Tomorrow will mark 4 weeks that I’ve been back in the Belge, and finally I am making myself at home. Initially city life hit me in the face and I figured I’d find something out of town, but comfort and complacency have determined that I will make this little bachelor pad my concrete nest until my migration south.
Seeing as my work permit has arrived, driving me out of my morning routine of yoga and working in Lulu pants till noon (who am I kidding… I wear them all day), I figured I needed to make a few changes around here. For starters, there isn’t a mirror in this apartment, so I’ve been using a clever trick: since Brussels is dark ~18/24 hours per day, I wait till the outside of my windows are black, put on whatever I’m thinking to wear, and check myself out in the windows. However I’m not sure my first, second, and third story neighbours of Jacques Hotonstraat are very enthusiastic participants in my fashion shows, so, I decided it’s time for a mirror that works in daylight too. This purchase was a bit sad for me as I love not having a mirror. For the months I lived in the Sierra Nevada I hardly ever saw my reflection. It’s nice. After failing to find something second hand, I reluctantly made the trip to Ikea, then went to my storage locker. Both of these places intimidate me, especially I always seem to go to the locker at night, and have flashbacks to XFiles episodes circa 1997 with Scully alone in an abandoned warehouse and some mutated alien, or worse – the stretchy Tooms character who kills people to eat their liver so he can stay eternally young – silently stalking her.
I hate the concept of a storage locker – to have so much stuff you’re not using that you pay to keep it in another location , which may or may not be haunted by any kind of paranormal beings, genetically cloned twins, satan worshippers, worm-men, etc. Stupid. Dangerous. But when I left Belgium almost 2 years ago, I thought I’d be returning within a year and setting up an apartment again, so I kept the things like dishes, my blender, skis, bike, clothes, etc. But now, I’ve decided to go as minimal as can be… and my apartment is the cutting room floor.
Boxes are in a jumbled heap on the floor between dining table/work desk and couch/bed, and wedged between changing table and car seat (no, neither are mine). 35m^2 living space has been reduced to… 7m^2 (if you include the bathroom) – actually I don’t know what these metric measurements actually mean, I’m just living in a self-made mess until I organise myself and offload this stuff to some unwitting person on Facebook (anyone need a pair of size 12 men’s xc boots?!) and various charitable organisations. Despite the untidiness, I feel I’ve been productive: I hung the mirror, which really made me feel handy. Shoutout to my dad, and his very thoughtful “Toolkit for Dummies”, which has been indispensable over the last 8 years.
Alright, signing off on this last night before re-entering Office Space tomorrow. It’s been 706 days, give or take. Wish me luck.
PS, I can’t stop thinking about XFiles now. That was a very, very scary show. Thank goodness the neighbours can keep an eye out for me.