It's all I've known, from childhood to college and on into adulthood, where I struggled as many of us struggle, to take up as little space as possible at the lowest cost. It seems to suit me. I've had a whole house once for a few years, and all I seemed to do was to collect things. Family members find a place to dump their unwanted excess. The urge to collect things seemed only logical. I'd heard a condition based on the Egyptians, who had a habit of covering all of their bare space with pictures, words, markings. I fought between harsh minimalism and the desire to be normal, even if the normal I could attain was a college normal, where decor is still Christmas lights, traffic cones and tapestries.

I have a two room apartment now. One room holds all of Carson's things until he can get his own place, which will likely be another one room apartment. But before he came to town, there was nothing in that room. He bought a desk and put his computer on it, but now his ISP isn't letting him online, so he's been using mine, which is in the other room, the only room that we spend time in. It's the one with the heater, the TV/VCR, and the computer with an internet connection. We use the bathroom and kitchen only sparingly. This one room is also where the bed is.

The bed is a futon on the floor, the one big purchase we've made. No frame yet, so it just sits on the floor, taking up almost the whole area of this little room.

It's amazing that we haven't gotten on each other's nerves yet, that the walls haven't squeezed in on us. We're literally walking over one another. He'll be online less than a foot from me and I'll be scanning the classifieds, searching for apartments within his price range. I'll be online and he'll be reading. I'll cook something and bring him a plate of it and we'll eat in front of the TV when we decide to rent movies. When I'm doing the dishes, he'll stand in the doorway and talk to me.

It's like the whole world just falls away, and I have to say I like how it feels. Still, I'm sure we want to get some space from each other soon, before this cloud of ease and bliss dissolves.

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