Taking possession of the soup

Ours was pizza, pieces swiped directly from the box, fingers wiped indiscriminately on the lid to rid them of the excess oil. We sat on the little step between the kitchen and what would become the living room, laughing self-consciously at how our voices echoed in the empty room.

The floor, at that particular moment, was nothing but concrete. Our first task after taking possession of our new house was to rip up every shred of carpeting, to prepare the house for the laying-down of newer, better carpet. We’d chosen to sink some extra money into the carpet allowance we’d received from the previous owners, and we intended to get good-quality carpeting with thick padding.Our voices echoed off the walls, the concrete, the ceiling. When we walked around, the steps echoed throughout the house, and we sat there on the edge of the step, looking around at this building—floors, windows, ceilings, fans, doors—in wonder and astonishment because it was ours.

The first meal in one’s new house is an event to be remembered and laughed about. There will be others, but none have the rawness, the excitement, the frustration of the first one.

Before we took possession of the house, I told my mother that our first meal was going to be ‘pizza on the china’—yes, takeout pizza on the lovely, translucent ivory-and-blue china that Jeff and I had selected during our engagement. I loved the dichotomy of the two images: the greasy, cheesy pizza we’d lived on as college students; the cultured refinement of bone china given as wedding gifts.

When it came time to take possession of the house, I made sure to leave two plates unpacked so that Jeff and I could eat off of them. We slopped the pieces of pizza from box to plate and ate it there, laughing with the giddiness of knowing that the house—and the resulting mortgage—were ours, ours, ours.

Kat and Sean began moving into their condo today. We were alone, Kat and I, when we settled down to eat some lunch: taco salad from her crockpot. We piled our soup with sour cream and cheese, and took our drinks and a bag of Fritos over to the north window.

In the sunlight she sat; I sprawled. We dipped chips in the soup and ate slowly, resting, while talking of plans for their new home. The newly-cleaned carpet was damp beneath my arms. Beside me, Kat stared outside with a quietly pleased look on her face that, for more reasons than one, reminded me of how Jeff and I must have looked while daring to use our fanciest china with takeout to celebrate our first meal in our first house.

Never mind the fact that the room around us was piled with boxes, or that the fridge wasn’t going to arrive until tomorrow, or that there weren’t even any beds set up yet. It was hers. Given time, the house would sort itself out.

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