I signed a lease on an apartment today.
I then walked into Bed Bath & Beyond, looked at all the different possibilities for a shower curtain, and hyperventilated.
A few months ago when I moved out of my apartment in South Beach, I took everything in my kitchen, my awesome lamp collection, and countless boxes of clothes. The rest? I'd rather not say where it is. It was ugly anyway.
But back to the hyperventilating. Even if I had taken my stuff, I had lived in a studio. I rented this studio month-to-month for eight years, my landlord never raised my rent, and it always felt like I was on vacation because South Beach is such a shithole it's impossible to form any sort of permanence. If you came over for a visit, you sat on my bed because there was no place else to sit. But now in this new apartment, I have, like, rooms and closets and shelves that stand expectantly awaiting the arrival of knick knacks. Where does one acquire knick knacks? I don't collect stuff. It reminds me of time gone by. To quote Edna Mode from "The Incredibles," I never look back, darling. It distracts from the now.
So I have to buy everything. EVERYTHING...except for the aforementioned kitchen stuff, thanks to my assortment of Fiestaware, which my mother would buy for me whenever Macys.com had a sale, and send it to me--which means I now have to pay to move several boxes of Fiestaware dishes that were bought on sale but have now cost three times what they would've cost if I bought them new. But you can't put a price on sentimentality.
This story isn't about Fiestaware.
I have spent years floating through life, doing stupid TV shows and getting roles in schlocky plays, and it was like I had joined the circus. I lived on the road and stayed in random apartments and in awful 1960's motels, which actually are my favorite because they are so romantic. Every place had its own appeal. I had just as much fun in St. Louis as I did in Paris. Although the food in Paris was much better. But my goal was to figure out what I want to be when I grow up before I hit the age of 40. So I went back to school and I now have a job, which I start next week, and I'm 39 and a little extra. Phew! Made it. Barely.
There in Bed Bath & Beyond, with those lights and perky employees which are both somewhat smothering, I walked past a collection of bathroom mirrors. And as I often do when I pass a mirror, I looked. But this time, I stopped and really looked. This is it. This is who I am now. I looked at the gray hair growing on my earlobe over the scar from where my earring used to be. Old. Life is moving by and there's no going back.
So, I thought, I have a new apartment! Congratulations, Self. I guess I need a shower curtain. So I turned, and I took a step, a step, a step around the corner to the shower curtains. Okay. I looked at all the choices, too many choices, and all the colors swirled together and it became hard to breathe and I speed-walked out of the door.
I can't be expected to think of everything. How do people do this? How do people keep making these decisions constantly about their future and repeatedly make commitments with long reaching implications that can't even be contemplated while the decisions are being made? I don't know what kind of a shower curtain I want! And then I need a couch and a table and a TV and a desk for my computer unless I just use the table maybe and a bed and sheets for that bed and towels but the towels need to be the right color for when I hang it to dry next to the shower curtain.
Bed, bath, and beyond, indeed.
I'm an adult.
It finally happened. Peter Pan can't fly anymore, and Tinkerbell has left the building.
But it's been a while since I've been excited for anything. And I'm pretty Goddamned excited for all this stuff. Anyone else who will be there, please excuse me during our New Employee Orientation next week because I'll be sitting in the front row and asking lots of questions.