Today feels like the first true day of fall. It stormed last night and was still very dark when I woke up this morning, but the sky brightened to a brilliant blue and the air was crisp and cool for the first time this season. On our way to school Five noted, “Brr! It’s cold today!”
I was so enjoying the unseasonably warm weather we’d been having, and although it’s a shame that it will soon be cold, this feels good and right through and through; this is what a real October is.
Three years ago, another October, the boys and I moved into this apartment, and in the first days of November I was legally separated. Like most things and as impossible as it seems, that was a lifetime ago and also not much more than a mere second.
The apartment has slowly evolved; I am always moving the furniture around. A good friend recently gave me a desk, one of two, and she kept the other. I am sitting at it now, and it is just the right size and the wood has loveliest yellow hue to it, and whenever I am admiring it I think of her, possibly working from home herself at my desk’s sister, and it feels good and right; this is what a real desk is.
About a month ago, another good friend patiently listened to me complain about my living room again. “You need to get rid of those couches,” she said.
“I need to get rid of those couches,” I said. And I have been saying that to her for years. As much as I wanted to be rid of that big, bulky living room set, I could barely stand to let it go to anyone but him, and he would have none of it. They were the first big, grown-up furniture purchase we ever made.
My friend, though, she is an architect and designer, and she is studying Feng Shui. “Seriously. You need to get rid of the couches. They are holding you back. Find a way to do it. Whatever it takes.”
And so I did. I found someone – another good friend – who needed them and would pick them up and take them away, and it hurt a little bit to let them go. I almost came up with an excuse at the last minute, but I didn’t let it stop me.
The couches are gone. And yes, it is a shame, they were very nice couches, but too big and manly for my taste. Now they have a new home to which they’re better suited. And now, for the first time, I like my living room. I go in there. Even when I don’t have to. And I sit down. Last night I read in there and almost fell asleep on the couch, a small, comfy yellow loveseat, a hand-me-down from another good friend. It is just the thing. The space felt good and right. Yes, I thought. This is what a real living room is.
My ex and I have almost reached the end of our mandatory three years of legal separation. We’ll be eligible for a divorce in a week and a half. There will be paperwork and legal fees, but soon it will done. It’s a shame since he is a good person and we have the boys and all that, but not everything is the right fit. I like my life now. It feels good and right through and through; this is what my real life is.