I know there’s a name for this. Generously, it might be called “nesting.” But what C and I do immediately upon entering a hotel room is this: We strew our clothing about the place, explode toiletries into the bathroom, start a dirty laundry pile in the corner, and leave half-eaten apples and bags of pretzels everywhere.

I’d like to see this in time-elapse, because I swear to God, it happens instantly. Just a vomiting of possessions.

It  may be a desperate cry for real estate. As long as we’re in it, it’s OURS, and we WILL tattoo it with our presence.

When we first moved from our loft to an apartment with a variety of doors, I didn’t know how to behave. What, now? You have to turn this, push, walk through, then….what? We went from one interior door…to five. Completely threw me. I scuttled through our new warren, nose twitching, getting lost in the small hallway.

And my body rebelled. In the loft, no matter where you were, you could see at least 50% of the the entire space. We grew accustomed to hearing each other live. During the first days in our new place, we lost track of each other’s sounds, and would meet between rooms, eyes wide, shoulders hunched with panic.

It’s been a little over five months since hauling the piano up the stairs nearly resulted in four fatalities, and my legs have learned the new pathways. C still hits the light switch for the kitchen when he’s trying to see in the dining room, but really, that’s a charming side effect of a 1940s building. Those wackadoo electrical eccentricities!

I faked a familiarity in our new place until it felt real. I’d saunter into the kitchen, unsure of where I’d put the peanut butter, and lean against the sink, casual-like. Doesn’t do to let the natives know you’re restless. I’d bang my head on the door of the medicine cabinet in our suddenly tiny bathroom and curse like I’d been doing it for years. I’m willing to bet inanimate objects are capable of judgment, and NOTHING was going to decide I was a resident except ME.

Sometimes, early in the morning, I’ll crank an eye open and forget where I am. But then, thankfully, there’s this warm big bird next to me, and I’ll practically quack with relief.

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