Around me as I write are packed cardboard boxes, blank walls, and weird shapes in the carpet where things used to be. We’re moving to a proper house with an office for me to play Xbox in, a yard for the dogs to escape from, and whole new swathes of carpet that needs new furniture to stand on it.
And so, because I am a sensitive sort, it’s time to Say Goodbye to Our Apartment.
This apartment has seen some of the happiest times of my life; like the videos say, things really do get better – if you maintain a positive attitude, a regular bathing schedule, and a determination to turn up for work…even on those 95% of days when you really don’t want to.
This is the apartment where my wife and I got married. We stood by the fireplace, in front of the minimum-regulated number of friends and family, and made heartfelt promises to each other we’ve actually so far been able to keep. If I could take that fireplace with us, I would. But instead, we have the photos, the friends, and the rings to remember it by (pro-tip: get your wedding date engraved on your ring…really helps for remembering anniversaries). One day, I’ll have the fireplace recreated in our retirement bungalow and we can get married again over breakfast every day if we want.
This is the apartment where I (kinda sorta) experienced my first hurricane.
This is the first home for our little fur monsters, who have made two happy people into the kind of happy people other people cross the road to avoid. Particularly people who are freaked out by the savage barking of a tiny pug/chihuahua cross.
My son’s fondest memory is when I bought a comically large framed photo of John Henry. To be honest, when I ordered it online, I didn’t realize it would be as big as it turned out to be. But, you know, it’s a conversation starter. And a conversation stopper.
This is the apartment where we forgot to lock the front door and a drunk guy wandered in while we were watching TV. We sat, stunned, as he stood in front of us with his hands unnervingly hidden behind his back. As it turns out, he was almost as confused as we were. He paused, wished us a very good evening, turned around, and headed to the apartment above ours. Which is funny…now.
In our time here, we’ve had groceries delivered from people who told me (in a kind way) that I should go back to the UK rather than stay in this crazy place; we’ve had pizza delivered from a guy who was higher than I have ever seen anyone ever be – and our tip made him the happiest stoner in Austin, at least at that moment. He insisted on giving us the smallest tub of ranch dressing in return. He was almost crying.
Although my wife needing to have her brain checked out was a bad thing, the weekend we spent being continually monitored was…an experience. And made for a cool blog post.
And now we’re leaving. I’ll be writing from here in the future…
…If I’m good, I’ll be allowed a desk.