We Buy a House

We closed yesterday. We sat in the title company office and signed documents with their blue pens, because blue shows up better. Our lawyer, whom we had just met, advised us. She said we had to sign something saying that we would resign something. We went to the house and pulled up weeds and pulled down the ivy from the sides. We talked to our next-door neighbors, whose house is for sale and which we'd looked at twice. We met another neighbor who said that there was a block party the summer. L met a neighbor who lived about three houses down and does gardening. We found how terribly thick and unmoving the branches are that hold up ivy and weeds. I dug and dug to get at one tap root. For dinner we took the bottle of champagne our realtor C gave us and went to Tango Sur, a wildly successful restaurant around the corner from our new place, "on the Southport corridor"--a designation that sprang from the head of some realtor. L's lower back has been spasming so everything's been difficult for him. He can't sit very long and when he gets up to walk around he's still not entirely comfortable.

This morning I slept as long as I could despite disturbing dreams of getting to an appointment late and having my high school friends take me in a helicopter. I met with a client and then went to the new place, where L was meeting with our contractor J and his helper B. It still is so strange to think you can move walls and build in cabinets and add floor. We're opening up the wall between the living and dining rooms. Right now they're separated by a big doorway, and you can theoretically pull out dark pocket doors to close off the rooms from each other. We're going to take out the pocket doors. J said that he has a friend who used a door like that as a head board. I like that idea. I could use the other one as a desk but I don't know if I want one that has a pattern on it and isn't quite flat. I don't want to ravage the house. I want to respect it.

We have a head board already on the captain's bed that we were planning to sleep on. We could take off the headboard, which contains shelve inside it, but we'd lose the space. Suffer for beauty, I thought of saying, a quote of my mothers.

A friend called today from Oregon. I hadn't heard from her in years. She'd just given my name to someone at a convention and when she Googled me to get my number she saw this blog. She told me she'd had a mastectomy about 20 years before. She didn't do anything to restore the breast until she realized she was wearing bigger and bigger clothes. She decided to buy a prosthesis.

We need to decide on color for the walls. I want to visit a friend's house to see what she's done with yellow. She's out of town but we have her keys. I'm afraid of color and always admire friends who use it. But I don't want the blue that's in the new house in the kitchen and two upstairs bedrooms. Make things look too small.

How utterly bourgeois and also to be reading a book called The Emotional House. I hate the Ikea ads that say that home is the most important building. It's not. It's the polis. We are a community who must band together. And yet, home is where we get the energy to go forth each day.