Something awful happened in March. Brennan and Lark—longtime housemates and very good friends—moved out of the House. This is awful for two reasons. The first being on a personal level because they are in Chicago and no longer readily available to hug and watch His Dark Materials. The second, however, is more ephemeral in nature. Seeing someone every day naturally means that you will come to take them for granted. The second they’re gone, their importance stands out with so much brightness that you almost have to close your eyes against the glare.
The Bond House had a baby. Well, Michael and Claudia had a baby, and the rest of us are proud aunts and uncles. Mara was born into a strange world on a Friday morning after 3 days of labor. Shortly after, she stopped breathing and turned blue. After she was stabilized, doctors informed the new family that their daughter would have to remain under observation for five days before coming home. We were relieved that there was a plan in place, to know that she was getting the care she needed; but while Mom, Dad, and Abuelita focused on their Little Love, the rest of us were coming to the realization that our lives would soon be upheaved by more than just this small new life.
Despite having had the benefit of human history to develop language, we are shockingly bad at descriptions. As one might imagine, there’s no nuance in generality; and, as a result, we as people do each other the disservice of denying complexity. When someone asks you how your day is, I imagine you lean towards “good” or “okay” as a response more often than not. While fine responses in themselves, they lack the same level of accuracy as someone telling you Phoenix is “hot” come summertime—it’s a shade of the truth. I think it’s safe to assume that we all agree that being a human is a hyper-complex experience. We know that emotions are not black or white, but instead a sweet symphony of gray. That being said, why do we insist on settling for anything less than specificity?
It's funny how quickly we bond, to the point that we get so used to life together that it seems impossible to live any other way. The Bond House is a place where that happens with some regularity. When we got started in early 2018, there were 8 of us: 8 strangers who agreed that living in a totally-not-haunted house was a good idea. We were the ones who put the House's heart together, helped shape it into what it is now, and have become closer than many people are with their own families. Now our rooms are full, but the cast is different. Most of the original 8 are gone now, or are permanently traveling, and I have to say that it's hard. Even harder still is that this original number dwindles still. Theresa is leaving today.
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.
Since the rousing success of Fonduesdays in December, many of us here in the Bond House have agreed to be a part of other challenges and month-long themes. While Vegan February was left up to the likes of Lark and Brennan (though the rest of us did gladly eat whatever they made), we have found other ways to engage in communal activities. March, for instance, was a speed-reading month, a skill that I was forced to learn in college and was willing to exercise in solidarity. I'll let you the secret to learning this invaluable ability: read things you truly do not care about. This month's fodder? Romance novels.
It is a well-established fact that the House is unusual. Let's not talk about the revolving door policy we have, which exposes us to dozens of people we would not have otherwise met, but instead celebrate the fact that there are so many years between our youngest (currently me) and oldest (currently Josefina) residents. It's been a little over half a year since we became a multi-generational household, and let me tell ya, it feels like it's been a lot longer than that.
After ten minutes out in the fresh air this morning, my fingers are numb. It's that time of year in Boston where it can be perfectly pleasant one day, but bone-chilling the next. Luckily, with the holidays coming to an end, the House is warmed by the return of housemates from far and wide. We end the year as we began it: together.
It's been a while. Life has this strange habit of going fast and slow all at once, a sort of wormhole effect that you don't realize you're in the middle of until you're halfway through your third ill-advised Wednesday cider and find yourself wondering how the hell it's nearly December. The last few months in the Bond House haven't been uneventful, but between travel, events, and the sweet beginnings of seasonal depression, I've been apathetic towards writing. In fact, it took me over a week to write this. But that's my problem, not yours. Just like my daily decision of whether or not to wear my heavy winter coat or to punish my body for a few more weeks so the cold doesn't destroy my soul--my problem, not yours.
When I was growing up, I had no idea that people traveled in August. Where I'm from, vacations happen in June and people spend their time on a beach without sunscreen. It wasn't until last year when I went to Paris did I become aware that entire cities basically shut down so people can escape the heat for a few weeks and unwind. What a concept. This past long and lonely August, the Bond House may as well have been France.