My apartment is on Capitol Hill.
It has a fireplace, bookshelves, a stove, tall leaded windows, and, from what I can see from the pictures, a fluffy bed ready to be outfitted with a quilt. I have done the math. I have signed the lease. I won’t break even living in Washington, D.C. for the next few months, but it’s not going to be too bad; being a freelancer all these years has taught me something about saving. I have moved things mentally, financially, and physically and I am ready.
Austin was a good guess; Portland, too. I liked my friend Lance’s suggestion of Philly and I considered Pittsburgh after being pleasantly surprised by it while there for Spring Quilt Market. But early on in the troubles, I knew I’d go to our nation’s capital, a city I have long had great feeling for. In 2010, I spent a month performing with the Neos at the Woolly Mammoth Theater in D.C. I remember walking home from the theater so many frosty nights, stars twinkling, the light on the Washington Monument slicing the black glass sky. Being with friends was the best part of the trip; living in the seat of our democracy came a close second. What can I say? I’m a patriot.
In April, I have a Quilty shoot in Chicago and leave immediately after to film TV in Iowa. May brings my sister’s wedding up at the lake house. Depending on just how much I love or dislike D.C., I’ll be there for sure four months, possibly six. I doubt I would want to be away from my beloved Chicago any longer than I have to, but as I have come to learn, un-learn, and re-learn lately, anything’s possible.
The breakup has been awful. Awful because our emotions go through the spin cycle on a daily basis. I love you, it’s over, it’s not over, you’re selfish, you’re selfish, this is crazy, this hurts, we’re making a mistake, I’m leaving, leave, fine, fine, fine. No breakup is fun, but I have experienced only a couple of real gullywashers and this would be one of the two. (I do take a certain pride in the fact that an actual dish was broken during all this, and I assure you it was not because someone dropped it on the floor.)
Someone I told about my move was surprised. She said, “What?! Like Washington D.C. is less crowded or cheap than New York??” I was surprised right back. The National Mall is wide and clear as Lincoln’s Reflecting Pool and the apartment I found is far prettier and roomier than anything here for the price. It will be cold there, but I’m from Iowa. I can take it. D.C. exceeds all my criteria; I can bundle up for that.
Washington will be a pause. I plan to watch snow.