The Bunkhouse

02 April 2011

Two weeks from today I will take the written part of a comprehensive exam for my MA in English Lit...So yes...I should be reading something right now. Or perhaps grading papers. Or perhaps prepping to teach on Monday. Or doing any of the other things that were on my oh-so-impossible To-Do list for the weekend. 

Instead, I've spent the majority of my weekend working on a baby registry, and consequently researching my way, not through Tristram Shandy or Derrida, but through  

To put in perspective how it feels for us to confront all the acquiring and spending and prepping that goes along with having a newborn, let me say that, currently, we live in a one room converted garage. 

And we love it. 

Jacob and his dad, Keith, put in the kitchen and the bathroom. Jacob built me a huge bookshelf that serves as a type of divider between the living area and the bed(room). Jacob finished everything right before the wedding, so I hadn't seen it till we drove into LA as newlyweds. 

Sometimes people come in, take one look at the house and and my pregnant belly and become very concerned and start treating us like a charity case. Believe it or not we live here because we WANT to...I know...crazy... Mostly people recognize how happy we are. When my parents came to visit last summer, my father saw the house for the first time. I'll never forget how his eyes swept our 300 sq. feet, and he said with a little admiration and envy in his voice: "Everything you own fits in here."

We've pretty much given up the hope of staying in the little place after the baby's born. Jacob's cousins who own the property have put it on the market and even if it takes a while to sell, we will leave before the baby comes. We'll make the flashy upgrade to a one bedroom apartment probably in May. But it's hard to let go. 

I'm already nostalgic about "our first place" and "these years." And I'm a little more than intimidated by the amount of stuff that comes along with having children. People often ask if we have our nursery ready. I smile and skirt the question and proceed to think of the shoebox on the bookshelf that holds in its cardboard walls every baby item we've acquired so far.

Granted, school has probably suppressed all my "nesting" instincts, and they will certainly emerge with a vengeance on May 11th when I turn in grades. For now we're here eating fresh limes and counting monarchs in the garden and watching crows waddle down the paths and letting everything be taken over by orange poppies. 

 A few months ago when I found out the property was being sold (which means one thing in our mega-mansion neighborhood), I got a little weepy, and I wrote this sappy poemish type thing for Jacob.
Anyhow. Enjoy.
We will leave this house soon.
Perhaps they will knock it down.
The stained, wood paneled walls.
The moldy doors and corners
full of cobwebs.
Perhaps they will knock them all down.
The surfboard suspended above the
window, resting on the bookshelf/wall.
The shelves that you hammered and painted
(one of them blue as the California sky
because I love blue
because you love me.)
They will knock them all down.

A boy loved a girl here. He made her this house.

He carried her through the front door
and showed her the home he’d built
for her books.
She budgeted a lot.
He did lots of projects.
They ate vegetables
and drank tequila.

Don’t worry. Those who demolish

the place, who knock everything down,
they won’t know the stories hidden in these walls.
They will just be doing their job.
We will not tell them the stories,
and the stories won’t be crushed.
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