I know I haven’t written about our Bond House antics in some time, though this isn’t for a lack of source material (believe me), and for that I am sorry. Roommate relationships are like any relationship in the sense that there is a honeymoon phase that fades into day-to-day life, which means that it’s easy to take the magic of the house for granted. Our party going has gone the way of dinners at home, binge-watching Netflix, getting mad at Game of Thrones, hiking, the occasional evening adventure, and plenty of time in the hammock. It’s not glamorous, but it feels like what I need right now.
There is comfort in familiarity. There is comfort in knowing that I can share a meal with someone on any given night of the week, or that there can be some certainty in the fact that there will be a fresh loaf of bread on the counter this week. In all honesty, a lot of my lack of writing here has been due to a fresh bout of depression and a newfound dedication to editing my novel about the French Revolution. Though my energy levels have been relatively low, having roommates who genuinely care about me has made life so much easier. The longer I live here, the more I am convinced that close community living is essential to health and happiness on every level.
My birthday was a lovely affair. Almost everyone was home from their travels, and Josefina went out of her way to cook me a beautiful roast with plenty of gravy. Harriet brought a cake, as did Claudia and Michael. Both of them were chocolate, like I was predictable or something. While we sat around the table, I asked everyone for their 26th birthday advice. The resounding chorus was: For the love of God, make mistakes now and figure out a way to travel the world (I did take that advice and have trips to London and Vancouver planned for later this year. I might go to Thailand and Japan next year). It makes me feel better to know that nobody had their life 100% together at my age. One day I will have a big birthday party full of people and live music and liquor; but, for now, being at a table with the people I care about most in this world is perfect.
Brennan, Theresa, and I have been spending the most time together this summer. Theresa says that I’m an extrovert that adopted a couple of introverts, but I mostly feel like it’s the other way around. You know that clumsy yet affable golden retriever that people love despite all of the vases it breaks with its giant tail? That’s me. I’m the golden retriever.
Being around B & T makes me feel loved, even though their “love languages” are so different from mine (I like to shower people in, surprise-surprise, words of affirmation–Theresa is more on that time spent together life while Brennan is an acts of service kinda guy). I never know what either of them are thinking (frustrating), they talk way less than I do (unnerving), and they are both stubborn as hell for no reason (asinine), but I love them so much. The constancy and gentleness of their friendship is a much-needed anchor.
That being said, Theresa is leaving us at the end of September. I’ve been emotionally preparing for her departure since she got back from her last “vacation.”
Knowing that her time with us is limited means that we have been trying to do memorable things. She and Brennan are brewing a beer right now we’re calling “Flap Ear”. It is the second batch since Flap Ear, Sr. bit the big one by draining out of its bucket and onto the chalet floor for Jelly the Puggle to enjoy at her leisure. With any luck, they’ll be kegging by the end of the week.
We’ve created somewhat of a bucket-list for her remaining weeks with us. Since she’s basically had every American soda worth having, we’ve had to get more adventurous:
- The three of us took a road trip up to Montreal, where we stayed in a hostel, walked our feet off, climbed a mountain, ate too much poutine, slept in a botanical garden, took some sick pics, and didn’t get detained by border patrol on the way back.
- Last week we took another road trip to the nearest Golden Corral (an American-style buffet over an hour away from Boston) with Harriet and her husband and had a hell of a time (seriously, it was fun).
- Brennan, Lark, and Theresa went camping on Grape Island here in Boston. I would have attended but was forced to convalesce at home due to illness. By all accounts, they had a nice time, raccoon included.
- I’m pretty sure Theresa’s work paid for her and her office to go to Six Flags, so there’s an amusement park checked off the list.
- We went to a restaurant that purported itself to be a German beer garden. The food was good and the beers German, but T didn’t like the fact that we had to eat on a enclosed patio and couldn’t roam the streets with our glass glasses.
In all seriousness, I’m excited for her to start a new chapter of her life, wherever that may be. On the upside, I’ll always have a place to stay in Europe. Until then, we still have to find a way to show her the stars as she’s never seen them before, as well as find a bar that only serves drinks and not food (this has been surprisingly difficult. If you live in the Boston area and know of a place, hit me up).
As we traipse through the laziest part of summer, I’m happy to report that the House has a new addition. Through a strange twist of fate, a dear friend of mine from grad school is in town for an internship at Candlewick Press (you know them, they put out Where’s Waldo?). It’s weird to have someone from your past step into your present, especially when it feels like little to no time has passed. When she walked in on Sunday night, only a few of us were home, which I thought was a good thing because we can be a lot when we’re together. After Theresa and Josefina had gone up to bed, I expected Sammy and I would have a drink and catch-up; but, an empty kitchen in The Bond House doesn’t last long. Over the course of an hour, our house doctor, Elzerie, Brennan, Lark (who was home for a visit and will be returning to us come autumn), and Claudia returned and greeted her with all of the warmth they can muster (it’s a lot).
So much for not overwhelming the newest addition.
We did welcome Sammy properly Monday night with ten or so homemade pizzas. There were 9 of us in the kitchen, which is the fullest its been with roommates in a long while. Simultaneous conversations crossed over one another until the room was a warm buzz. I sat in the middle of it with my laptop (hopelessly editing a novel that will never be done) and relished the sound. I’ve missed everyone being together. With work and travel being a big feature in our lives as of late, moments like these have been few and far between. I’ve been learning to accept that absence doesn’t mean lack. We may not always be in The Bond House, but we are always home.