You know, I really try to be level-headed. I don't give in to sentimentality very often, but maybe I should because boy oh boy, when I get something stuck in my head and let myself sap out, it's just purple prose everywhere you look.
So yesterday I helped TR clean out his now-former apartment the rest of the way. There wasn't much really, just some spackling to be done (I looooove to spackle, it's possibly a matter for psychological study), the fridge to be cleaned, that kind of thing. We had to make a few trips up and down stairs which are more like ladders than stairs - you have to do everything on your toes and it's rough on the legs!
After everything was done - plants and frozen food and cleaning supplies successfully crammed in the back of the van, garbage in the dumpster, fridge sparkling, and unwanted stuff already being picked through by the local dumpster diving team (waste not, want not!) - we went back upstairs so TR could say goodbye to the place. He wasn't terribly upset about leaving the apartment behind, but still it was home for 4 years or so and deserved a goodbye.
The weird thing for me was that despite not actually having lived there, I was kind of verklempt at the idea of never seeing it again. While he swept, I sat in the window well and reflected for a while on all that had happened in that place. I started the best first date of my life there, and had my first kiss with TR standing near the front door. I remember little things here and there about us in that place, things I won't forget. In my mind the apartment will always exist as it was just a little bit.
There's one really distinct memory that sticks out. One night we were curled up on the chaise lounge next to the main room's windows, just at dusk. The chimes that hung next to the terrifying stairs across the alley were making a lovely sound. Suddenly the wind kicked up and pulled all the leaves off the trees at once, swirling them up into the deep blue sky and they twirled away like something illustrated.
Yesterday, sitting at the window next to where the chaise used to sit, looking in toward the now-empty apartment, the chimes - TR's favorites of the ones that hang on that building - kicked up again. While TR was thanking the apartment, they kept giving us a little background music.
As soon as he switched off the lights for the last time, the chimes stopped.
I will certainly miss that little bitty apartment with it's creaky floors and amusingly complex shower.
I won't miss the stairs, though.