Thursday, March 23, 2017

on my own

I respected Barry's wishes not to post anything here or to Facebook until it was a done deal. It's a done deal. We have been separated for a little over a week. The beautiful new apartment is mine, not ours.

I realized about eight months or so ago that I no longer wanted to be married to him, but I was a little too chickenshit to say so to him. So we went to three sessions of marriage counseling with two different counselors. The first counselor was too chatty on our dime, and seemed to be invested in saving the marriage. The second one was really straightforward, asked correct and direct questions, and it was decided.

I was supposed to move a couple of weeks after my accident, but I was laid up for quite a while. I returned after eight weeks, made it through 3-1/2 days, and then spent another two and a half weeks at home and in physical therapy. So I finally moved last Monday,

The sorting and packing was horrendous, but starting to live on my own again was easy. My sophomore year at SUNY-Binghamton, I got my own apartment; I knew after one semester on campus that roommates were not for me.When I moved back from Binghamton in 1980, I lived with my mother and stepfather for a year, then got my own place, then moved in with a boyfriend for about a year. So I mostly lived alone for 20 years, lived with Barry for about 19 years, and here I am by myself again.

It helped that I was moving into a great place: great apartment, great building, great neighborhood. I slept like a baby my first night in my new queen-sized bed, new mattress, new sheets, new comforter and duvet cover. Set up my wi-fi and new TV right away (I bought a smart TV, and am now an official cord-cutter). Everything is basically new except my mother's ancient beat-to-shit cedar chest, which I may sell.

I never bought either of those chairs, but I did buy two identical bookcases (a wood-tone one for the living room, and a blue one for the bedroom), and a TV stand (all yet to be assembled). Real oak shades in the living room windows, and blue vinyl mini-blinds for my bedroom (put up by my outstanding super, Reggie). There's a small trash chute and recycling bins on my floor, and a laundry room on the lobby floor (the laundry machines are quite new and the laundry room, like the lobby and hallways, is spotless).

I also bought an oak secretary and a small teak mirror (both vintage) from my pal Lars at Lenoba.

The kitchen and bathroom are both a little smaller than I like, but the bedroom and the living room are big, and I love the dinette to pieces. And did I mention the five closets? Two huge, two small, and a small linen closet.

Most of the apartments I've had never really felt like a long-time home, so I never really nested. I lived among cartons. I was very afraid that I'd be lazy and live among cartons again, but I'd say I'm about 3/4 unpacked by now. It helps a lot that I had good storage space, that I pared down my belongings before moving, and that I had the money to furnish from scratch. And that I love this apartment and can see staying here for a very long time.

I'm located a block and a half from Kings Highway in Brooklyn, about 3-1/2 blocks from the B/Q station at Kings Highway. It takes me 15-20 minutes to get to work. KH has all kinds of good shopping: greengrocers and delis and Russian gourmet stores, a dry cleaner and a housewares store and a hardware store. Within the ten or so blocks of KH between Ocean Avenue and Coney Island Avenue, there's a TJ Maxx and a few boutiques and shoe stores, a Rite-Aid and a Duane Reade and a Walgreens, numerous banks (including mine), some restaurants (Turkish, Russian, and a Chipotle to boot), two  Dunkin' Donuts and a Starbucks. All that's missing is a supermarket and a movie theater. (The Walgreens used to be the Kingsway Theater; I shop at a good supermarket across the street from my job and have it all delivered.)

I still need two chairs for the living room (I was going to pull the trigger on the first chair in my last post, but it had already sold). I need a microwave stand for the kitchen and a garbage can. I may ditch the TV stand and get a wall mount. I need at least one end table and a plant stand and plants. (My friend Charles had been making ultra-cool planters and lamps, and I will get at least one planter from him.)

Two of my wonderful work friends assembled the dining table and chairs. I am good friends with three middle-twenties guys at work; we occasionally get together and avail ourselves of herbal remedies on Fridays, when we get out of work at 2. There are a few women who are close to Charles, who is the social butterfly of the group and usually arranges the parties, but they are drinkers rather than herbalists and like to go to bars. One of them sometimes joins us, but she's actually the only one I don't care for. She's the only one of the entire group who treats me like I'm too old. Charles' roommate often joins us. Next get-together is here, a week from Friday, and will also include a co-worker of Barry's, who is friends with one of the other guys, lately friendly with me, and fits right in. My three closest friends, my guys, are a great mix: one black and gay, one ex-Orthodox and gay, and one ex-Lubovich California boy. (The Lubovichers are an Orthodox sect who actively recruit non-religious Jews.)

Anyway, my 45-minute writing alarm went off, which means it's time to do some more work here. I promise to post more photos as soon as I can figure out how to get my phone to talk to my computer.