After 18 Months of Cohabitating, A Fresh Coat of Paint

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It never really feels like “home” when you move into your boyfriend’s apartment. In more ideal circumstances, the newly cohabitating couple will devour Craigslist ads and eventually find new digs that are not a memorial to things past. But when you’re testing things out, as I was a year and a half ago, it was an easy way to dip my toes further into commitment.

18 months later, and with a revolving door of subletters at my studio downtown, I’m still here. Still on the foreign Upper West Side, populated with puppies of all shapes and sizes and those magical pixie dust fairies. So this is where they keep the children?

Yearning to get rid of the “I’m just crashing here for a bit” feeling, I talked/nagged/hypnotized J. into repainting our bedroom. It had been a super-masculine dark green and gold — stripes and remnants of bachelor pad days. The mirror above the bed is still there. It makes the room look bigger. I try not to think about the other images that reflected back before mine.

Of course, J. could never slap on one coat of paint in a solid color. Being the artistic, always-starting-something-never-finishing type he chose implementing frieze — whatever that is, and drawing a city skyline super imposed over the frieze…and 10 days later, there are still tarps and levels and brushes everywhere. It’s like living in the set of the movie, A Beautiful Mind. The walls cry out “Feed me, feed me” waiting for J.’s inspiration to strike. PLEASE strike.

Knowing how much I miss the East Village, he’s drawn and painted the skyline of my old block on my side of the room (yes, we have sides). It’s strangely comforting. Maybe he’ll work an image of the Staten Island Ferry somewhere in those blue shadows, too. I grew up there, but there was nothing more satisfying than running away.

I’ve never picked up a paintbrush in my life. Coming from a somewhat artistic family that’s surprising. But that’s how I’ll get him to finish. With paint roller in hand, I’ll mix in some pink and do a happy skip to HIS side and say sweetly, “I’m just going to touch this up a little bit…”

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