Written by Abi Humber Tuesday, 24 January 2012 15:20
Does anyone remember my friend Elle? I can’t recall if I’ve written about her, but I know I’ve mentioned her in conversation; she came to Hillsboro for spring break two years ago and met a bunch of my friends.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Elle, you’ll want to visit us in Chicago ASAP. She is, hands down, one of my four favorite people on campus. She is short, has long, brown hair, is studying to be an elementary school teacher, is always giggling her “Elle” laugh, saying very, very funny things, and generally making everyone around her feel happy to be alive.
And now she’s my roommate! I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome to my previously stressful apartment situation, really. Elle’s roommate left to study abroad, creating the perfect space for me, who really needed to get out of that other apartment.
The place we live is kind of the “middle-schooler” of the apartment world. It’s “not a dorm, not yet an apartment,” if you will. We still have to check our visitors in with the desk attendant downstairs (like the dorms) but have a kitchen and bathroom (like the apartments). It’s essentially a studio apartment, which is probably not big enough for two people, but works really well for us. It’s cozy.
Yes, as Miles has recently pointed out, that’s the word I use to describe any small, warm space, regardless of whether it is comfortable or suitable for living. Well, this is the comfortable and suitable kind. So take that, Miles.
I love being in our room. Elle loves to go thrifting and antiquing and has excellent decorating taste, so she’s got all sorts of cool little trinkets. From where I’m sitting on her awesome vintage couch, I can see a small brass birdcage with a feather inside, a little wooden Viking (our school’s mascot), tons of plants, and lots of funky fabric scraps that she’s collected and made into awesome things.
I should mention that the Viking’s helmet is missing its horns. We were brainstorming how to create makeshift horns, then she said, “Maybe we could just leave him like this and say he’s a really nice Viking.”
He guards our television, with a button nose, blunt spear, fuzzy beard and horn-less helmet. I feel pretty safe.
Elle’s plants are mostly herbs: parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano and basil. Chicago weather can’t decide what season it is, so one day the plants look sad and frozen and the next they’re perky and full of green happiness. Not so with her thyme/ rosemary/oregano plant, though.
Her mom gave it to her for Christmas, and it has been perfectly healthy until two days ago when it turned completely black overnight. We’re not really sure what happened, but Elle fashioned a sign for it that reads, “This plant has been claimed by the BLACK PLAGUE.”
One week living with Elle and I’m already breathing more deeply and feel like I’ve gotten back in touch with my goofy, laid-back self. We’ve danced around the room to *NSYNC, giggled while watching “Scrubs,” eaten chips and guac at midnight, tried to learn Jesse McCartney’s “Body Language” dance (from freshman year), shared each other’s clothes, and experimented with different combinations of coffee creamer and sugar to make my coffee sweet enough for Elle’s liking.
It does me so much good to feel comfortable and truly at home in my living space. It’s been awhile since I’ve felt like myself at North Park, and I think living with Elle in our cozy home will help me continue to take it easy.
As I breathe in the aroma of coffee, look around at our homey decorations, and listen to the bathroom radiator spit and hiss, I have a feeling this semester is going to be amazing.