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after the move

"All your furniture doesn't fit in your new apartment!" the owner said with some dismay, seeing my IKEA POANG chair and LACK coffee table on the back patio. "No," I agreed. "Why is that?" "My last apartment was bigger than this one. It's okay though. I like it here." And I do. The owner runs a shop, and she offered to sell the coffee table for me; the POANG's cushion had been pretty well destroyed by the cats, so I think I'll just use it for outdoor furniture.
The new apartment is maybe half the size of my previous apartment, but I really think I can be happy here. Happier, even -- this might be more of the right place for me than where I was, at Money Village. I took a lot of pleasure from all the manicured landscaping at Money Village, and appreciated the latino men who were always replacing something just past its prime with something about to flower. The sprinkler system -- irrigation, really -- for the gardens bothered me a bit... Not exactly a waste of water, but a gratuitous use of it. The Columbia River died so I could look out on a rich green meadow? (I know my water really comes from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir, but it amounts to the same thing. The Hetch Hetchy valley died so I could look out on a rich green meadow.)
Where I live now is a quiet street in Pacifica, two blocks from the ocean, with rows of single-story houses. Each house has its own garden or lawn or trees, and it's all alive. There are palm trees, and succulents, and flowering vines, and weathered fences, and gravel driveways... and it's beautiful. I don't think these people have landscapers. I think they take care of their yards themselves, and plant a bush or a tree because they plan to enjoy that tree for ten or twenty years. The air is always damp with fog coming off the ocean. My apartment is half the size of my old apartment, but the owner is building a mosaic walkway to the back patio for me, and I think we might become friends. On the wall above my desk is a large-format photo she took of a desert scene; the wall is light mauve; the floor is bamboo. Everything here is here because the owners -- two people-- decided to put it here.
Money Village was a great place to live for a year, and it was a level of luxury that I needed after the scary South Side of Providence. Now I'm happy to be here, cozy and foggy and rich with the opposite of transience.

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