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.
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.
January lingered on for about six months. Now, all of a sudden, we're over halfway through the year. The garden and heat advisories are in bloom, the dogs are eating corn on the cob, people are jetting off on adventures, summer parties are all the rage, crop tops have become necessary wardrobe staples. Life is good, better than it's ever been. My Bond House crew continues to mesmerize me with their generous and fun-loving souls...because, as you know by now, nothing in this house is done in half measures.
Sometimes it's hard to believe that it was only four months ago that I moved into a house with Craigslist strangers. In that time, I have 1) not been murdered and 2) been exposed to dozens of people and concepts that have helped to make me hungry for new connections. Of course, there is a sense of bittersweetness to this. Because of the transitory state of many of my roommates, it almost goes without saying that all good things must come to an end.
As a poor, naive Southerner, I thought that we might see spring and put away our snow boots by the end of February. I remember in November when people would laugh at my optimism and I thought they were jerks. March has come and gone here in the Bond House. Snow lingers on the ground, the temperature has barely cracked 50 on most days, and I'm still wearing wool.
One of life's great pleasures is sharing a meal with friends. There's something to be said about a bowl of salad or a plate of fish that reminds me that people have been sitting around and breaking bread since humanity got started. Eating is a great equalizer and, in a house like this one, it is essential to the maintaining of friendships.