Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Rear window

Life is hectic. My surroundings continue to look like the aftermath of some terrible disaster. There is little evidence of my physical busy-ness, and were you to peer inside my head you would wonder also about the success of my grinding mental efforts in the chaos that is currently my brain. I feel lost without my daily blogging fix.

With both J-F and I busy with work and toddler-minding, after meals and laundry — the regular crap of daily life — there's little time or energy to contend with the "extra" work of unpacking and settling in. We, each of us on our own schedules, have occasional bursts of fed-up-edness — in this manner the kitchen has been made functional (though some drawers with less organization than I hope to someday achieve), the storage area and hall closet are orderly such that one can maneouvre and access stuff, boxes have been emptied, and additional shelving has been assembled. (Yes, the dishwasher was installed successfully, by J-F himself.)

My sister flew through town this weekend. A couple hours here, a few there — we spent what time we could together. Her efforts to buy me an extravagant housewarming present were unsuccessful, though the fruitless shopping did result in fresh air — a success in itself — and an envisioning of the day our space could stylishly accommodate expensive furniture.

We are experiencing our first homeownership setback. The shower and toilet are not draining, for no discernible reason. We know nothing of plumbing. Perhaps it has something to do with the ongoing exterior work, or the recent rain. The contractor will be investigating later today, but we can't help but feel a little discouraged.

I've been feeling a bit bummed — a little blue, unsettled, disappointed, confused — ever since reading Petite Anglaise's news last week. I've been reading her blog for a about half a year and came to think of her a little as a kindred spirit — both of us shacked up with Frenchmen in a "foreign" city, toddler in tow, with similiar outlooks on child-rearing and career, love and life.

I'm unsettled now much like I was when watching the final episode of Mad About You. And unsettled more by the fact that I feel unsettled at all.

When you see yourselves in other people, and they don't turn out well, or as well as you'd hoped, or anything like what you hope for yourselves... It scares me a little. Not in any real way, but it reminds me that love isn't easy, that even after almost nine years this relationship isn't easy.

Strangers — virtual and fictional and the ones next door — are windows into ourselves. But we are not them.

So here we are.

The courtyard of this condoplex is nearing completion. Through sliding doors we watch our neighbours' lives, assembling patio sets, planting geraniums, installing curtains, working, studying, sharing meals. We are the last to move in, and as such I feel we are on display in the full glory of our disorganization and frustration — they're window onto us is fuller.

Our neighbours are mostly couples, on average a few years younger than us. One couple has a baby, another I think is expecting, another is gay. There's a cat across the way, and a couple dogs upstairs (two cats beside me).

As we exit the other morning, we surprise an older, distinguished-looking gentleman in his bathrobe scooting down to the main entrance to get his newspaper. We've seen him on television, representing the police or fire department. (No more pot-smoking on the balcony.)

I'm struck by what attractive people live here, how good-looking everyone is. I wonder if this plex is a beacon for a certain "type." I hope it's something in the water.

1 comment:

rachel said...

When my parents split up, after 36 years of marriage, there was a LOT of mourning/anger amongst friends and relatives who had apparently (without knowing it) been holding my parents up as a beacon of hope for themselves. If THEY can make it, maybe we can too!

Some followed my parents to the "inevitable". Some learned from my parents' mistakes. Me... I was shaken. I don't believe in god, but I believed in my parents. I still find myself second-guessing my decisions, working like crazy NOT to be my mother. That's the fast track to unhappiness.

Long way of saying: I hears ya.