Home, Home on the Range

by Jonah

I don’t know if I’ve talked about our apartment much.

It’s huge compared to the closet in Norman we lived in. It twice as many bedrooms. One of them houses the bed; we can walk around both sides of it. The other is the “study” where the computers and a couch live. The study is actually the master bedroom. I thought we were going to sleep in this room, so I chose the closet in the half-bath that spills into the master bedroom. Berck took the closet in the other room, the one in which we actually sleep. It would make more sense to switch. Berck gets up first each morning and gets dressed in the dark. All of my clothes are in the closet in Berck’s bathroom.

I have a bathroom too. It has the bath in it. Both bathrooms are connected by a door. Berck has his own sink, which he can leave as many whiskers in as he wants, and I have my own sink, around which I can keep as many bottles and toothbrushes as I want. Berck has his toilet, whose seat he leaves up, and I have my own toilet, whose seat remains down. Berck can clean his sink and toilet as often as he likes. I still have to deal with whatever is on the floor when I get dressed, however.

We sleep in the front bedroom, which has the disadvantage of having a window right by the balcony (we live on the second floor) and the front door and the stairs, which our neighbor has to use. This means the blinds always have to be shut if we want any privacy, even if it’s a hot summer day. On the other hand, if we’re in bed, we can always hear if someone has come up the stairs. Our next door neighbor has a little dog named Shorty, whose nails click on the wood deck when she takes him downstairs in the morning and evening to do his business. Our neighbor is a very sweet lady named Simone.

We have a nice sized kitchen, big enough for both of us to work in at the same time, unlike our old kitchen, in which there wasn’t enough room for one person to turn around. There is a dishwasher that actually cleans dishes, unlike our old one. And there is enough cabinet space for all our glasses and dishes and such. There is also a huge amount of counter space, since a nice wide bar separates the kitchen from the living room.

The living room is gigantic for an apartment. Our building seems to be rather old, built back in the days before apartments had to be as compact as possible. We have no furniture to put in the living room, which makes it seem even larger. In the middle of it is the mahogany table and four office chairs. The “kitchen” table is over to the side, acting as a sidebar. There is also a fireplace on that side. On the other side of the room are all our books, shelved in order of Library of Congress. It’s fun to actually have room to entertain guests, although they can only sit in the chairs around the table or on the floor.

Beyond the table is the glass door out to the back balcony. It has a nice view of Mt. Herman and the other mountains to the north west. I realized just this week that we have a view of the very tippy top of Pikes Peak between two rooftops across the street, but only in the winter when the trees that block the view have lost their leaves. I like having a balcony to sit out on. Our porch in Norman had no view and wasn’t very private. Being upstairs is worth the extra effort of having to carry everything upstairs when we moved (though I’m not sure how we’d get a piano up if we had the chance).

Our carpet is much better than the stuff in our old apartment as well, though it has many bleach stains on it that look like someone tried to clean up after a sick cat. The walls are nicely painted, though. The outside stairs look like they’re falling apart. But they haven’t yet.

A rabbit lives downstairs near the foot of the stairs. He stood at the foot of the stairs when we arrived and watched us carry everything up. He often hangs out over where we park the Miata. We have covered parking, which is really nice when it snows. Then you can see the series of three holes in the white wherever the rabbit has hopped.

Out the front door, the next building down the street is a daycare. The kids get pretty noisy on warm afternoons when they’re outside playing. You can’t really hear them from the study, though. Looking out the window from the study on the opposite side are some tennis courts. There aren’t many people playing tennis this time of year.

There are four units in our building, and there is another building of four units next to ours, on the far side from the street. Our apartment is very quiet, except occasionally when our downstairs neighbor’s cocker spaniel gets scared and starts barking; even then it’s not very loud. Unfortunately, our downstairs neighbor apparently smokes like a chimney, and the smoke seeps into our apartment through the pipes or something, because it smells like smoke in the bathroom in the morning. When it’s hot and we have the windows open, her smoke rises up and blows straight into our room. I’ve thought about leaving brochures about quitting on her door. I keep hoping she’ll died of lung cancer or emphysema soon, but she appears to be in her 20’s.

Actual Fact: “A statistically significant inverse association between smoking and Alzheimer’s disease was observed at all levels of analysis, with a trend towards decreasing risk with increasing consumption” (International Journal of Epidemiology, 1991). Probably because they all die first.

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