The time that I spent living in Salt Lake City was quite brief. Just one hot summer with two amazing friends. I was working two jobs and just picked up a third, working in a coffee shop at the mouth of the canyons. Safe to say I was pretty tired, almost ALL of the time.
The apartment I lived in was quite old. It was historically the first apartment complex in Salt Lake City and because of that, it had a lot of quirks and a lot of character. The bathroom was especially interesting, the shower head was about four feet tall, requiring a slight bend at the knee in order to effectively shower. The tile was a tealish green and always sweating, wetting my heels and toes. The teal tile led up to a large window that stretched across one wall, overlooking a private school and the entire valley. Our apartment didn’t have air conditioning so in the summer, to avoid a fourth floor sauna, we’d sleep with the windows open. Laughs and cries of the children playing on the playground before school would echo into my bedroom, awaking me before I actually had to wake up. (Sounds pretty creepy now that I think about it).
I would crawl out of bed leaving my (ex) boyfriend and my puppy sleeping soundly, limbs and faces hanging outside of the covers to catch the cool breeze. Half-asleep, I was shuffling throughout the apartment doing my morning routine, with taps of Clyde’s paws hitting the hardwood floor behind me. I’d start with eating frozen strawberries and granola at the table, then sitting in the sunroom and playing tug-o-war or fetch with Clyde. Finally I’d hop in the shower entering the sunlit bathroom overlooking the school and the rest of the sleeping valley. The hot water rinsing down and off my body would create a cloud of steam, rising into the cracked ceiling kissing my upstairs neighbors floorboards.
There is something so captivating, so nostalgic about this particular time in my life. This one random very hot summer spent in Apartment 80. Living in New York (the place I’ve dreamt of living for years) I yearn and crave that window. Solitude. Easily escaping discomfort. Stillness. That still frame of my life, the times I spent in the cramped shower, seeing Clyde’s tail wagging back and forth underneath the shower curtain. Clyde’s rough spotted tongue licking off all the excess water as it puddles beneath me. My toes wiggling in the grout of the tile while getting chills from the opened window. Quiet.
Living in this wonderful city of ever-changing environments and thousands of people, the one thing I miss the most and the one hardest adjustment for me is windowless bathrooms. My morning routine today consists of me stumbling out of bed at 4:30 A.M and commuting the hour to work. There isn’t an overly crowded bed that I’m leaving, the sun isn’t awake, Clyde isn’t patiently waiting for me to leave the shower and more importantly there isn’t a moment that isn’t spent with other people. Even at 5 A.M there are people lingering outside of Bodegas as I walk down the street to work.
Where and how do I find my moments of stillness? My moments of bliss?
New York has taught me to find solitude in those spaces and places where you actually aren’t alone. It’s taught me to APPRECIATE windows in bathrooms but, also appreciate the little moments of solitude I find myself in.Whether I’m physically alone or not. It’s riding the very few above ground subways into Brooklyn, it’s spending time at my favorite cafe/bar, dancing in my kitchen to “The National” when both of my roommates are working, it’s sitting in the sauna at my gym singing.
Moving here, to this amazing city hasn’t taught me a life of luxury its taught me how to live a life of loneliness, and how to live a fast paced life while also counting the seconds in-between. Right now thinking about those seconds in-between is the only thing keeping me sane while enduring my first New York winter. The only thing keeping me sane.