An attempt to make sense of things in a random universe, one Friday at a time.

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Location: Philippines

Leaving my footsteps for you to find and follow, my love.

17 September 2010


It has become my usual joke that my apartment has now grown up. But the truth is that my old apartment, which I call The College of Chaos, did not grow up. It is still stuck in time, cauterized into my memory, as that magical, fantastical place where mad and important things happened in my long-ago life. What really happened is that I have moved out of The College of Chaos and into my new apartment, The Fortress, and it’s The Fortress that is a grownup, has been a grownup even before I moved in, and which now envelops me with grownup things.

It’s nice. Here I can pretend that my life is in order, because there is a stockroom where I can throw all my disorderly, childish things, including things I cannot sort or deal with at the moment. In this new apartment there are actual compartments. I have an actual bedroom that has only one book in it (which, currently, is Midnight’s Children. All the other books are in the study. There is an actual architectural division between study and sleep.

I have an adorable new lamp, which is a birthday gift from The Dude, and an area in the wall for my favorite photos.

Also, all my shoes are inside a shoe cabinet, a piece of furniture that I’ve never had space for in the old apartment. In the old apartment I used to keep my shoes under the bed, which is okay for all intents and purposes, except that on mornings where I am in a hurry, it’s pain to have to reach under the bed each time for the right pair of shoes, and so I have developed the nasty habit of leaving all my shoes out in the open, where I can easily trip over them at any given time. But now, all my shoes are where they should be in an adult’s apartment.

I have three windows that actually function as windows, and which I have decorated with stylish grownup window treatments. I have cream roman shades with dark rose and matte gold stripes, with blackout linings. In the bedroom I have additional filmy cream-colored drapes.

On weekends I sit at my desk beside a window with the roman shades up, watch old movies while enjoying the soft breeze created by the cross-ventilation of all three open windows, and read while the afternoon sun sinks beyond the skyline of Makati.

My bed is a hypersomniac’s dream. In the old apartment I have lived on a narrow bed because it was all that could ever fit among the bookshelves and the boxes of my graduate student life. But now that I have a full-sized bed with a mattress that's fifteen inches thick (including the topper), a high, padded headboard, and backlights, I make a day out of shopping for bed linens to drape my very stylish grownup bed with.

And because of the roman shades with the blackout lining, I can have instant night any time of the day. Indeed, my sleeping life has gone from cotton rompers to silk dresses, from pigtails to fully-coiffed hairstyles, from sneakers to high-heeled leather shoes.

I loved the College of Chaos. It truly lived up to its name, and I lived there happily and chaotically for seven years. But the College of Chaos is no more, and so is the girl who used to live there. When I see old photos of a younger me in my old apartment, I feel both nostalgia and detachment, both homesickness and liberation. Now, in The Fortress, I feel more regulated, more scheduled, more aligned, and in this neat order I find my sanctuary and my protection.

And that is how our homes reflect our own desires much more accurately than we would care to admit. Because in truth, only The Fortress is a grown up. The person who lives within its walls is still just a little girl dreaming of growing up.


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