Self-Awareness

Tread Lightly

There’s a spot on my apartment floor that creaks when you step on it. 

On the outside it looks like the normal faded “wood” laminate that they’ve placed all around the living room and kitchen. I’ve covered up most of the discolorations and blemishes that aren’t natural, or don’t fit the aesthetic of the overall apartment, with multicolored oriental rugs: the same type of worn and faded rugs that adorn art gallery floors and mid century “new bohemian” style houses. I write this piece sitting between a mother-in-law’s tongue and a 7 foot tall bamboo shoot. When im not writing at this mid century schoolhouse desk, im normally editing my portrait photography sessions on the PC here. I have apple crates for bookshelves and an electric blue velvet couch. I’m sort of a millennial stereotype. But i really do love my apartment, so for now i’ll take on the ‘blipster’ mantle. 

The apartment is the kind of place i dreamed about coming home to when i was pulling double shifts a few years ago, driving back and forth between my mom’s house where I lived, and the library in Norfolk and the bookstore in Chesapeake where I worked. The kind of place that overlooks the city skyline and the waterfront, both close enough to and far enough away from the downtown area that i can escape to or from the hustle of the city whenever I feel like it with a quick train ride. When i’m not commuting to work or picking someone up, my car stays parked in our lot. My neighborhood is fairly safe, so I’ve taken to walking lately. It’s weird to think that your neighbors might unconsciously see You as the most dangerous thing in their morning run or coffee grab. 

I think that’s why little things like squeaking floorboards get under my skin. Everything else is so idyllic. At least it seems that way on the surface. When nothing’s going wrong, its hard to see that there are still things just beneath the surface that need to be fixed. When its good, its great. Then i hear the floorboards groan beneath my feet, or the ac struggle and rattle when it briefly kicks in before sputtering out, or find water-bugs or my neighbor's roaches in my kitchen after I've just cleaned it. Standard apartment stuff, I know. But my rent is too damned high for this.