Signs of Life


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“Remember your old apartment on Sycamore?” my friend Penny asked.

“Sure.”

“When we used to come there all the time for the book club, I always noticed how beautiful the street was.”

“It’s a great street,” I said.

“And you with your black pants and Chinese slippers and your cat. Your place always looked so perfect inside and you always looked so… lonely.”

I think of this conversation as I’m tripping over the three-foot tall Batcave blocking the door to my closet. A dog is sleeping on top of the clean laundry that is heaped, unfolded in the big chair. Dishes are piled high in the drainer and the sink and on the counter. My mother refers to these messes as “signs of life.”

My home is filled with these “signs.” When the chaos and clutter and sticky floors feel overwhelming, when it’s me versus the mess, and the mess is winning, I remember that I have traded my color-coded closet for this sweet, chaotic life. These are the days and people and animals I choose and I am grateful. I’m not lonely anymore.

And no I don’t know what that is smeared on your pillow and no, I will not smell it, but I do adore you.

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