Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Still life with fake avocados and clean laundry

Well, gang, I’m here. I’ve been here for a month, here in the Big D--Dallas, home of big cars, big hats, big hair. Through an odd turn of events (i.e. the friends I’m living with were evicted from their apartment a week before I arrived because--and I tell you the honest to gorsh truth--someone decided to tear the building down), I’m camping out in two top-story bedrooms in a huge house (complete with chandelier) in Plano. If you’re wondering why I’m sprawled out in two rooms, you’ve never seen the way I spread out. My things are everywhere. Someday I will become an adult and be able to, you know, keep house. Until then....

But that’s neither here nor there--the real here and now consists in me squatting hobo-style with friends in a show house. It’s basically been like Arrested Development. Picture this: the four of us (three adults plus 1.5 year-old) eating goulash and arugula at this Ikea table which is slightly too tall for comfort in a beige dining room. We’re eating off beige placemats and using the napkins which came off the table, show napkins which are neither soft nor absorbent, which sort of spread the gravy around your sneering mug rather than wipe it off.  There’s a plate of fake avocados in the middle of the table and we pass the casserole dish around them, trying to confiscate the avocados from Sophia who makes a periodic grab at them and chucks them at our heads. Meanwhile, a nice-looking Asian family have let themselves in the front door and are tip-toeing around checking the place out.We wave blandly, like people on an elevator. They ask where the water heater is and seem confused when we tell them that we have no idea. Is there a problem with the backyard flooding? We’ve never seen it happen, we answer with perfect candor.

Oh, well.

But we’re leaving Plano. We’ve found a nice little apartment a mile from our church which is about two miles North of downtown Dallas. It has lovely wood floors and a fireplace which appears to have been designed by someone who had never actually seen a wood fire. It’s a nice touch. Our neighbors below have obscured their front door with massive spider plants, so obviously they are cool people. It’s a five minute walk to one of the coolest little bistro groceries in Dallas, Eatzi’s, and the famous Turtle Creek Park is another little hop.

Employment’s been slow coming, but in the last week it appears that between being my Wonder Woman (i.e. mommy’s helper) jobs for a few mothers I know, a cleaning job, and part-time stints at two separate tutoring centers, I’ll actually be able to pay my bills. No cardboard box or bankruptcy for this English major.

So basically all’s right and weird in the world, as it ought to be, thank God. I have an amazing church, good friends, work I enjoy, and a sweet pad. What more could one possibly want from life? I don’t know about the rest of you, my fellow graduates, but the post-college months have been incredibly odd. Who knew that not measuring your life in semesters could be so disorienting? For the first time in my life, I could almost literally do anything I want to--and I find that what I really want to do is, well, go to evening prayer and teach kids how to conjugate Latin verbs. The pleasures of my life are that dry-mouh daze you get from pounding through a good novel (East of Eden for me currently), wrestling with Sophia on the floor, and chatting to Nicole about childhood over breakfast. I’ve discovered how satisfying folding three baskets of clean laundry for a friend can be and that I really will read copious amounts of literature without the threat of a reading quiz. To summarize: despite the fact that I somewhat sadistically miss 2am cigarettes outside the old student union at the Dale during the nose-hair freezing Michigan winter, God’s in his heaven and I’ve found a home.