There is a moment, a nano-second, when deciding to re-decorate an apartment makes sense to you. My moment was a day before work when I sat in my favourite armchair drinking my one and only cup of coffee for the day.
It’s the time I take stock, think about the day ahead, stop thinking about the day ahead, and just sit for 15 minutes. It’s the time in the day I call up gratitude and mind all the things, places and people I am grateful to have in my life. It didn’t occur to me two weeks ago to be effing grateful for a well-ordered apartment in which I could sit, drink coffee and navel gaze.
Unlike the big farmhouse in the country from whence I came two years ago, there is less space in this city apartment to comfortably store one area of the abode while destroying (aka re-decorating) the other half. Christ, there was enough room in the farmhouse to dedicate whole rooms to a theme when decorating. The Books Room, the Fabrics Room and the Do Not Break the Antiques from Mother-in-law Room to name three. Here in the apartment, it’s more contemplating how much more the built-in wardrobe can take before going through the floor joists to the neighbour downstairs.
Having taken a sharp scalpel to my life, I’m surprised I still have enough stuff to fall over, step on and beg forgiveness for breaking. Although I’ve wised up on the latter. Shit gets broken, shit gets put into a trash bag and hauled to the dump never to be spoken of again. If you come to the apartment and can’t see some precious whatever you gave me or Bronnie for an nth anniversary or birthday, please play dumb. No-one likes to cut up houseguests into teeny-tiny pieces and put in a trash bag before pre-dinner drinks.
I may be over the edge.
The friends who have borne witness to my re-decorating ticks cannot understand why I can’t just let the thing be for a week or so while a fresh coat is applied to everything. Hell, one habitually untidy friend couldn’t see ‘the chaos’ I was on about. Doesn’t everyone cook on an oven balanced on the bathtub?
I don’t know. I do know the first time I came in from work and saw my belongings piled to the ceiling I felt inadequate and vulnerable. It may have represented somewhere in my subconscious the broken pieces of a life left in the wake of Bronnie’s death. A chaos I have refused to admit to. Of course I’m coping, come and see my ultra tidy and beautiful apartment even in the midst of refurbishing if you don’t believe me.
Christ, that took a turn. Sorry.
In my defence, I did also hurt my back quite early on in the proceedings. I descended a ladder thinking I had one more rung to go when I was actually already on the ground. Yes, I hurt my back stepping onto a ground I was already stepped onto. You couldn’t make it up.
And there went my solo decorating efforts.
Deeply frustrating since I know how to decorate and paint well. I’m the show-off painter who can cut into the edge of a white ceiling with dark grey paint and leave a line straighter than a straight line. A Painter & Decorator by trade, my late father also taught me how to hang wallpaper and plaster cracks in walls. Jobs I have now had to get a handyman to do for me.
Me painting over the cracks in my life is one thing, but watching someone else do it leaves too much time to contemplate when next the paint might start peeling off again.