When The Roommate and I began our search for the apartment that we've recently moved into, we knew we wanted to downsize. We were moving out of a three bedroom, three story condominium that we'd shared with another girl who moved to England two months before the end of our lease, and it was way too big. Especially once our third roommate moved, so much of those three floors went unused. They became neglected and shabby, eyesores that only got on my nerves. The only thing about that condo that was too small was the kitchen. You could barely open the fridge door without hitting the counters on the other side of the room.
Our new apartment is smaller by square footage. It has two bedrooms, a large kitchen, and a good amount of living space. I appreciated it's smallness, even though it is still large by apartment standards. Lately, though, I've been craving an even smaller space. I look around my current apartment and realize that, of the furnishings I own, I could outfit an entire apartment on my own, albeit a much smaller one. Sometimes I'm glad to have a roommate, for example, I couldn't afford my own place and its nice having someone to split bills with. Other times, I wish I didn't have to clean up after two people or that the other person sharing my house had interests more similar to my own.
I recently watched a movie about a woman with autism, Temple Grandin, who was unable to experience a hug from another person. She noticed that cattle on her aunt's ranch were held in a type of clamp machine when they were being immunized and that this contraption had a calming effect on the cattle. Temple created a device much like the one that calmed the cattle that she herself could fit in when she felt overwhelmed, as those with autism often do. She later tested the machine's effects on other, non-autistic college students and found that, for a surprising number, the pressure of the machine was calming or comforting.
This idea got me thinking about my apartment and my desire for a smaller space. With The Writer gone for the summer, the frequency of physical touch in my life has drastically decreased. I hug, kiss, and cuddle so much less than I was used to when we saw each other on a regular basis. This hasn't made me want other people to touch me, which I'm glad for and I'm sure he is, too. Rather, it has made me want to live in a more compact space, almost so that coming home after work would be like getting a hug from my apartment, since I can't share a hug with my lover. I don't need an improvised piece of farm equipment to make me feel secure and grounded, just walls that are a little closer together.