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In Residence


Everyone has a favorite home. Of that, I am convinced. This can manifest itself in different ways, from being an abode that that one would move back to in a heartbeat, if they could, to simply being the dwelling they have the fondest memories of. Sometimes, it's more than one place that we would call our favorite. Regardless, I think -- or at least hope -- that this is a near universal sentiment.

Oddly enough, my favorite homes are the most humble. Removing childhood homes, and the small little house I lived in ages 19-25, perhaps my best-loved abode -- the place I think of the most warmly when it comes to life with Ashley -- is the apartment we first lived-in together in Bloomington. A second-floor flat with two bedrooms and one bath, it was certainly modest, and we had our issues while living there, but we also had some good memories there, too.

Ashley had been living at the apartment for almost three years before I moved in. It's where I first met him as he opened the door upon our first date. It is the place I visited during our courting days, where we'd watch Saturday night Britcoms on WILL-TV and he cooked his first meal for us: mac & cheese. It was a place I looked forward to going. After I moved-in, it had the excitement of being the first place I'd shared with a significant other. We planned our commitment ceremony while living there. It was where we put up our first Christmas tree. We had my mom and her partner over for a nice, home-cooked dinner.

Of course, life at the apartment wasn't all roses. We had some arguments during our time together there. After moving-in, and transferring to work at the Circuit City in Bloomington, I was extremely unhappy in my job. September 11th occurred while we resided there. The neighbors below us (a father and son) constantly argued and, if the sounds were heard correctly, engaged in physical altercations. We had to call the cops on them more than once. I missed Champaign terribly, and had trouble adjusting to living in Bloomington. So, no, not everything was great.

And yet, I sometimes miss that apartment on Springfield Rd. I miss its simplicity, I miss the freshness of the times (for us, personally). I miss the anticipation of it, the excitement of it, the newness of it. It is not, however, a place I would choose to move back to. There's enough thought behind the nostalgia to realize that.

Indeed, though there are a couple more abodes from the past that I remember fondly, it's doubtful I'd ever want to live in them again. There's the hesitation of dwelling in times long gone, along with the reality that a home is a home because of the duration we lived there, and who we lived there with, not because of its four walls, or simply that it exists.


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