As of this past Friday, I have lived in my apartment for one year.
If you didn't know, I live in what's called an "Interior Studio Apartment" at Mitchell Park Plaza. Most apartments in the world have windows in them- mine included. However, my windows face an interior atrium covered in faux grass, metal grates, and a faux marble fountain that doesn't have water in it (I don't think so at least). I'm on the third floor of a six story building, so the metal grates don't really let much natural light in at all. During the summer, when the sun was at its strongest, I recieved approximately 15 minutes of natural light each afternoon arond 5:15. Now that the sun is starting to weaken, I have no more natural light. This wouldn't be all that bad if I didn't teach in a windowless classroom. My classroom is indeed air conditioned, but during the winter that doesn't matter so much. And most of my school year is winter-tastic.
The bottom line is, after a year, I'm a little tired of living in a world where I can't see what's outside. Now I'm fully aware that I could move. My studio apartment is what most would call expensive (especially for Joetown standards), and I could easily move someplace with more room with cheaper rent. And I have those student loan things I was talking about. But, here's the thing, I love my building. I love supporting the renovation of an old, abandoned building and turning it into something great in a downtrodden part of town. I love that my building has a kickass roof where I can host friends and have the absolute best view available in all of Joetown. I love having a convenience store on the first floor for my before school Pepsi needs. I love having my car parked in a safe, secure underground parking garage. I love, considering my past experiences, that my apartment does not have an outside entrance. I love that the carrot they dangle in front of me for not having "real" windows (there are two panes of glass, true, but, as mentioned, they face the inside) is not paying ANY utilities. None. No electric, no heat, no cable, no internet, no water, no trash. There's just too much positive about it to leave. I'm willing to pay a little more. And, as I mentioned in my last entry, I can afford it right now. It's close, but I can do it.
All of that being said, I positively yearn for being able to open a window on a day like today with highs in the 60s. I yearn to watch thunderstorms roll in. I yearn to watch snowfall from my living room. I am prepared to endure another year of non-windowed pain, but I'm not sure yet if I could do any more.
So, readers, imagine the lust in my eyes when I saw this Craigslist ad. It's in my building, and it is TWO ENTIRE BEDROOMS OF SPACE. There are two bathrooms (completely unnecessary for me). But still. Above all, it has WINDOWS. I could open them. I could do that. But it's a full $200 more than I'm currently paying for rent. But with all that space! Dilemma.
Not really, though. There's no way I can afford it now or in the future. The only thing I could do would be to find a roommate, and, frankly, that's scary. I had roommates in college who, thankfully, I got along with quite well. I haven't had one in my adult life, and I think the client base for roommates in St. Joe is not as rich as was in Columbia. I will have to seriously consider this, though, in the coming year. If I had a roommate in that situation, I'd pay $350 a month plus 1/2 of an electric bill. That would save me something like $100-$150 a month ultimately. And I'd have real windows. However, that deal is ridiculous. Most two bedroom apartments at my place are closer to $1000 a month.
In my dream world, an EXTERIOR studio opens up (they allegedly exist), and I move on in. I pay the same rent plus electric, and I have windows. A small but important sacrifice to see a thunderstorm.
Anyway- just dreaming of the future.