Tag Archives: moving on

When Does An Apartment Become a Home?

The longest I’ve ever lived anywhere was in my last house with my folks. I was there for a record breaking eight years, the longest I’ve ever lived in one house. As a result, it’s what I most think of whenever I think of “home”. The apartment here felt less like my home and more like, “place where I sleep and keep stuff”.  For the longest time, when I talked about North Carolina and Durham, I’d say “Back home,” as though I were just on an extended vacation and I would be returning again at some point.

But over the last few months that’s been slowly changing.

But I’ve started dropping that when I talk about back down South. And I’ve begun to sink more roots down here. There are bus drivers I see every day. There are co-workers, there’s a job, there’s a semblance of a life forming.

When we first moved in, we were sleeping on an air mattress on the floor. We kept our few appliances on chairs. We had a couple of books to our name. And there was no pesty little bird running around on the floor biting at toes.

Now, we have a bed and we brought out the air mattress for Liang to sleep on when he came to visit (because we had a guest!). We have some pieces of actual furniture. Our shelf is slowly filling up with books. And there’s a pesty little bird who runs around on the floor biting toes.

When I walk through the apartment at night, I know where to step without turning on the lights. I know where the floor creaks. I know which burners on the stove cause trouble. I know the sounds of the radiators and their pops and whistles don’t wake me anymore. I know the sound of the lock in the door when Emily is coming home.

And it is home, because it feels like home.

Dylan Charles


Filed under Day-to-Day: What's Going On, Events, Releases and New Things

An Extended, Steam-Powered Metaphor

I am heading very quickly into the UNKNOWN.

And there’s something kind of spooky about that. This UNKNOWN, a territory that stretches further than the distance between New York and California. It is vast, an expanse that boggles the mind and contains any number of horrors and wonders. There are dragons there, of course, and they may eat maidens or they may just talk in annoyingly obtuse parables. There are trolls and riches and demons and angels and all kinds of things litter the roads that wind and twist and snake their way through the UNKNOWN. And these roads are treacherous things, it’s a foolish notion to walk along them unaided. One must have a plan to travel through the UNKNOWN safely.

My plan is a rough-hewn construct; really nothing more than a skeletal structure, steel girders riveted together in a rapid fashion, rust streaking it from where I neglected it and left the parts in the rain. And this construct is what’s going to carry me deeper into the UNKNOWN; a mechanical titan that totters about on shaky legs and runs on steam and has guts made of cogs and whirling gizmos. It creaks and groans and does not endow feelings of security upon its operator. It’ll stumble on obstacles, most likely, faltering on treacherous ground.

But it’s what I have made for myself. And I am fine, for the most part. I’ve never been big on grandscale plans, much to the chagrin of everyone who knows me. My plans extend, maybe, five years into the future. But they get creakier and more wobbly the further out you go. Most people, I think, do not march into the UNKNOWN in such devices. They have sleek and shiny vehicles that run on hopes and dream and common sense and foresight and an IRA and job security.

In 13 days, I’ll be testing out my plan. And we’ll see how far it takes me. And if it breaks down, deep in UNKNOWN territory, I have no doubt that I’ll be able to make another one right on the spot.

Dylan Charles

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Filed under Day-to-Day: What's Going On, Events, Releases and New Things

Throwing Away the Past

I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning, a lot of throwing things away and I’m once again amazed at how much shit I’ve managed to accumulate over the years.

Just going through my desk alone, I’ve found papers that I’ve been holding onto since elementary school: recipes for fake glass, notes to chemistry class, English assignments, comics I drew. There are toys and knick-knacks, bits of metal, broken locks, magnets, dead pens, old Far Side cartoons and a whole host of other things. Or, there were. Now it’s all either in the trash, in the recycling, or in a give-away box.

It’s extremely cathartic to just…let all of these things GO. There’s no reason to keep 90% of these things. I don’t look at them. I don’t treasure them. They’re just taking up wasted space that I could be using to store newer pieces of junk.

I want to get rid of it all. Just get a giant trash bag and throw everything away and start from scratch. Except I don’t want to accumulate this much stuff again. I want to always be this free of tie-downs, of nostalgic reminiscences.

I’ve always been a weird mix of sentimental and anti-sentimental. I have no interest in photographs, because I assume if I don’t remember something, it wasn’t worth remembering. And photographs, or more accurately snapshots, don’t contain enough of the experience to be worth having.

On the flipside, I’ll hold onto some weird doodle I made in 7th grade math class because it’s something I made. Never mind that it’s something so crappy looking that I’d be ashamed to show it to anyone. I made it, so it must stay.

But my old stance on that kind of thing is quickly being reversed by the idea that I can’t take it with me, so why bother keeping it at all? I don’t WANT this much stuff. I don’t want to have to cart it around. I don’t want to worry about it. I just want it gone.

This is an extension of my old blog and my need to delete it. It’s time to move on from things. It’s time to stop dwelling and focusing on the things that were and move on to things that are actually important. Namely, what’s to come and what’s going on right now.

Dylan Charles

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Filed under Thinking and Pondering: Science, History, Analysis and Over-Think