I have been awake for over 2 hours. I finally decided to just get up after realizing how much I ached: my sore back, my sore shoulders, my sore feet, my aching heart (metaphorical heartache, not literal, heartache about the state of the world, not about personal loss).
Why am I aching? Yesterday morning, my spouse said we weren't going to move the mattresses from the guest room to the cottage for a few more days. Last night, I got home to mattresses in the living room, and it was clear my spouse was going to move them to the cottage last night, one way or another. So, I helped.
Now the guest room feels so empty. Since September, we've had 2 mattresses and 2 box springs stacked on top of each other, along with 7 boxes of books crammed in beside the box. We brought all sorts of stuff in from the cottage when my sister-in-law moved in. When she moved out in February, my spouse was teaching 8 classes, so we didn't have time to think about much else but how we'd get our work-for-pay done.
Now my spouse has a stretch of time, so he wants to make some headway on house projects. I do not have a similar stretch of time, but I try to help where I can. I do like the parts of the house that we've managed to transform (the kitchen, the laundry room). I do want to live in a house that looks like the home of proper grown ups who can manage their lives.
The guest room is so much more spacious without a bed in it. Part of me wonders if we will ever have guests again. Why move the mattress and box spring back?
When we moved the mattresses, we found the bottle of contact lens solution that I couldn't find when I got back from San Antonio. I got out to San Antonio for the AWP conference back in March to discover that I left without a bag of liquids. I bought a brand new bottle of solution, which I knew I returned home with but couldn't find.
I look at that bottle as if it's an artifact from long ago. Ah, the travel in March, where only a few people in the airport wore masks, and most of them wore them incorrectly. Ah, travel in March, where there were whispers that we should be taking this disease more seriously (note the discussions about whether or not the AWP conference should have been cancelled), but I would not have foreseen what March would bring. Even as our week in San Antonio ended with the news of the cancellation of the South by Southwest festival in Austen, I would not have predicted shelter in place/safer at home orders across the nation.
I would not have predicted the severe toilet paper shortage.
Now I look at this room, which we're about to empty further, this front bedroom. Could we transform it to something else, something that could be converted back if we did have a guest here and there?
I'm no longer sure that buying air mattresses makes sense. Most of our guests can't get down to an air mattress. I'm thinking about my friend's futon with a solid wooden frame. But again, I find myself wondering if our days of hosting overnight guests are over: between the age of our various relatives, the age of our friends, the fact that we're no longer on the way to anywhere else where friends and family are traveling.
Well, more will be revealed in the coming days and months. For now, let me not be in a rush to move items back to the main house. Let me sit with emptiness before filling it up.
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