First Thoughts on Moving In (Or, How My Internet Shrunk)
He’s finally here.
This past week, I’ve been adjusting to having a new “roommate,” sharing my space, and getting used to the idea of fusing two lives and trajectories. I’ve never lived with a boyfriend, so this is new territory: exciting mixed with surreal. My many visions of playing house as I’ve grown up have been nothing like this current and very real thing.
The sensations and joys and anxieties that come with cohabitation are creeping up on me. But in these first days, I’ve noticed the little things: the way the striped towel on the rack in the kitchen is folded and placed horizontally (by him) rather than vertically (by me); the foreign presence of lemongrass and coriander in my fridge; or the fact that I will now call coriander “coriander” instead of “cilantro.”
These mundane yet telling details: The extra toothbrush on my bathroom counter. The Euro-to-US voltage converters plugged into once-unused outlets around my loft. And the pillows on my sofas: no longer placed just so, for decoration—more like tossed there, crinkled, used.
A few months ago, in my lapse of waiting and musing on “home” and love, I said that something was missing, and even with my new home, all my pretty things, and me—living and breathing inside it—the air was stagnant.
Now, there’s movement and change in between these walls, and a shared path originating here and headed somewhere we don’t know. It’s wonderful to feel all of this in a physical space that has evolved from the day I moved in last May: first, a blank canvas, and then empty rooms with a life fragmented into boxes and big blue IKEA bags, and now lived-in rooms where we cook and eat, and lounge and read, and catch up on Mad Men and Game of Thrones, and talk about what may come next.
In this tangible here, life is brewing.
But what I noticed immediately, in the 24 hours he arrived at the airport in San Francisco, was how my online activities had suddenly changed.
But now that I think about it, “online world” wasn’t quite what I meant. My Internet has changed now that the main person I interacted and kept in touch with through email, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp is physically in the same room as me, sitting at my dining table.
The longing I felt as I faced my computer has disappeared, and so has a dimension of my Internet. The worlds and levels within my Internet are still there, but the universe itself has shrunk, and has suddenly become more functional: a place I’ll go primarily for my news and for the network I’ve built based on ideas.
But I no longer have to rely on looking outward, into a sea of pixels, to sustain this particular relationship in my life. It’s interesting to feel this layer of my Internet now inside my home, absorbing into me, into him, into us. Two planes initially distinct, merging over the course of a year-and-a-half, now intertwining.
I can’t quite explain it, but it’s a strange but sweet sensation.