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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Why Call It ‘Apartment’, When We’re So Close Together?

In the spirit of picking up where I left off — that impending move I mentioned a couple of posts / years ago worked out okay in the end. I’m sure I’ll get to the particulars of our present pad in due time, but in that post, I mentioned that the missus and I were looking for a month’s worth of temporary housing. We’d somehow managed to set a sell date and a buy date, and ne’er the twain did meet.

So we went apartment hunting, for the first time in a decade. And — after a few false starts — we eventually went apartment finding. You’d think we’d have started with that step, and cut out all of the drama. But no. We’re gluttons like that.

The place we settled into — way back in August of ’09, for those of you who were, you know, born yet — was cozy enough. Where ‘cozy’ means ‘cramped like Kevin Smith stuffed into a Southwest Air overhead bin’.

(Yes, I know that happened over a year ago. I’ve had nowhere handy to offload these jokes since then. Deal with it.)

“We reached an accord. I peed a little blood. We moved on.”

As ‘efficiency’ apartments go, it was certainly true to its name. The front door of our second-floor unit opened directly into the combination bedroom/storage area/TV parlor, which led to the hallway/kitchen, which flowed through to the living/dining/ironing/computering/laundry folding nook. Not to mention the bathroom/pantry/sauna/gymnasium, or the little space at the top of the stairs they tried to sell as a ‘basketball arena’. Fifteen rooms, all in the space of one lean-in closet!

(Right. And my welcome mat is the Rose Bowl. Remind me never to look for real estate in the hippie granola area near Harvard Square again. All that free-spirit ‘imaginizing’ tends to creep into the listing sheets.)

Still, the missus and I weren’t averse to a bit of spartan living. All our stuff was in storage, anyway, so it’s not like we needed space for anything. The fridge held two six-packs, we had laps for our laptops, and the pantry showers were generally warm. As little space as there was, we really didn’t feel squished at all.

Well… except.

See, we rented the place furnished, so we were at the mercy of whatever stuff had been pre-crammed into the scant space available. That included the bed, which was beautiful with an ornately crafted real wooden headboard and footboard, each at least two feet tall. I thought they were wonderful; I had no beef with the bed boards. My problem was all about the space between them. Or lack thereof.

I’m not sure what sort of mattress size comes five-and-a-half feet long — I’m guessing it’s ‘Petite’, or ‘Smurfy’, or maybe ‘DeVito’ — but that’s the kind of mattress they managed to fit on the bed. Sadly, I came in queen or king size — six feet and a couple of inches — so there was no possible way I was going to fit, non-fetally, on top of that mattress. And because of the looming solid wooden barriers guarding either end, I wasn’t hanging off the thing, either.

My first solution was to sleep diagonally. My wife countered my move by punching me repeatedly in the kidneys after I repeatedly violated ‘The Neutral Zone’ with my legs. We reached an accord. I peed a little blood. We moved on.

The next night, I tried wrapping up in a tight little ball. And slept about as well as you might expect a fat gangly giraffe with bruised organs trying to impersonate an armadillo to sleep. Also, I kept forgetting that I was sleeping in a goddamned wooden shoebox, and banged my feet and ankles against the bottom every time I moved. Which was about as often as you might expect an ostrich trying to sleep inside a cherry-wood briefcase to toss and turn. Approximately.

(That’s an awful lot of animal metaphors right in a row. Sorry. I’ll try to keep the ‘Wild Kingdom’ in my pants — at least until this post is done.

Speaking of which…)

The third night, I went with stretching my legs out up on top of the footboard. That wasn’t especially comfortable, and had the unfortunate effect of pooling most of my blood somewhere in the groin area. That tends to make a guy a mite… ‘frisky‘.

You might think that’s not such an ‘unfortunate’ thing, what with the missus close by and my internal organs mostly healed. You’d be forgetting that by that point, both my legs were solidly asleep and completely useless for any sort of maneuvering, frisky or otherwise. I’ll let you do the math.

(And just be glad I swore off the animal metaphors already. Because the image of a paraplegic horny walrus comes vividly to mind, and I’m certain you do not want to think about that.

Oh. Sorry.)

Anyway, long story short, I spent the rest of the month sleeping on the couch in the living/dining/ironing/dreamcatcher/moonbeam closet. It wasn’t any longer than the bed, but at least it was made of lumpy cushions and naugahyde, instead of blocks of wood.

And probably hemp. It’s always the hemp with these people.

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