I shuffle around this new space, feeling it both too small and too large at times.
Too small because I’d grown accustomed to the space in which I lived—not vast by any measure but plenty for two adults, a dog, and occasional visitors.
Too small because not all the years of accrued memories and their bits and pieces fit here.
Too small because I am a typically spoiled, white, American female. I have many kitchen appliances.
It is too large because, in my heart, I will never think I deserve this much. Quite possibly, I won’t have it in a few months. For now, though, this few-hundred square feet—two bedrooms, a decent den, a sufficient/efficient kitchen—are more than enough for one human and a dog. Too much, but maybe not for the dog who has long legs and a lot of energy. He sprawls. He wanders. He paces between walks. Were it just me, I could be happy in a studio apartment.
Too large because between the walls, under the beds, behind the doors, the detritus of love is gone. Companionship is a memory to be dredged up here and there in tight conversation.
Too large because an uncertain future looms for myself, my estranged spouse, and my dog, both in the wake of lost faith in the contract of marriage and the in the wake of the 2020 pandemic.
Too large, this space which had no functioning WiFi for a while and so was silent. Too large because of its ease of care. Plenty of time and hush in which to think and feel and read and write. Though, with all that thinking and feeling, I found the lack of WiFi and social media to be a good thing.
I have used this time to gather my wits and figure out who KC is after thirty-six years of being someone else’s other half. Who she is without the demands of normal daily living clamoring at her. I’ve realized I simply don’t want to be an other anymore (in a contractual sense) and that I miss taking part in the outside world and its ruckus. This realization is not why I am here; but it is a somewhat surprising by-product of the move.
From this wit gathering and hush the too-large space tells me, and perhaps it is a lie, it will only ever be filled by me and the dog (dogs?) and the occasional visitors. There’s a strange peace in this.
There is peace in reading again for the first time in months (years?) with the sole purpose of reading, or rather, with the purpose of stuffing my brain with words and ideas in hopes of drawing on their beauty and cleverness later.
There is peace in writing pained poetry with a colored pencil while the dog sighs and flops a tired head on my leg as if to say, “That’s enough now. I’m here.”
For now—assuming I survive COVID-19 and whatever follows, there is peace in hoping that as I shuffle about this space, and perhaps in those to come, I will fill it with the love of my family, a contract with my own dreams, and companionship with friends. I think, perhaps, it will all be okay.