Psychopomp Magazine Fall 2016 - Page 36

emotionally intense, but sometimes when she did you felt like you were drowning. But she was also silly, generally in good spirits and even cracking jokes on the worst of days. Easy to be with. She charmed my friends when she met them. She performed absurd dances when I was cranky.

She moved in with me after two years, abandoning the tiny one bedroom rental she had in Chinatown. “You could have your own room, just to write, or work, or whatever,” I tempted. I had gotten a killer deal on the house a few years previous. It was way too big for one person, but I rented out three units as separate apartments and the rest I occupied by myself. The house needed work, some of which was completed before she moved in, but we could both see the potential.

We renovated together, dealing with contractors, picking out tile and hardwood flooring. We debated style versus function, what decorative decisions would seem dated and affect resale. We hung artwork, some of her drawings, antique prints of DC. We got on our knees and rubbed Murphy Oil Soap into the floors right before a huge housewarming, where we served mini quiches we made ourselves. We drank champagne and danced with the furniture pushed back against the walls.

I kept the attic for her space specifically, hers to do whatever she pleased with, mainly because she could do a lot of her work from home. She kept a daybed in there, where I would sometimes find her napping when I came home from work. She had a giant bean bag chair facing the windows, where she would sit with her legs folded under her in a way that reminded me of a cat, chewing on the back of a pencil, pausing occasionally to type on her laptop or write in a notebook. She played Phillip Glass very, very softly. She had a series of plush toys she had made out of socks, models of real viruses, except they had googly eyes and sad faces. We had painted an entire wall with chalkboard paint, which she used to keep track of her publications, grant applications, the outlines of papers she was always

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