After six years together, four of them married, Jenny and I are officially living apart. This hurts more than I can say.
Granted, we had been moving apart for a long time. Jenny’s consulting job kept her away for long stretches, and then, after the rupture point about six months ago, she took the gig in Chicago and was home only on weekends. And once we reached the point of recognizing the marriage as over, Jenny stayed with friends, and took a sublet for the month of August. So this is just one further step apart — but for once, it’s my step, not hers. I have moved.
As far as the actual mechanics of the thing, all went relatively smoothly. The moving team from Flat Rate was efficient and friendly and led by a man who had come to New York to work with a friend of his who happens to be the ambassador of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the United Nations, but somehow ended up hauling boxes and furniture instead. Over the course of an exhausting Saturday, the bed delivery, the cable guy, the AC installer and FreshDirect all showed up at their appointed times and did their appointed business. So did my friend F, who had offered to go to Ikea and pick up furniture for me in his minivan (minor snafu: he bought only one bookshelf, not the five I need). By the end of the evening, with the help of still another friend from recovery, I had a working computer and a working TV stand with a working TV on it. Oh, and Jenny helped too, particularly with putting up the curtains so I could have some privacy, though it turns out my windows face out mostly towards brick wall and sky (you can see the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge from my bathroom window).
Daniel came by on Sunday for more furniture assembly, and he displayed his considerable box-bundling prowess. By the end of Monday — which involved taking the subway up to the old neighborhood to get the car, then a drive to a Wal-Mart in deep Jersey for some $600-odd worth of exciting items like a dish drainer and a kitchen drawer organizer — I had cleared away a fair amount of the wreckage and established a basically functional home in which I could shower and shave, find my shoes and my keys, make my morning tea, check my email, and get out the door, and then come home again, order in some dinner and watch some TV. There’s still a ton of work, but it will happen.
And there are good aspects too. There are advantages to living in a real apartment building again: an incinerator chute (to a bin, not to an incinerator) and recycling room where I can take my trash any day of the week, a full-time super, laundry in the basement, an elevator, a buzzer to let in guests and delivery guys without having to find my shoes and trudge downstairs. My location somehow allows me excellent FM reception for WFMU and WKCR, which is nice. And there’s a ton of shopping and restaurants to explore in my new neighborhood — just last night I found an excellent kebab joint. One day I may even stop feeling sad about living where I do, and about living on my own.