I suppose it is time to move again. My feet, move my feet. And Fingers.
Move because I am staying. In New York, in Brooklyn, in a cozy floor-thru with a manboy who makes me laugh, mostly and lets me be often enough and doesn't carry me, just stands stubbornly beside me.
This is just a life and so here we are in Brooklyn--white very white--on our tree-lined Bed-Stuy street but respectfully pleasant. I am insistent in my "good mornings" and "have a nice days" while my boyfriend is awkwardly kind and made untouchable by his broad shoulders and thigh-sized arms. The gum popping girls with earrings as big as my purse roll their eyes when we bring our own bags to the grocery store. We are looked up and down more than we are greeted. We are outsiders in this old neighborhood full of families, the generations who grew up together are wary of us, unsure whether we are simply transients or the harbingers of an unwelcome change.
When we move it is a Christmas of boxes for me and a separate faraway Christmas in Wisconsin for him, a frozen cold January with 12 hours shifts, 7 days a week for him and a lonely, cold roommateless existence for me, with a four trains at 1 am to get home and me unsure of walking this new, dark neighborhood with cops who ask if I am lost.
But in March we walk through the park to the coffee shop and then back, it is sunlight and ice melting. Onto our street we are stopped dead in our tracks by the 5 twenty something white hipster boys who pass us. We look at each other, surprised.
Maybe they've been hibernating. Matt is not pleased by this, he does not want to be one of the gentrifiers, the hipsters, the unwelcome.
My boyfriend is handy, he puts up bookshelves first, which allow me to feel like I live here with him now, our books mixed together across the long shelves on either side of the plastered over fireplace.
Later in the fall, he builds an island with shelves where I can place all my kitchen paraphernalia. And just before his parents come for the first visit, he builds matching nightstands with white bamboo and a cork inlay. He puts a dusty blue clay on the walls of the middle room and we hang up black and white pictures there, the photo booth strips of us laughing, kissing, smiling, stoic.
We find a futon on craigslist, we put it in the second room where I never go to write. Our bachelor friends come all the way to Bed-Stuy and then just stay the night. We take turns buying groceries and he builds a box that sits on the fire escape, overflowing with parsley and peppers. A squirrel eats all our cilantro. And suddenly it is winter again, a new year begun and we are staying. I am learning to move within the comfortable boundaries of a life with him, a life in Brooklyn, and I am happy.