Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Potassium Palace

My house likes to have people in it.

Maybe it's because the previous occupant was a lone, elderly woman who lived there by herself for 33 years. Or maybe it was those three months after she moved out ("relocated," they assured us, but somehow, in a retirement community, that word takes on hidden, morbid meaning) when the apartment sat, vacant, waiting for us to enliven it.

Or maybe it's just that I've lived alone for a few months and moving in with two official roommates and multiple unofficial ones is quite a change.

Whatever, my house likes to have people in it.

Officially, three people live in 1095 K (otherwise known, so far, as the Potassium Palace, the Circle K Ranch, or Special K): Beth, John, and myself. I have lived there for three weeks now. Of those three weeks, there have been only four nights when someone other than Beth, John, or myself has NOT slept there.

It's not like we don't have room for guests. At last count, 14 people could comfortably sleep in our apartment - "comfortably" implying some sort of sleeping surface other than carpet. We have couches. We have beds. We have couches that turn into beds. We have a futon, and we even have a cot. People like to sleep in our house, and we are prepared.

But people like to do things in our house other than sleep, too. Like eat, or play games, or watch the television. We are prepared for these things, too. We have lots of food, and we like to fix it. We have several games, and we like to play them (minus the cutthroat capitalist propaganda that is Monopoly). We even have a television. No, wait, we have three televisions. Come to think of it, we have three DVD players and three VCRs as well. Prepared, I tell you, prepared.

Seriously, I like that people are at my house a lot. I like having people around, I like sharing food and fun and presence. I like living with people.

One weekend, before I officially moved in, after several glasses of wine and one deal-breaking cider, I spent the night on the couch of the Potassium apartment. I woke up on Saturday morning to the sounds of Elizabeth brushing her teeth, the sight of Jay curled up on the other couch, and the knowledge that Beth was snoozing away in her room at the end of the hall. I woke up in the presence of others, and it was good. I realized how much I missed it. I didn’t want to be entertained, I didn’t want to have a conversation or pursue some activity with my friends. I was happy just knowing that we were all there together, separated in our sleep, but safe in the knowledge that the others were close by.

My house likes to have people in it.

And I really like having people in my house.

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