ADVENTURES IN LIVINGNESS
is going from my 2500 square foot five-bedroom home with a garage movie theater, private garden and roomy front porch into a 265 square foot bedroom without a kitchen. It’s not permanent, but there is no end date either.
The big house we converted into a Vacation Rental as a means of income, and so I had to move out a month and two weeks ago. My room, I coined the Wild West Room, is brick red. I covered the walls with yellow and red original movie posters, and furnished it with a slot machine, two tables, two lamps, a TV with western saddle draped over it, a double bed, and a four drawer plastic dresser. The closet is tiny; so I only brought my best summer clothes; twenty hangers is all.
Waking up to have coffee on my petite patio laced with roses and a canopy of vines, settles my nerves after the mini coffee maker falls off the edge of the sink, and other accidental maneuvers. Living in a doll house requires tremendous gentleness, one swift wrong move, and things start tumbling.
My refrigerator has inspired a new diet. I call it the mini-frig diet. I can fit one bottle of wine, one 8oz bottled smoothie, one juice, my Aloe Vera, cream, three condiments: green chili, horseradish mayonnaise, Red Chili Jelly, a small tub of washed lettuce or spinach, two cheeses, tortillas, olives, tomatoes, smoked salmon or chicken strips and that’s it.
The only catch is that it is in arms length of the bed, and within four feet of anywhere in the room. Snacking is just part of the atmosphere.My own unimportant theory on eating, is I eat less poison if there is a bowl of chocolate covered nuts, gummy bears, and chips in the house.
I prefer to eat on dishes then paper, so I wash them in the bathroom sink, but I wash the delicate wine glass when I’m showering. All my meals, usually one a day, are outdoors on the patio, under the new Overstock.com umbrella that works perfectly. I’ve had a great experience with them on a return as well.
My house faces a busy street in Santa Fe, NM. The street connects upper Eastside to the downtown Plaza, and across the street is the La Posada Resort and Spa. I can walk to the gym, and pool, survey the clientèle, drink wine in the bar, and talk to the staff at the front desk. I’m there everyday; and as ying goes with a yang, I tolerate their side of the street being the loading zone. There are pick-ups, and drop-offs, and a lot of racket that I bear with my earplugs.
It’s in the high nineties, and we’re in a stable between three burning fires. The heat clings to me, like a saran-wrap; it’s also sort of Chaplinesque. I keep changing; to go on the patio. I can’t go in a slip, so I change a lot. Then there’s the marvelous terrifically considerate and talented guests in my house. They are three principal musicians’, with the Santa Fe Opera this season. When I water I hear them practicing.
My shrunken life has forced me out more, eliminated hours of cleaning, shaved time off dressing, rearranging furniture, over-achieving unimportant tasks, watching the birds in their nest, and feeling complacent.
That is the most important of all; I realize it is time to bolster up, make sacrifices, and use this little room as the place to write my way out of here. I see myself in Portugal, or some place I still haven’t discovered. This miniature living reminds me of the first studio I rented in Los Angeles. You can’t imagine what progress came from that disappointing address, at the corner of Little Santa Monica and Westwood Boulevard. ‘ Que sera sera.’