19 December 2010

Out of Town

After I finished with my bedroom and the kitchen, when I was seriously considering taking on the loathed task of the bathroom, I realised I was going to run out of rooms to clean long before my foul mood ran its course. Besides, neatening the site of my anger kept me in the apartment, seething as I scrubbed.

I made a mental list of my options: the gym; a bar; it’s a Friday and you live in New York City, dumbass, find something exciting. I decided to take a ballet class, my first in four years, and while it was a worthwhile endeavour in and of itself, it was only an effective coping mechanism until my sweat dried.

In Montréal, whenever I felt bad, I’d retreat into my windowless box of a bathroom and sulk beneath a pleasantly scented pile of bubbles. But I am of the mind that unilateral actions—it was a roommate’s unilateral action that had gotten me angry in the first place—and bathroom monopolies are both privileges of living alone. Besides, our bathroom is a black mark on the value of this apartment. There are no taps, so to take a bath, you need to shower the tub full of water, and because our shower has terrible, terrible water pressure, that’s a slow process.

On Saturday morning, my mother called, and I suddenly felt like an idiot. The solution to my problem was a train ride away. I could go back to my parents’ house! That would get me take me away from my apartment to a place where there are three bathtubs, all with taps. I got dressed, crossed town, and caught the first train I could.

I only intended to stay for a few hours, but I didn’t dump my purse and make a mad dash for the bathroom as soon as I walked in their door. At the height of my anger, I’d been reduced to thinking that it would have been better to live with my parents, and the time I spent with them that afternoon, reading the paper and arguing about politics, didn’t really change my mind. Sitting in the living room with my cup of coffee and an actual, tangible newspaper, safe in the knowledge that they’d never spring any surprise roommates on me, I wondered whether I’d made the right decision in moving out.

Sure, I’m fundamentally a city person, and it’s a lot easier to have a social life when I don’t have to get back to Grand Central before the last train leaves... but I don’t have a job, so I don’t have the money to go out, and I don’t have that many friends in New York, since it’s hard to meet people when you’re not in school and you’re not working.

I ended up spending the night.

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