You know it's a bad day when you go to take off your makeup and you realize that you've already cried off every last speck of mascara.
I recently had to drop by J.'s condo to pick up a few costuming items for an upcoming performance. When he answered the door, I headed towards the living room while he gathered the pieces he was loaning me. I stood there, looking around, breathing in... and out...
Back when we were still together, J. and I talked about getting a place of our own for many months before finally deciding to look. We started going out with a realtor all the way in October (of 2005), but we didn't finally find a place we were willing to commit to until March (of 2006).
March 17 was when the sale closed, and we had dinner in it that very night. We had no furniture moved in yet, no dishes or silverware, no lights even. But we ordered pizza, with paper plates and plastic forks and cans of soda, and we sat on the living room floor and ate in front of the fireplace. It was our first meal in our first home together.
The day we officially moved in, we had hired movers to arrive at 9am. Surprisingly, everything was moved and unloaded by 11:30, so J. and I headed out for some lunch. When we got back, we flopped onto our bed, exhausted already by the day, but excited to be home together. As we were lying there, J. looked at me and said, "We have a house now. Let's get married and have lots of sex and babies." [That makes a lot more sense if you're familiar with the film Love Actually.] I laughed and we started joking about the movie, but eventually, he said, "You didn't answer." So I said yes.
I was so thrilled when my mom came to visit a few months later. I beamed as I gave her the tour - our first home together. I talked about where we would put the nursery when we started having kids in a few years, and when we would start thinking of moving to a bigger house for more space. But for that moment, I was happy, because it was our home. Our home together.
J. still lives there, and when I talk about going there, that's how I refer to it - as J.'s place, or J.'s condo. But I remember when it was ours.
When J. came out of his bedroom with the vest and tie I needed, he saw me standing in the living room, looking wistful. He asked if I was okay, and when I looked over, he saw that I was crying. "It still smells the same," I sighed, gesturing to the house.
J. shrugged and looked around. "It just smells like home," he said.
I nodded as the tears swept over my cheeks. "Yeah it does."