#202: Moving Downstairs

Empty hangers in empty white closet. Mix of blond and brown wood.
West Village, Detroit, MI

I moved into a new apartment this weekend. A downstairs unit in the same building. The building’s two stories, in the shape of the letter U; the negative space is where we park our cars. The hallways to the units are exposed to the outside – a feature I’ve seen in warmer climates but unusual for Michigan. We joke that we’re living in an old motel, or, when we’re sitting in patio chairs outside someone’s door having beers, Melrose Place.

That’s one benefit of the building’s layout; I end up seeing my neighbors more often. I get the keys to the new unit on Friday and don’t really pack anything until that same day; I slowly go downstairs with a boxful of books, an armful of clothes, a bin of electronics, one or two chairs. R. (the only non-neighbor in this paragraph) helps me carry down my sofa and desk Saturday morning before we go for dim sum. J.R. and S. help me with my mattress and kitchen island in the evening. M. lends a mop and bucket, J. lends a plunger.

But even this smallest (distance-wise) of moves felt emotionally massive. A move is a move, and new physical spaces always go with new mental ones (and the cause-and-effect is never fully clear). I celebrated the completion of See You in the Cosmos months ago, but I didn’t actually grieve the same completion until a few weeks ago. Until this move. Until what’s coming in the next weeks. I am, I think, very much still in it.

I’m postponing the podcast episode this week. No excuses other than I overestimated my own energy. I was, however, interviewed by my dear friend Courtney for her writing-related podcast, WMFA.  So much came out of that conversation; I reflected on things I haven’t though about for months or even years. Listen to it here.

One more thing that happened this week: See You in the Cosmos got a glowing review in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. To even be selected for review is a huge deal – there are only a handful of books, let alone children’s books, that get full reviews in each issue. On my way to my parents’ house before dinner I picked up a copy of the paper.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama.