Not home yet

Next week I’ll have lived at Fountainview at Gonda in Playa Vista California for one year. And I still can’t call it my home. It’s supposed to be, but to me it’s just a building with six stories, common areas consisting of a living room, dining room, library, gym, theater, bar, and a big room called the events center. All those rooms are nice looking but mostly empty. Because of Covid and staff losses, we haven’t eaten together in the dining room for months except for a few special occasions.

My apartment is on the fourth floor. It’s a corner unit so it gives me a little more space and a wrap-around deck. I furnished my apartment with things from the family home that I sold in Manhattan Beach, and they fit in very well. But that’s because I hired a designer recommended to me who was familiar with Fountainview floor plans. She picked out the pieces of my furniture that would fit best here. And to make it more homey, I kept and display artifacts, pictures, books, crystal, depression glass, and dishware also from my former home. I didn’t buy anything new. The only changes I made to the apartment were adding new flooring – vinyl that looks like wood  – and additional lighting because it gets pretty dark in the late afternoon during standard time.

So, why can’t I call it home?

Mainly because I live here alone and I’m here every day, every night alone. This place reminds me of aloneness, and there’s nothing to be done about that. Also, it doesn’t have any memories – things that happened inside this space that were interesting, happy, worth remembering. I write in here, I eat in here, I read in here, I watch a lot of movies and television series in here, but those are just diversions. No life changing activities have happened here – at least not yet.

The only redeeming feature of living in the Fountainview complex is the wonderful group of people I have met. People came up and introduced themselves to me from day one, and that has helped a lot. And I’m sure some of these people will become lifelong friends.

So it’s not all bad. It just takes getting used to a new place and finding a way to stop missing my family home and its memories so much.

Together for a great family visit last week.

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