Opening Up

Not my heart. Not my soul. Not my legs. My living room. And my bedroom, but on a lesser scale because I couldn’t do what I needed to do today with that. I’m opening up to making this damn apartment my home, one little bit at a time.

See, it’s never really felt like home. We got here and came up with a list of improvements the landlady needed to make, simple things like replacing missing and broken doorknobs, fixing holes in the walls, painting, need for rugs (all hardwood floor or stick-on tiles, very noisy when run on by active toddlers who turn into active preschoolers and IDK why I’m saying that in the plural because I only have one kid), need for caulk on the new but badly installed windows, better doors that actually shut and locks, a replacement for the back screen door to the back balcony because it’s in pieces and still hanging there, and oh yeah the front side of the house is slowly falling forward and separating from the rest of the house, leaving big cracks from ceiling to about my height down the corners in my living room and Edwin’s playroom, filled with dust and dirt and spiders and dark and creepy which occasionally leak and also are not insulated?

Okay, yeah. A lot needs improvement. Plus there’s stuff we’ve messed up, like the broken refrigerator shelf and two crisper drawers, and the mysterious black ooze that won’t come off the bottom of the oven, and then the downstairs neighbors broke in through our back door and stole a bunch of my psych medicine, so she legally had to replace our back door, and then she gave us a little off rent to get our own carpets, and we just bought a fuckton of locks for our doors and we plastic the windows in winter, and we’ve patched up holes in the wall, but generally speaking she has done diddly squat to make this place a decent place to live and live up to what we’re paying for it.

But now that I have a job and therefore some income, we’re starting to work on improving it ourselves and just…collecting receipts for the stuff that was messed up when we got here. We’re going to be fixing the rest of the walls, painting, finishing painting we half-assed, repainting rooms that have a funny color we don’t like anymore, peeling and replacing old wallpaper that my cat has chewed, scrubbing and touching up all the trim in the house, replacing the fridge parts, replacing light bulbs, cleaning the rugs, etc etc etc etc just fixing all the shit and working on the place to make it a home and not a temporary stop.

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, the neighbors are getting evicted. Not for all the heavy drugs, strangers in and out to buy said drugs (who block us in the driveway with their damn cars they’re supposed to park on the street), and thievery and leaving cigarette butts and toys mixed together on both lawns, or broken glass around where a girl literally lost her toe, or screaming all hours of the night, or teaching my son words like “cunt” and “whore” and letting him experience polie sirens like all the time. They’re horrible, basically. But they got evicted for leaving unfolded laundry around the house. That’s what finally got my landlady into action. Because their place was messy on the inside. No mind to the never-mowed lawn her husband ignores, no mind to the ciggies in a smoke free home, no mind to their abused and neglected kids, no mind to any of their other shit. Unfolded laundry is the DEVIL.

But anyway. Yes. This is going to be home now, because we can’t afford our own house yet, and we’re gonna be here for a couple more years while we save and my husband and son go to school and me and my husband work. And I’ve got a list of improvements to be made and how much they’re going to cost.

But first, I must clean and declutter. My husband is a bit of a hoarder–he’s got an entire room that’s supposed to be a guest bedroom that’s entirely devoted to his Volkswagen collection, but also houses books and old school supplies and old toys and old clothes and an old tent that’s broken and then they’re the hundreds of Hot Wheels in the house and the action figures and model cars and half-finished craft projects and…well, he also hoards actual motor vehicles, his grandparents’ backyard (which has room for it at least) is full of muscle cars and Jeeps and old VWs and just piles of tires and engines and CRAP it looks like a junkyard. He and his dad both. And his grandparents, they have a basement full of everyone’s old crap that no one uses anymore. Chances are, if Keith had it in high school, it’s in that massive basement.

So our house is cluttered, and I’m the one working to clean it up now. Which is tough. There’s a lot of dusting and sweeping and scrubbing to do as well, and finding places for things, and wondering what to throw out and what to save, and a lot of donating and selling of items is going to be going on. But I got our bedroom pretty much done today (aside from disassembling the half of a crib we have surrounding Keith’s dresser, which looks nice and we hang our pajamas and other clothes off of it if we’re not done with them, but seriously, it needs to go, I can get money off of it). And like…I need to move the furniture around and get under and then scrub in the corners and on the baseboards and stuff because…it’s just dusty, for some reason this house is massively dusty, like our bathroom floor has to be swept every other day because this blanket of dust and hair covers the floor visibly within a day and it’s disgusting, we think it’s coming up through the vents? IDK, some of it is definitely my husband’s hair, and some is mine, but it’s not all from us and there’s no way we’re generating that much dust by ourselves.

Also on a slightly different note our kid graduated from the gate closing off the TV stand and DVD rack and some of his messier toys and now the room is open and we only have swinging gates in the doors for when we want to trap him while we’re doing other stuff, and so we’re trusting him and he’s a big boy and I’m gonna be cleaning crayon off the walls soon, I fucking know it.

So I’m gonna be sweaty and tired for a while. Even when I’m not at work. So much. To do.

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