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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

so now i live in sydney

And about 7,530 miles from home.  Somebody please change my subtitle thingie.

Opera House.  3 o'clock.

A handful of Saturdays ago we left Auckland, moved into our beautiful new 12th floor apartment overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and could not stop staring at our amazing view.  This amazing view.  It was breathtaking.  Spectacular.  Boat-y.  We found Nemo.

Two days later we moved out.  It came down to sanity or a bathtub.  Just like it always does.

In Auckland we only had showers.  If we didn’t want to be dirty, vertical cleaning was our only option.  Our bathtub toys were out of a job and pissy.  But day after day after every other day of standing in a shower, bending over for a dropped this and a misplaced that, were just really bad action lines in a porn script and ex-hausting.  I longed for a lazy horizontal soak, where I had the option of participating or not and still ended up clean.

12th Floor Apartment had a tub.  I know this because as soon as I stepped into that apartment, I was in my bathtub suit, horizontal, and up to my neck in water.  For an hour.  I didn’t have a washcloth and emerged spotless.  It was great.  And then night fell.

The fear of living in an apartment was always the neighbors.  You know the ones.  With the loud parties and dumb friends and terrible music and weird cooking smells and not smart choices when it came down to smoke or not to smoke in bed.  Well, as the story goes, those neighbors were not our neighbors.  I actually have no idea who our neighbors were because we didn’t hear a peep out of them in the 48 hours we lived there.

What we did hear a peep out of was EVERY SINGLE THING ELSE. 

Every Single Thing Else

1.  The cars.  That drove back and forth across the Harbour Bridge.  In and out of our amazing view and our ear canals.  Where were those people going at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 in the morning and why couldn’t they take the super quiet and very underground train???

2.  The master air conditioning unit.  Which housed about thirty very giant black cables the size of my very small thighs.  On my 8-year-old son’s patio.  That sucker went on and off every five minutes.  It sounded like a Zamboni was resurfacing our ice rink and just couldn’t get it right.

3.  The bedroom windows.  Made of 10% subpar window material, 90% wind gusts.  Sleeping pills shoved down our throats only made things windier.  

4.  The words.  Between me and my husband.  Over and over, always the same.  "What're we going to do?"  "What can we do?"  "I don't know."  "We have to do something."  "Well, try to sleep."  "I can't sleep!"  "Neither can I!"

5.  My tears.  

When you can’t sleep, you cry.  I cried.  I didn’t know what we were going to do.  We signed a year lease.  I couldn’t not sleep for a year.  I would be bat shit crazy by Tuesday.  My husband hates when I’m bat shit crazy.

So on Monday morning, after being robbed of sixteen hours of sleep and subsequent beauty, the man I lived with told me to pack.  He was going to work and he was going to find us someplace else to live.  That day.  And then he said this line:  “I will not having my family living like this.”  And I cried.  Because I hadn’t slept and I was probably already crying and I loved that line and he was going to save us.  And also because I needed to drown out the jackhammers that were suddenly busting up the uncooperative earth in the empty lot next to our building.  That's right, freeway on one side.  Day one of "hey, let's build a high-rise here" on the other.   

That afternoon we broke that lease, shoved our only piece of furniture, a brand new mattress, into a handicap taxi van, and moved to a quiet little apartment in Balmain.  And that night we slept.  Like very sane babies on a brand new mattress.  

The next morning I did the only thing I could do:  Shower.

I will miss you, view, but not you, crazy stupid irregular corners.


  1. well you may be far away but I swear you get funnier.

  2. Sydney looks beautiful, and THAT is a heroic line: "I will not have my family living like this." Yay, you, for having a heroic husband and for finding a new, quiet place in Balmain, whatever that is. I'm hoping you will tell me exactly what it is and what it's like in your next post.

    xo, Courtney

    1. I can tell you what Balmain is but I'd rather show you. Come over. Tonight. I miss you.

  3. My hero! I always knew he wore a Superman shirt under all those shirts you so carefully picked out for him. Sydney sounds lovely and I look forward to my next adventure. But will the flight still be 13 1/2 hrs?

    Love and miss you much!

  4. Love it. Love you. You had me at "thighs."