I have very little left to live for. When I was in my mid-twenties, I put together a list of the things I'd like to do before I died and now, with the new house, the last item can finally be scratched off the list: Own a beer fridge. Down in the basement of this old, drafty home, is an old, drafty fridge that is now stocked, from top to bottom, with bottles of beer. The fact that I spent both time and money doing this may very well collapse what remains of the hollow shell of my marriage, but c'mon, it's a full-sized beer fridge. Full-sized. With beer.
The fridge itself is a bit of a mystery. It was not included in the list of appliances we were to receive with the house, nor is it actually necessary since no room of this house can actually be heated over 40 degrees Fahrenheit to begin with. The old, plaster walls are all freezing to the touch and there are three windows, including one in the master bedroom, with gaps in the panes so large that two people, one inside and one out, could engage in any number of fairly traditional sexual acts with no difficulty whatsoever. Through the one in the living room you could have a threesome.
The old furnace in the basement is no help at all, preferring to spend its time and energy making noise rather than heating. It clamors on and off several times each night, shaking the house with useless clanking, like the ghost of some very, very cold Christmas past.
"Take heed, rise and walk with me."
"Through the window?"
"Are you afraid?"
"But I am a mortal, and liable to fall."
"Then let's go through the one in the living room."
Prior to purchasing this house, our inspector gave us a list of the items we needed to address. Third on the list, between "Front room is attached to main house by a single 2x4 and a dream" and "House is located in New Jersey" was "Master bedroom has no source of heat." We investigated and found the radiator that used to heat the master bedroom was now in the garage, supporting a wall that would apparently come down otherwise. At the time, I justified the lack of heat in the bedroom by assuming that this room must have gotten too hot in the winter and the removal of the heater was to establish a balance with the rest of the house. Now I realize it was because the previous occupants were yeti.
Still, and I type this with mittened fingers, I am happy to be here. For one thing, the house has obscenely beautiful hardwood floors throughout.
And since we haven't any area rugs yet, I now have a use for all those mismatched socks in the twins' sock drawer.
But really it's about the beer fridge. How many people, at the ridiculously young age of 38, can say they've finally completed the list of accomplishments they wrote for themselves way back in their twenties?
Of course, some items on the list were scratched off as technicalities, because I doubt when I wrote "Sleep with blond twins" I had meant for either one of them to be two years old, or for either one of them to have the stomach flu, or for me to be holding a trashcan at the ready.
Still, toddler puke does clean up mightily easy off hardwood floors. Especially when it's frozen.