It's an easy thing to do without in a place like New Orleans
, if your standards are questionable enough to allow for transience. I moved here with no furniture. We slept on the floor the whole two or three months we were still together; he didn't get a bed until we broke up
. When I moved out, I slept on someone else's floor. Then I moved into a furnished hotel room
, then into an unfurnished apartment where I had been given a few pieces, a big comfy sofa someone was getting rid of. Someone's always getting rid of sofas around here.
Then I lived with some other people and found a bed lying on a curb, a single mattress and box spring.
I mean, I had milk crates and a papasan chair my ex gave me, I had a bookshelf that was going to be thrown out at work. I moved again and took those pieces of non-furniture with me, then moved again and inherited a king size bed, where my new roommate had enough furniture to fill the whole apartment, so it looked more normal, more lived in. She was the kind of person who actually went out and bought furniture.
Then I moved again to a furnished apartment, with all the former roommate's stuff in tow to store it for her when she split town. And now I'm moving again into an unfurnished place that I will fill with only her stuff and whatever non-furniture of mine that I want to keep. If I can wait long enough, I may inherit a real dresser from my friend Mike when he moves.
So that's been 7 moves in the last three years. This will be number 8 and hopefully the last move I make within the city before I move to Virginia to live with my parents in their house. Only then, I think, will I dispose of my non-furniture. And even then I will have managed to go four years without owning a single piece of real furniture that I bought from a store.
Every move is a step forward, an evolution to a next phase. I went from isolation in the hotel room to a place with many roommates and boyfriends to one psycho roommate to a sane one, then went back to isolation again, and now I'm moving to a better place and I will have a friend for a next door neighbor. That's about as far as I think I can evolve in this city, to allow someone who knows me to live near me and witness my life, to allow myself to want her as a neighbor, which I do. I wonder if I will revert in my growth by moving back in with my parents for a while, but I doubt it. I have some steps to take with them too, so I see that move as another step forward in an effort to find closure with my past, my childhood.
From there, I don't know when I will actually buy furniture. When you've gone without it and your life doesn't clash with it, living in empty rooms can almost feel therapeutic, normal by comparison. Of course, it causes you to not want company over much because their level of comfort with sitting on the floor or on your bed because it's the only furniture in your place may differ from yours.
I am not young, in the sense that I have just moved out from my parent's house and have no skills in what it takes to live on my own. I'm 25 and have been living on my own pretty much since I was 17. I am not poor, but I struggle with debt like anyone else who went to college and got what I would consider to be a worthless degree (English) at this point, though I expect that to change in the oncoming years. Most people who meet me would never guess the kind of living conditions I subject myself to; they would likely expect my home to be nicer, more well rounded, more homey. But it's not; it never has been. With this new place, I hope for a chance to change, but if I don't I'm not all that worried about it. I'm going to moving again, anyway. That's the one thing I can count on these days.