Who needs to remember the bed, when you can just enter, and exit. Speaking of entering, and exiting, Ned keeps asking me to move in with him, I mean he's asked me that since the beginning, and I’ve said no, no, and no. For obvious reasons. But, even if we ignore those obvious reasons, the truth is that, yes, his house is palatial, but there aren't very many rooms. The entire downstairs is open except the bathroom. Upstairs, there's the bedroom in back, with two huge bathrooms and two enormous closets, and then the office in front, and another closet. But no extra bedroom. How could I possibly live with someone if I don't have my own bedroom?
But here's the thing: now I hate East Boston. It just feels like I'm stuck there, like I can't get anywhere, like I have this apartment to myself but it’s supposed to be for me and JoAnne —even with the coke cure, I can’t stop thinking about JoAnne. So Ned's getting strategic, reminding me that we don't have the same hours, we wouldn’t even see each other that much, he has to travel all the time for work so then I would have the place to myself. I say there's no way I could live here without my own room, and then he pulls out his trump card and says oh, come to think of it, that front closet used to be a room, I could easily have the closet bars taken out and get you a bed just like the one in my room.
That is a really comfortable bed. And: I can’t live with JoAnne’s ghost anymore. And: looking for a new apartment would be a nightmare. And: Ned’s place has such a gorgeous kitchen, that's for sure. And, free groceries. And it’s close to everything.
And then, just when I’m thinking about whether it would really be possible to live in that closet, Ned says that actually there's quite a large window behind the armoire.
The next time I come over, the armoire is gone and in its place there’s a beautiful view of Comm. Ave, like I'm in some society movie broadcasting respectability. Ned has the room set up already, burgundy velvet blackout curtains and everything — just so you can get a feel for what it would be like, he says — I can always return the furniture.
And the room isn’t actually that small, especially when I don't need to put any of my stuff in there; Ned says I can have one of the closets in his room. Our room, he says. But back to my room, Ned even installed one of those little chandelier-things as a ceiling light. He already had the carpet removed, since he knows I can’t stand carpet, and the floor shines. I sit down on the bed —a burgundy comforter matching the curtains, mustard sheets underneath — I thought you would like the colors, he says. She is one shrewd bitch. I lie down on the bed and look up at the tiny rainbows on the ceiling from the chandelier. It’s that time of day when the light makes everything gorgeous.
I say: It's never lonely in the closet. Ned loves jokes like that. But I have to be honest, I say, I want to make it clear that this is still a financial arrangement. I don't want you to think that we're boyfriends.
The next day he calls movers. And he clears out one of the bedroom closets. I know I shouldn't be doing this, but the coke cure is getting expensive.