The last hour has been the first time in over four years that no other person has had a key and claim to my apartment. Already, the air feels different, as if it lightened the minute the spare bedroom was emptied. I walked in there a little while ago, and the space felt foreign and shrunken, as if my last memory of the room was from when I was five years old and several feet shorter.
If I pause outside the door with my eyes closed, I can still see it the way my grandparents kept it, as a book-lined den. I remember my grandmother in the evening, sitting on the end of the sofa, feet tucked up underneath her and a magazine spread across her lap. My grandfather would be moving about the room, picking out his clothes for the next day and arranging them in a neat pile. He had a shoe shine machine that my sister and I loved to play with. We would press the metal pin that switched it on and watch as the limp red and blue acrylic feathers spun themselves into alert fluffiness. Often times, we would polish our toes, giggling at the unfamiliar tickle.
I get to keep the air and energy of the apartment all to myself for the next several weeks, until my new roommate moves in at the end of July. I will be enjoying it.