First Apartments and Real Love by Deb Eileen

I graduated from University with a degree in English literature. In a competitive job market, this left me qualified to read good books and tell you what they were about. This was not a high demand skill. After a long search I finally found a job and moved to my first solo apartment.

The cost of the new apartment seemed very reasonable. Almost strangely reasonable. Cost was a factor as my new job came with low pay. It was nearly a volunteer position. I thought I was rather clever to find such a great place at that cost. Apparently, I was not clever enough to look closely outside the window. The first day I moved in I discovered it.

The apartment squatted on the railroad tracks. When someone says they lived on the wrong side of the tracks- let me tell you- right next to the tracks is WAAAY worse than either side. When the trains would go roaring by, whistles blowing, furniture shaking, glasses bouncing in the cabinets- I could have reached out and touched it as it passed it was so close.

I didn’t sleep well in the new apartment due to the trains. I didn’t like my job. My car was stolen (by criminals breaking out of jail no less) and my boyfriend had moved half way across the country to take a job in Boston. I was all around miserable. I was broke all the time and as the holidays approached I grumbled to all who would listen how it didn’t feel like Christmas in my hovel. There may have been tears.

I came home one day to find a delivery for me. It was a huge Christmas tree, a stand, lights and ornaments. It was from my boyfriend. He arranged the whole thing long distance. I set up the tree and sat in the apartment looking at the lights and smelling the pine. In that moment I knew I would marry him.

And I did. (although it took him a few more years to realize the brilliance of this plan) We’ve lived several places, including overseas, but no matter where we live I always remember that it isn’t the space in which we live our lives that matters- but who shares the space with us.

However, I would still advise against living on or near railroad tracks.

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5 Replies to “First Apartments and Real Love by Deb Eileen”

  1. Ok, I’m swooning. How incredibly romantic and thoughtful. Bob, you are such the bomb!

    And I couldn’t agree more – where we live (i.e. in our little shoebox over here) is nothing compared to the people we share it with (i.e. my wonderful husband and two amazing kids).

    Thanks for ending the week on such a great note, Eileen!

  2. Bob is such a cutie! And a high-tech genius to boot.

    Steve and I rented a cottage right next to a railroad track once – same thing, you could reach out and touch it, the whole place rattled, you always wondered which way the train would fall during the derailment you always pictured. The cottage had no electricity, no shower, barely any running water (only cold), but it was cheap and on a lake. We rented it every year during the college years.

  3. And he knows all about computers having fixed mine on more than one occasion which is one more reason we love him as well.

  4. I’m sorry you had such a bad experience living next to the railroad. I wonder why they even build housing near railroad tracks…nobody would want to live there.

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