I smile to myself as I step outside. Now, like every time I do this, I am immediately overcome with an immense feeling of gratitude. I really live here, I think to myself, and I am so, so lucky. I get situated, put in my ears buds, and face the Space Needle – my beacon home to South Lake Union. “Juicy” comes up on my Spotify playlist as I begin my walk, and I can’t help but smile a little more.
The air is salty today, and I feel a subtle breeze coming off of Lake Union. Waiting at the entirely too long traffic light down by the lake a block from home, I am approached by a tourist couple from San Francisco looking for information on the not-free-but-basically-free streetcar that runs from Lake Union to downtown. They ask about rent prices next which we take turns lamenting before the woman asks, “Do you like it here?” For a moment I am transported back to 2004 and staring my obsession with San Francisco in the face: “I’ll live there one day.” I’d say to my parents almost daily. “It’s my favorite city, it feels the most like me.” I smile at the memory, and then smile wider at my new conclusion: of the two, Seattle is the best fit. I reply to her inquiry with an enthusiastic “Oh, I love it — It’s my favorite city.” and smile even more.
Our apartment building is less than 6 months old with an overwhelming smell of new carpet, and combined with only having lived here for a month, it means I feel more like I am walking into a hotel than the place I live. I have actually really come to like that feeling. I feel myself relaxing as I walk down the cool hallway to the elevator, and can’t suppress the smirk that comes to my face as I pass a large TV hanging on the wall across from the mail room displaying video from a webcam in New York City. It’s nice from far away, I muse. A great sense of peace comes over me as the elevator doors open, and I scan myself up to our floor. I’m thankful for this roof over my head, the home I’ve created under it, and the person I live here with. Exiting the elevator, I’m struck by just how lucky I am to have had such a windfall of happiness over the past seven years, and smile my way down the hall. I inhale with deep appreciation as I unlock the bolt of our tiny apartment.
The cat meows excitedly when she sees me, and follows me as I set down my belongings and make my way over to a chest where an assortment of candles, a plant, and a few pictures sit. I choose a candle — “Campfire” — it is called, then sit on the couch, light it, and smile. Aries jumps up next to me then lays down and rests her head on my knee. It’s good to be home. Alex walks in a little while later, and I get up as he makes his way into the living room. We exchange kisses, hugs, and knowing sighs: it has been a long day — and now it’s time for the best part — the part where we do exactly nothing. I’m smiling again as I sit back down with him on the couch and we start talking about our days, his trades, and a puppy born on 9/11/14 that just so happens to belong to us. We go on and on like this for several hours until we finally realize we’re hungry.
It’s 8:00 PM — fairly late — and we don’t feel like cooking even though there is a fresh batch of meatballs and pasta readily available, not to mention a host of other options that we’re just too lazy to pursue. So, we eat sandwiches – on white bread – for dinner. Super nutritious — I know — but so delicious. We load up our plates and head back to the couch where we tune into Netflix for some entertainment before we talk a bit more, and head off to bed. It’s just been one of those much-needed lazy evenings.
We hop in bed, get under the covers, and talk for a bit. The sky was bereft of sunlight before dinnertime, so I have been feeling at least a little tired for several hours, and I am becoming more and more delirious by the second – even my thoughts are slurred. It is definitely time to sleep.
I roll over to my side and feel, for no particular reason, ecstatic. I’m smiling as I close my eyes.