I’ve been living alone for over two years now. I started out in this apartment with a stripped-down version of everything: six white dishes; four white sheets; one white jar of sea salt. I wanted lots of space between each white thing. I wanted to start clean and spare, like a Carmelite nun. As the months went by and the heartbreak receded, I started adding color — crazy Marimekko prints; cobalts and indigos; carmine and pumpkin. All your basic gay-man shades.

I’m moving out now and the place looks pretty good, given that my parents chose it while I was on my way back from Toronto. The first thing I thought upon seeing the faux-wood wall paneling was, “Oh, THANKS for renting me the apartment of someone who NEVER GETS LAID AT ALL.”

I did, though. And each woman helped put me back together again — D., the tireless hiker/physician’s assistant with whom I argued about the ethics of porn; T., who’d been dumped after a 14-year relationship; C., who weighed 250 pounds, had a laugh like pigeons cooing in the roof, and reduced me to hysterical laugh-crying as we made a show of dry-humping on the hood of my car in the feminist bookstore parking lot; and more and more. One after another they came, so I forgot to watch the pot of my own grief until I realized it had boiled down to nothing and I was far away from this Craigslist post I wrote in 2007:


Looking for the perfect post-breakup apartment

I thought I was done renting forever, but hey! Not so much! Surprise! Happy mid-30s to me!

So. Here’s what will help me re-join the human race, living-sitch-wise:

– Tininess. The ex is taking most of our stuff, and the last thing I need is a big, empty apartment to remind me.

– Funkiness. Nothing too institutional or “unit”-looking. I’d love a miniature guest house or small, informal complex. A row of tan-colored doors with identical, increasing numbers is going to make me more suicidal than I am right now, and I’m already listening to Leonard Cohen to cheer up.

– Darkness. The sun, she mocks me. Also, I have reverse seasonal-affective disorder, so I need a place that doesn’t have BRIGHT! HEAT! POUNDING! EVERYWHERE! Shadows are good. I’d like to wake up and have no idea what time it is. I guess I could always do the windows in foil and duct tape, if you’re cool with that. Or curtains or whatever.

– Liberalness of cat policy. I have three, but one of them is dying of progressive heart disease. He’ll probably kick it within a few weeks of moving in (thus delaying my emotional recovery for months) plus he’s hairless, so no problem there. The other two are traditional cats. They’ve never damaged anything, unless you count the time they absconded with a box of tampons and used them to make little nests all over the house. I owned a house. Did I say?

-Northwesterliness or U of A-ness. Proximity to family or to cool student types? Cannot decide, so either is good.

-Month-to-monthiness. I plan on staying a year, but what if she decides she can’t live without me and wants me back? This is most likely wishful thinking. But. Still.

What else…I don’t play loud music — any music, really, since everything reminds me of her — and I won’t throwing any loud parties. Mostly, I just cry and shop for replacement kitchen items. I’ll pay you on time and won’t get crazy with interior paint.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

P.S. On-site laundry would be nice.