It’s a Sunday night.  I’ve just cranked the heat up to a balmy 64 degrees, and I’m rocking out with my bad self.  Nearly a year since we moved into this house, I’m finally reaching the end of the struggle with the smallest bedroom.  

Mr. Apron is at rehearsal tonight – for principals only – so I’m at home.  Usually, on a Sunday night, on a rainy, dark, cold, wintry Sunday night, when Mr. Apron is out, I’m already in my pajamas, on the couch, or rotting my brain in front of Facebook.  Tonight, as he and I prepared for his departure, I lied and told him I’d bake something to stave off the Sunday night blahs.  I haven’t.  I’m into a project and I’m in headlong. 

I was possessed earlier today by the smallest bedroom, and I started attacking it.  You must understand that this room was the room into which we were permitted, before our closing, to store boxes, so that our actual capital Move might be a little bit easier.  For a week, Mr. Apron took boxes of books over here on his way to work, and single-handedly unloaded them, schlepped them up the stairs, and filled that little room to its gills.  As we had no particular designation for the room, it became the box room.   Since we weren’t planning on using it actively, we figured on filling it so we could arrange the other 5 rooms of our little home. 

When we did move in, there were 61 boxes, mostly full of books.  Heavy books.  For months they sat in a holding pattern because of wallpaper.  The downstairs needed to be stripped of wallpaper, so we could paint the room, then paint the bookshelf my father made for us, then assemble said bookshelf, and finally install the books.  That was a whole other adventure, dealing with primer sticking the shelves to the drop cloths, wood swollen with paint and Pennsylvania’s summer humidity.  Finally, though, the shelves and the walls were done, and the books were organized and shelved accordingly.  Still, 20-odd boxes remained in the box room. 

I’d love to visit England and actually see a “box room”.  I read about them in novels set in Britain, and I always picture them as dank rooms off of the kitchen, perhaps by some back entrance to the flat.  Calling our third room “the box room” is an attempt to infuse some élan into an otherwise awkward situation.

See, “the third bedroom” is kind of clunky, and “the baby room’s” double entendre was not fit for company who doesn’t need to know about our breeding plans, or our future intentions for the room itself.  So it remains, in my brain, the box room. 

Today is a blessing for me.  A Sunday of a 3-day weekend.  I usually get so depressed about Monday coming that I’m not able to enjoy an entire weekend day.  I am more likely to sleep in and feel bummed that I wasted precious daylight hours in bed, and to have a heavy, protein-and-fat laden breakfast which slows me down and makes me lethargic all day.  And Sunday night is the worst.  If there’s not rehearsal (which, more often than not, there has been since September 2009), then there’s making lunches for work, setting out the stuff I need to remember to take to work, making sure the car has gas to get me to work, and the dread of the impending work week in general.  “Work” is a 4-letter word on Sundays.

Except today.  Knowing I have an entire additional day tomorrow lets me enjoy my Sunday night.  And, though I might have intended to bake something Mr. Apron could enjoy for breakfast, or folded the laundry we washed earlier, or just sat around waiting for the Simpson’s and Family Guy, I’m only now taking a break from tackling the box room.

Folks, I unpacked the last 2 boxes of books this afternoon (architecture and photography), and, as of this writing, there are exactly four boxes left in that room.  I can see where the floor meets the wall, and it is un-obscured by boxes!  Two are full of LPs, so I’m going to leave them for when we get a shelf downstairs to house the records, and 2 have tchotchkes that sadly aren’t going anywhere till we get more shelves.  Mr. Apron’s police car models are safely ensconced in newspaper and can wait a while longer to come out.  The greatest triumph is that I tackled the hard boxes, the boxes full of random-ass desk droppings.  I can recall the awful moment I “packed” those boxes.  There was panic in the old apartment.  My brother, for once trying to be helpful, looking for lightweight boxes he could take down to the truck with one arm (his other being in a sling due to some shoulder injury), rushed me to finish a box.  I quite literally swept the contents of my crafting desktop into a box, and sealed it shut.  Staples, leaflets, old pay stubs, extra buttons, old daily planners, playbills, fabric scraps, unfinished projects, juggling sacks, you name it.  It’s not all put away or pitched yet, but the boxes are downstairs awaiting Mr. Apron’s crushing forces. 

He enjoys a good box-crushing session.  It helps him with his aggression.  Who am I to deny him that pleasure?

Going through boxes is, I imagine, like Christmas, except I’m opening things I already own.  I don’t quite know the feeling of Christmas, opening gift after gift in a frenzy, but I do know how delightful it is to mutter, “Oh, that’s where that went!” and “Wow.  I didn’t realize we still had this.” 

I came across an unfinished writing sample I did a while ago.  It has no date, but I can date it by my friend’s name, which I mentioned in the piece.  Since she became popular in 6th grade, and I stayed decidedly not, this must predate 6th grade.  I shall share it with you.  I bet you can guess which particular aspect of writing we were working on in school.  Note, too, the scintillating dialogue.  I never was destined to write scripts.  The misplaced modifiers are killing me. 

Chapter 2 (NB: Where’s Chapter 1, and what happened?)

I went to the mud room, pulled on my warm, red coat, the three-color hat my adoptive aunt knitted for me, from the floor, and slid my feet into my boots that were sitting by the door. 

“Mama, I’m going to go get Hannah!”

“Ok, don’t get too much snow in your books.  They take forever to dry.”

“Bye Mama!”

“Bye!”

I swung open the back door and breathed in the crisp cool air.  The snow was gently falling and the world looked frozen.  I grabbed an icicle as long as an unsharpened pencil, that was dangling from a tree by the garage.  I figured it would last me until I met Hannah.  Then I headed up the driveway.  Dad wasn’t awake yet, so the few inches of now that had fallen last night still lay on the ground.  I crunched down the street, marveling at the… 

And there it ends.  I wonder if I dreaded Sundays as much in 5th grade as I do now.  Well, with the exception of tonight.  I’m feeling really good about the box room.  Maybe now that it’s almost cleared out, we’ll start finding a use for our smallest bedroom in the near future.  And then I’ll have to put away all the breakable things I just unearthed! 

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