Monday, October 29, 2007

14 Dollars and Credit Card Bills

In an effort to be the 'cool, new ARC,' I bought a couple of bags of candy to pass out to residents at the building meeting. The total came to $5.99 and I paid with a $20 bill. The fancy change machine, which I'm consistently mesmerized by, spat out a penny. I collected my one cent with my receipt from the cashier and left...without my 14 dollars in change.

I thought I just paid the biggest credit card bill of my life, and then I peeked at next month's bill. Thankfully, I was sitting down. Now, I'm breathing slowly, mentally preparing myself to surrender my entire first paycheck to pay it off. Oh, money.

It's quite a change to move from a fully-furnished apartment with ideal roommates to a space that is entirely my own and the daunting truth that I didn't own anything to sit on, eat on, put stuff on, or sleep on. And now I own (my credit card bill proves it) a futon, full bed, futon, and bookshelves. I find myself seat-hopping, trying out mattresses and cushions in an attempt to fully believe that this stuff is mine.

And then I remember that it's just stuff...
And I remember my mattress in Bolivia... the wood slats that my hips felt through the thin stuffing.
And I remember my folding table and two chairs printed with a beer slogan.
And I remember the couch with cushions that were hand sewn and recovered, doubling as Dino the Dog's bed.
And I remember my small bookshelf which housed my toothbrush, contact solution, and Spanish dictionary.

And I can't possibly fathom how it's already been a year since I first found out I was going to Bolivia.
Nor can I describe how content I was with a simple life and one suitcase to this feeling of home in Eugene with an apartment full of stuff.

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