speaking in sunsets

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Jared was in the kitchen, drilling holes into the cabinets. Four scrub-downs with everything from Magic Erasers to bleach-based cleaners, & those stupid cabinets were still sticky - No, greasy to the touch. It grossed me out. I had picked out handles that I'd seen on some Ikea hack blog post, but Jared, the CFO in this marriage, guided me over to the knobs. A wall of nickel-plated aluminum. We had agreed that the pack-of-two-for-$.99-knobs were beautiful, in their own way. & then we put 16 in our cart.

I wandered out to the balcony to finish packing up my painting supplies. After two days of first & second coats on new shelves, I had somehow managed not to get paint anywhere on cement floor of the balcony. A miracle, really. Not that it mattered, since previous residents had made their permanent mark in several places. Apartment No. 18's Walk of Fame. Maybe I should spill a drop. No, no. If I'm going to leave my mark, then it should probably be glitter, not white primer.

The hum of the air conditioning unit of the grocery store behind our building was noisy, as it always was -- something I had attributed to my sound sleeping habits these days. White noise is a mysterious thing. But over the hum, I could still hear the regular street musician crooning her Maroon 5 cover on the sidewalk, & a guy begging his dog to sit. There was a butt in the window across from our little outdoor oasis. Several butts, actually. A pod of Lululemon yoga pants, doing precisely what they were made to do, on the second floor of the brick-walled yoga studio. I watched for a second, wondering how freaked out they would be if I joined in from my perch across the way. Or would they make me an honorary member? Wishful thinking from the girl who bought the $.99 knobs.

A shift in the clouds brought my eyes up, & I finally noticed the sky. THE SKY. Pink & gold streaks, shooting out from the building across the street. My mouth fell open to a long "Wooooow..." & I immediately pulled my phone out. I can't resist a good sunset. I maneuvered around the balcony as best I could, twisting my body around the brick corner, trying to crop out the fire escape to my right, the next door neighbor's poor, dead plants to my left. I silently dubbed this position The Sunset Catcher, hoping that none of the yogis could see me. 

The rooftop. Jared had discovered that we had rooftop access one night on a trip to the dumpster with broken down cardboard boxes. "It looks a little bit like the morning after a frat party up there," he said, frankly, "But it's a rooftop, & we have access to it." In our making-a-house-a-home flurry over the past three weeks, I had forgotten about his discovery until that moment. I flung the door open. "We have to go to the roof!"

Jared doesn't blink when I say things like this. We have always prioritized sunsets in our relationship. During a brief split while we were dating, we had agreed to wait to talk to each other until we were sitting down, face to face, after we'd had time to think. Somehow, in our craziness, we began sending wordless picture text messages of the sunset each night to each other. When you're able to speak to each other in sunsets, you should know that you're made for each other. We figured that out eventually. In a second, his shoes were on, & he was leading the way to the stairwell.

He was right -- It was like the morning after a frat party. There was a table on its side, & a couple of miniature grills that looked like they had seen more cigarette butts than food in their lifetime, but somehow, it seemed abandoned. Smoking no longer allowed? Who knows. There was a wall around the top of the roof, & we both moved to the table, tipping it right side up, standing on its four very shaky legs made shakier under our weight.

& we stood. We watched the busy street & sidewalks, with busy people heading in every direction. The taxis honking. The intersection lights switching from red to green to yellow & back again. The buildings tinted orange in the disappearing sunlight. "I like this place." Jared murmured. I smiled, a sign of my agreement. We may have been on nearly week three of cleaning & moving things around in hopes that maybe this time, the closet door will close. We may have put several things back by the time we reached the checkout at Ikea, namely some pillow case covers that I had clutched until the very end, in an effort to pinch extra pennies. I may have already had pangs of missing loved ones, & the comfort of streets we knew so well. Those overwhelming moments were being consumed on that rooftop by a calm. A peace. "It feels like home." I finally replied. 

Home. Home was holding Jared's hand, with a pink breeze touching our cheeks.
But this was certainly turning out to be a nice place to do just that.


  1. That sunset is beyond real! So beautiful!!
    And this was all so beautiful written!
    xo TJ


  2. You are just awesome. I love reading your blog especially since my husband and I just moved away from the Midwest to Maine and are currently also spending weeks on end scrubbing a dirty old apartment and attempting to make it a home. Love this post girl!


because lezz be frandz.