Normalcy of a bedside clock


[I write this while in LA, newly sub-leasing a small apartment, March 2016. My plan is to stay in LA for a while, enjoying family and friends here for a while.]

Each night now as I go to sleep and look at this red clock beside my bed and I think: “I have a bedside clock.” It’s been a long time since I’ve had a bedside clock. One of these red glowing LED lights that shine the numbers that tell the time. It might seem silly but it’s a luxury I’ve long lived without and a bit of normalcy for me. I haven’t had much normalcy in quite a while — in 4 1/2 years.

Last time I had a bedside clock, it was in my apartment before these travels, in 2011. I don’t know what happened to my clock. Maybe it’s in one of the plastic boxes in my mom’s garage. If it is, I’ll see it someday. But for now, I have this bedside clock.

It’s not actually my clock. It belongs to the person I sub-lease from. (I have the use of all of the furniture, bedding, and cooking supplies.)

It’s those little things that make life seem normal again. It’s having my pillow. It’s using an actual blanket. Instead of my sleeping bag. It’s turned it leaning over I’m turning off a little before I go to sleep. It’s being able to stock the refrigerator with several types of food instead of one type of food that will last me a few days and then another — if I’m still in the same place.

I’m not actually up to the refrigerator stocking stage. I thought of that today as I was shopping in Sprouts. I bought chicken and I wondered about buying another type of meat. When I was in Austin for three months I had an easier time with that. When I was in Jerusalem I didn’t quite have such an easy time with that. I tend to buy food for just a few days. The days of having the freezer and refrigerator stocked with all kinds of foods, a closet full of herbs, a closet full of cans, and multiple types of meat or vegetables seems like an eternity ago.

I wonder when one day I will turn off the light at night and realize that I’ve gotten used to my old life, to a life of being in one place for a long time.

Meanwhile, with each shirt or pair pants or skirt that I hang in the closet, I look at the closet and I think: “Oh no I have too much stuff. How will I ever pack it when it’s time to go?” I have about 10 hangers of clothing now. I could easily fit everything that I have back into my car and I can get it there in just a few trips. But I’m getting to feel like I have too much stuff. This place is not permanent. No place is permanent. However this place is very temporary — just a four-month stay.

Life seems very uncertain to me. I’m not sure I want that to change. I like the stability and I like the blog noon but I’m not sure where I should be. No, that’s not quite right. I feel that I should be here in LA, close to my family. I’m just not sure how to go about that.

So, meanwhile, I have a nearly empty refrigerator and nearly empty closet — and I remain flexible with my plans and my ability to move about the city.

Only time will tell how this will play out.

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