In these weeks between housesitting and subletting, the euphemisms are starting to compound.
As would happen, the house-sit ended early and the sublet started late. C’est la vie. Carpe diem.
I decided to seize the opportunity to have some free weeks to explore what-it-might-be-like-to-live-in-X.
I started by inviting myself to stay in a friend’s spare room in Boston’s South End. I find myself in Boston often, and often racing for the last train at the end of the night. How would my experience be different if I were based there?
The primary difference I found was that my commute to the North Shore was nearly two hours each way. While I did get quite a lot of reading done on the train, spending nearly a quarter of my waking hours at the mercy of the MBTA was not attractive at all.
I also found that while I spent a great deal of effort getting to New Englan’s largest office park in Beverly to sit in my cubicle, much of my life on the North Shore actually happens in Salem which is not any easier to get to from Beverly than Boston (at least in my estimation).
I did enjoy walking home across the city after seeing a film with no concern for train times and waking up in the morning with the possibilities of the city before me.
Next, I moved into the artist’s residency at 17 Cox in Beverly. This old mechanic’s garage with a view of the ocean has a wide-open gallery space on the ground floor. Up the metal spiral staircase, is a lofted residence with plenty of reclaimed and creatively sourced materials.
It’s a short walk to my cubicle, and I find it quite a relief to wake up in the morning and know I am so close to where I need to be.
I also like very much living in a space that was not designed to be lived in — that indeed does not looking anything at all like a home — but that has been reclaimed for living and creative social practice. I think I’ll file that away for future reference. . .
There’s a reception in the gallery Thursday, so my residency is short. I thought about heading farther up the North Shore, but realized I have events in Salem to attend and it makes little sense to commute, let alone move.
I’ll spend one night at the location of the Indian community arts organization benefit. The next, I might explore commuting by car.
Then three months subletting/cat-sitting in Salem while a friend explores the possibility of living in Asheville.
Then. . . then. . . then. . .
Turns out home-free-ness is a luxury requiring careful planning and social calibration.