Laurie Berkner’s song “Victor Vito” came on and I felt three seconds of pure happiness, and then I could not breathe. It was like the exhilaration of jumping into a wave, then realizing too late that it’s too high and too deep. Before you know it, you are going under. It felt like that wave.
No. More like a storm surge.
Two years ago this month, I was still unpacking boxes. We had been moved in for a month already, but I had been taking my time unpacking all of the decorations because I wanted everything to be just right. Although we didn’t plan to stay in this new beach apartment for long, it was going to be just the change of pace we needed while we looked for our new home. The home where we hoped to stay for years this time. In the meantime, let’s have some fun in the sun!
Pants’s room was done and it looked suitable for a Pottery Barn Kids catalog shoot, only for a really cool kid with some fantastically groovy stuff. After waiting over a year to bring in the ceramic giraffes inherited from my great-aunt (which I had admired since I was little), we had finally displayed them on the wall with the rest of his mish-mash of funky stuff and it couldn’t have looked cooler. So eclectic. So pulled together. So him.
The living room was coming together and I was so excited that I would sometimes just lie on the couch at night after Pants was in bed, turn off all the lights except for a warm lamp or two, and look around at our home. Everything was coming together. Everything just fit here, even if it was only temporary.
I don’t always tell people that the home we lost in Hurricane Katrina was an apartment we were renting. For some reason, they seem to sort of turn off when I tell them that. As though “oh, it was just a rental” means that it wasn’t a home. That our stuff wasn’t real.
Only the walls were rented. The home was ours…