i'm writing this from the cold basement of my ex girlfriend's duplex. what exactly leads me to write to you from the bowels of this herstoric two story hovel? delight in progress. allow me to explain, you see, as far as duplex underbellies go, this one (well, this one corner of the entire whole) is quite charming, what with its freshly painted white walls, custom sewn curtains and festive lighting, especially when compared contrasted to what it use to look like/what the rest of the basement looks like still. before the pearl that is my makeover bug kicked in, this place had the aura of a registered sex offender. allow me to, since i can't show you the Neglected To Be Taken Before Of Before/After Photo photo, paint you a picture. it's like if that disgruntled kid from high school, the one who always sat in the back, whose wardrobe consisted solely of army fatigue pants and Big Jonhson t-shirts, oh and who bathed in not so subtle Eau de Stale Cigarette, was commissioned by my well intentioned land lord to create an art installation that tackles the Sorry I Opened That Can Of Worms topic of HOW I FEEL ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL. cobwebbed corners, dilapidated cement, moldy cardboard, exposed splinty wood and pure dank ensue! and then with a sloppily heavy handed stab at irony that misses its mark and just ends up well, sloppily heavy handed, painted the the wall parts that weren't falling apart or obscured by half bits of drywall, a School Bus Yellow (or Ticonderoga Yellow, depending on how warm the CFL is). this color, harmless in the light of day on objects familiar, becomes, under these circumstances, downright demoralizing, an assault to my greater well being that i was not willing to endure.
did i mention my ex chose this color?
she, along with opinions from A (my ex J's ex/J's best friend/current date of one of my ex's C), and input from K, former roommate of S (the ex of which i speak of), who is ex's with my bff M (who is bff also with my present flatmate B). that sentence is as anxiety producing as that incomprehensibly life or death determining SAT math problem that showed up on that test i failed to study for in that dream that took a turn when i looked down and realized i was half naked, half engaged in some consensual (does that exist in dreams?) sexual activity with an older woman in a butcher shop that over looks the peaceful and deserted ocean cum aquarium. (actual dream! :D) (hey there, Psyche. . . uh, you doin' alright? just checking. . . ).
oh, why hello world, i didn't realize how freaking small you were!!! gnnnaahhhhh!!!!!
to be clear, my ex gf does not currently live with me. in fact, there was no overlap between she and me in this house. it's pure happenstance that my current blessedly platonic friend of friend turned roommate asked me to move into S's old room. ah yes, happenstance, or what we in the queer community call 'Totally Normal Albeit Sometimes Uncomfortable'. we, S and i, in fact, find this Somewhere Between Nepotistic and Incestuous shared housing situation mutually hilarious and are on good terms despite the fact that she is responsible for the heinous color palette that permeates all rooms of this establishment. clashing shades of ship grey, electric blue and dusty saffron that disagreed with my senses when they first went up during our courtship, and still disagree with me to this very day!
ahoy! do i detect a hint of grudge in those illuminated pixels above? is that a twinge of 'ha! look at me i have better taste than this other person who holds a degree in visual art from the institution of HARVARD!!!!' ? maybe a little yes, the smallish bruise on my ego that is bitter singlehood is a splash of vitriol on the hot log that fuels my redecorating fire. but she and i, that was 2 years ago, i attempt to reason! which leads me to believe that there's something else at play . . . namely, the futility of attempting to eradicate every last vestige of my ex, of any ex, and claiming any space as 100% clean slate mine own.
it's pretty much impossible, and even if it was, i'm not sure i'd want a matte finish white washed fresh start. i mean, i wouldn't be here now if i wasn't here before with her, right? and i don't think i would know myself here now in the same way if she didn't know me here then. so, there's that.
don't get me wrong, i'm still gonna repaint the house. except maybe the kitchen, whose bold blue, the color S painstakingly, lovingly chose, i've grown dare i say, fond of. even though it vibrates at a different frequency than the tan cabinets creating a constant visual minor chord buzz. just saying.