I’m surviving on nightly dinners at mama africa, copious amounts of coffee and chocolate. way too much chocolate. I am trying to work harder, I am working harder. I am searching for other outlets and other ways. I wish the day had more hours, because I am actually one of those luckier people who like their full time job. but full time is not all I want and it is definitely not enough. as an outlet, as a creative force in my life. it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, but mustering the energy to reach beyond that – I am not sure if I have it.
unusually, the boy had to leave the house earlier than me yesterday. he kissed me before he left, but I was still sleeping. I woke up to a prepared cup of coffee with all the correct rations; all I had to do was pour the hot water. afternoon shift now seems to be the better option, I have more time for other things. for piles of laundry and the sink full of dishes. I have time to put coconut oil in my hair and wait for it to absorb without having to check the time too often. the boy waited for me in central, before I started my shift. a cup of coffee in his hand. this is for you, I think you need a second one today. it’s the small things, really, that can keep a relationship alive. that keep us alive.
later on, in the evening, we watched 12 years a slave. inspired by the oscar winners and speeches, I wanted to see it. I knew it was going to be tough, but I was nervous. more nervous than I was with django and mandela combined. it made me think of something I’d been meaning to write about, but was honestly too scared. what’s it like being in a mixed-race relationship and when you go together to watch a film about the worst of slavery. it’s such a huge and difficult subject, but it affects us as well. we would never admit it, of course, but I felt as if something changed a little bit. at least for a while, before we remembered again that the times have changed and we are living a different life now.
february feels like such a cheating month. it comes too fast after january and it ends even faster. daily routine of life on full track. to work and from work. daily commute, in the morning the trains are packed with showered, grumpy population. if you’re lucky. in the evening, there is a general relief. but I stopped looking at the world in such a generalized perspective. I enjoy my work most days, even on the bad days it’s still good. I spend time browsing the ikea catalogue and planning, measuring the walls and the space between them. coming up with my own version of harmony. the boy surprised me last night when he come home with a bag full of chocolate donuts filled with melted chocolate. hey, look what I found, he said. it really was a discovery so to speak, because good bakeries are rare in hong kong (especially when it’s past midnight) and this batch came from a convenience store.
so we ate the donuts for dinner and finished off with a bottle of berry flavored yogurt. we have these new traditions and little things that we do every day and they make me happy. it makes me happy to wake up to him in the morning, see him sleeping with my childhood dog, which I’ve had for the last twenty-one years. there is a bird across the street in the park and we hear it every morning, in fact, it keeps me company as I make myself the first cup of coffee and stare at the empty floor. one of the things I hadn’t originally thought about was how different life would be on a third floor as opposed to the twenty-eighth of my old home. I can hear the birds and the buses, the people and pets. only the nightly fruit market is too far away now and the sound of cardboard boxes being handled and dropped is no longer the backdrop of my dreams.
as I am typing this, it’s almost 3 o’clock in the morning. I am watching house of cards, the first season, to remind myself before I get started on the second season. I am feeling this incredible energy from the show. the boy and the bird are out in the living room, playing video games. through the dialogues, I can hear them laughing sometimes. I feel so good. in this space of ours, with friends coming over, laughing, drinking condensed milk with toast. I’ve been wanting this life for a long time. work makes sense now. everything makes sense a bit more. I feel better. the boy comes into our room every once a while, kisses me, checks in on me.
are you okay? do you want to hang out with us?
no, I am okay here, I am watching my show.
is it good?
yeah, it’s amazing. we’ll watch together again later.
okay, baby girl.
then he kisses me again and goes back into living room. it makes me feel adored. today we haven’t done much. I slept a lot. I completely collapsed. waking up to the boy every morning is beautiful. I listen to the street outside, the buses passing by every few minutes. it gets quite loud, especially at night. but none of this bothers me.
I wish I could say that nothing bothers me at the moment, but that would make it too easy and too perfect. I can, however, say that I am entirely content. which is something I haven’t been for a long time.
notes on our first home
I love the size of the space. it is small, but still spacious and definitely enough for the both of us.
I miss having a washing machine; the smell of our laundry was particular and it smelled like home. always like home. laundrymats do not do it justice.
our hot water is moody, I am never sure when it’s going to run out. it doesn’t bother me. in the morning, I am ready twenty minutes earlier than before.
our bedroom faces shanghai street, which is constantly busy and noisy. sometimes I awake to the roaring sounds of the bus. it makes me remember that I live in the city.
the main reason we took the place was because of the sliding door, which divide the living from the bedroom. It’s perfect.
I am close to work. I am even closer to my parents’ home. I like that.
there is a park across the road from our building and as soon as it gets a little bit warmer, we plan on drinking our coffees there.
we are slowly filling up the space with our favorite items; coffee mugs, floor lamps, tea lights, a Bob Marley poster. it is far from complete, but it is ours.
so far, so good. in fact, we love it.