Today was the last day we had access to our old apartment, an apartment we lived in for four years.
The picture below was taken the first few days we moved in, before our furniture arrived from San Francisco. Tobyjoe was hijacking the neighbor’s wireless network.
That same network is open and available today.
So much happened while living at Russell Street. I saw my early 30s under that roof. I got a job on Madison Avenue and quit it too. I met some lifelong friends. I got pregnant and had my first child while living under that roof. I said goodbye to a dear friend, as well as a beloved member of our family. I became a mother while living there, a fact that still blows my mind.
All in all, it was a nice home. Sure, its walls were totally uneven to the floor and everything leaned to one side. Our son’s toys often rolled north. But nothing in Brooklyn is perfect.
This morning I went over there by myself to finish cleaning and to remove the few remaining items. I went alone.
It was nice being there by myself. I spent most of that time lost in thought, walking from one end of the railroad apartment to the other—a physical timeline—inspecting our years with my hands, trying to remove our fingerprints, erase any proof of our having lived there.
A person can build up a heckuva lot of proof over four years. And that much proof is almost impossible to erase. But I tried.
Change, whether it be good or bad, has always been a funny thing for me. It almost always brings with it a side order of depression. So the last couple of weeks have been difficult. I admitted to Toby Joe just yesterday that I haven’t felt this sad, this emotionally troubled, since the months following Emory’s birth.
This is chemistry I’m talking about here. I have no control over it.
After we hand over our keys today, I imagine that soon they will coat the place with yet another layer of paint. They will cover up Schmitty’s paw prints that sit underneath our old bedroom window. They’ll cover up the holes we drilled into our bedroom door in order to install a latch. They’ll paint over the ghosted picture frame edges, our fingerprints—proof of our having been there at all.
But I reckon that no matter how hard one works to cover it up, pieces of us will remain there forever.
And so I think it’s time I move along, albeit sighing slightly.
Goodbye, Russell Street.
And hello, 2009.