I am storing my old roommate's stuff and have been for 9 months now. It does
feel like a pregnancy
, but it keeps me anchored to one place in a away that I like. Before I had always used it as an excuse to stay
here, but now I'm seeing it as one part of a very elaborate plan I have to move out of New Orleans, one I expect to pull off
in the near future.
This bottle opener is mine, I think, as I reach for the nearest one by the fridge door. Rhonda has at least three. I always thought how odd it is that we always end up with utensil duplicates that are among the things we typically use the least, who purpose is often single in application, like an ice scream scoop or garlic press. I guess when people are buying domestic presents for you, they don't think to look into the drawers to see what you already have; the may assume that, since they never see you coring grapefruit or pitting olives, you simply are just missing the proper tools.
Rhonda is, or was, very domestic. She had more dishes, plates, pans, and appliances that I remember having in my own kitchen when I was engaged, when I had people to cook for. She didn't seem to have people to cook for either; she just seemed real prepared for something. We both wanted to get married like crazy when we were living together; being around another single, hopeless, introverted female sparked my own realization of this. We both had to get out of the Quarter.
We did. She got a bug to attend L'Abri in Southboro, Massachusetts, while I thought living alone was a big enough challenge. I'd had roommates for every place I'd lived in, and this was my one chance to see if I was ready. Rhonda left me a part of herself when she left her things behind. It wasn't like she hadn't left, but that it felt like she may return one day, and it was comforting to leave a light burning for her while I slowly eased back into solitude. I had her homemade rugs (and the loom she made them on), her rickety kitchen table and antique stereo that didn't work and served as a TV stand, her futon and matching end tables, towels and trashcans. All she had with her were a few bags of clothes when she hopped the flight. I got the remnants of her life packed in boxes and filling up corners.
For the most part, I am happy with it; I wanted to help her on her way and this was the best way how. Now I am getting ready to be on my way and I would never think of leaving her stuff here, in some storage shed, for her to have to come and carry home. Even my parents thought that was a crazy thing to do for even a close friend, which only goes to show how little they know the power of close friends.
9 months later and I'm ready to birth this new phase in my life, one that will be still months to come, a longer term than usual. I've been a late bloomer my whole life. At least I have a bottle opener.