. It's one thing to come here every day and hang with the kids until she gets home, and it's quite another to navigate Her Kitchen and Her Bathroom and Her System.
Three nights is enough. I'm looking forward to getting back to my place, where I know where all the 3T underpants are.