If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My View

Over the Thanksgiving holiday Angel took a stroll down memory lane with his dad. They went up to our old neighborhood, where Angel spent a good portion of his early life. It is the area he thinks of as home.

As would be expected, he found everything to be much smaller than he remembered. However during the excursion they ran into our old landlord. It seems our landlord took over our apartment after it was vacated and spruced it up quite a bit. It is now his pied-a-terre/study. He was kind enough to bring them up and give them a tour.

Angel had his camera with him and took a few pictures. He shared several with me. It was strange seeing my old home looking like a completely new home.

I loved that apartment. We moved there when Angel was 18 months. Prior to that we lived in a decent-sized (for ReallyBigCity) one-bedroom apartment in a neighborhood that many described as funky and eclectic but did nothing for me.* Our apartment was on the first floor in the back and looked out only at alleys and other buildings.

By the time Angel was walking (10 months) it was clear the apartment could not contain all three of us--at least not if we wanted to remain sane. So I started apartment hunting. I was working full-time and had just gone back to school part-time. I got no help in the search from my ex. I did get a lot of help from my sister Jo, as I was looking in her neighborhood. She had recently given birth to my nephew and so we pushed strollers through empty apartments for about 6 months.

And then I found my view:

The apartment had several other features that I adored as much as the view, including a truly funky neighborhood that was convenient to Jo.

We lived there together until Angel was nine and I realized I could no longer deny the marriage was over. Unfortunately my ex did not share my feelings and the break-up was difficult. He could not afford the apartment on his own and I could. It was a 2-bedroom apartment and Angel's only real home so it seemed obvious that I would stay and he would go. Except he refused to go. After 6 months I finally moved out.

He stayed a few more years, renting out Angel's old room to make ends meet, until he found his new love and now wife and moved in to her apartment (also with a view). Angel was sad to see the apartment go but I had long put it behind me.

Yet now, seeing these pictures, I miss it.

*The great thing about that neighborhood was that Sensei lived right across the street. How that came to be is an interesting story for another time.


MsPrufrock said...

That is a lovely view. I find it particularly appealing as it's overcast as well, and I'm a sucker for a cloudy sky over water. I do live on the south coast of England after all.

Julie said...

I love the pictures, but I love your writing even more. You have much poetry in the telling of this story, and I was wondering if you have written creatively about that time.

Though the times you experienced there were rough, this is a beautiful portrayal of life, with all its human struggles. I sense joy there, too, when you write about Angel:)