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End of The Commune
Kristan moved out this weekend. I helped her get all her stuff in her new apartment, and even helped unpack until we ran out of places to put things. She's in a studio up in Salem, Mass -- it's a nice place, in the historic district. I don't know if I would be able to live in a studio now, but I definitely would have liked a little place like that when I was at UIUC.

It's strange to not have her here. After sharing our home with her for so long, it's a very weird experience to not have her consider this 'home' anymore. Even in the times that she wasn't living with us -- while she was at her mom's, away for whatever reason, or what have you -- home was always with Jess and I. She moved in about a month after I moved to Manchester, and she's just always been there.

We've changed houses. We've changed states. We've gone through a complete change in our relationship. But always, she lived with us.

Having her gone is a very big change.

I remember working at wedü, the first summer I was here, and I'd be the first one up in the morning. I remember getting up, checking my email on zeus (this was before I bought the mac), then giving Kristan a kiss on the forehead and Jess a kiss goodbye as I left for work. I remember watching movies together. I remember going out to Goldenrod together.

There were a lot of happy memories from the time that we lived together, but not many of them lately. Jess and Kristan can't share a house. Their personalities clash in millions of ways. There was so much tension in the house these days that there were times I wanted to run away to New Hampshire and just get away from it all. I know Jess felt the same way, and Kristan felt the same way. Really, we should probably have never all moved into the house in Cambridge -- we should have parted when Jess and I moved down here. But I don't think any of us had any idea how it would actually turn out. We knew that we were all friends, and we thought that it would be okay.

We're still friends, or at least, I think we will be after things settle down. There's still a lot of resentment flowing back and forth, and until that stops there's going to continue to be some tension in the relationship between Jess and Kristan, and therefore, between Kristan and I. That's to be expected. Things can't just snap into a place where suddenly life is perfect, and there's been a lot of ill done on both sides of the equation, far too much for things to just be normal and okay. But I think we'll get there, because although Kristan and Jess really can't live together, I don't think they really dislike each other. They just clash. Clashing is okay when one has a different place to go home to. Clashing is okay when it's a 5 minute thing -- it's not okay when it's a 24 hours a day thing.

But it's weird. It's weird because there were always little things that were done that don't have to be anymore, and little daily routines that are slightly shifted. Anyone who leaves -- for work, school, whatever -- gets a hug from me before they go. I'll run down flights of stairs just to give people a hug goodbye. And now there's one less person who I hug goodbye.

I give people a hug as they go up to bed -- and now there's one less person going up to bed.

It doesn't seem like much, but so much of it has built up for so long. Gestures made for the sake of peacekeeping. Shopping trips becoming a totally different experience. One less person that the kids say goodnight to before they go to bed.

I've had this feeling before -- both with pezstar and bluebuggy leaving. But neither has had that much of an impact on me mentally because I don't think I ever really thought of them as 'here to stay'. Kristan had just become an integral part of life in what used to be The Commune -- everything from the way she organized the dishwasher to helping jess pick which Whole Foods recipe to make. Without her here, things aren't the same. The conversations aren't the same.

She's still working in town, so she'll be around occasionally. She's still coming down to watch Gilmore Girls with Em and I tomorrow night. But the fact that the last two nights have been completely empty of Kristan has been strange, and I'll admit that it's lonelier here. It's so short a time -- there have been periods of days where I wouldn't see Kristan in the past. This shouldn't be a shock to the system. But just like when Jess is out late, and I fall asleep before she gets home, it's about the expectation that someone will just be there, whether you interact with them or not. It's going to be lonely for a while until I adjust to the fact that someone who has been a daily part of my life for almost two years is now no longer going to be there.

I'll miss her, but I won't miss the drama. I won't miss the fighting. I won't miss the constant back and forth bickering between the two females that I worry about the most in the world. I'm happy to have the house back to relative sanity. And I think that moving out is absolutely the best thing that Kristan could do for herself, both because of her interactions with Jess being unhealthy and the friendship that she and I had developed being unhealthy. There's a lot of negative energy there, and it's good to try and let it go, and I think this will help. I'm glad that she found someplace that I really think will work out okay for her, and I'm glad she had the guts to take it. Moving out on your own is not an easy step: I don't know if I'd have ever been able to do it. I never got the opportunity, and I'm okay with that, but it means I can't offer experience. I know that two years ago, she would never have gone out and found her own studio. So, things have definitely changed, and for the better.

I hope that they continue to change for the better for all of us. No matter how much I miss having that one extra person around, the time was well overdue to move on and out. I'm glad it worked out reasonably well, and I hope that it will be okay from here on out for all of us. There's so many more productive things to do than fight all the time.

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On a lighter note, I would totally support finding homeless people to fill the void of the commune, especially once Emmy leaves.

I wouldn't.

The cause of so much stress in this house has been roomates. Even if they were to be people that I had met before -- rather than drunk bums off the street -- I'd still not be comfortable opening up the house to them. Not in a situation where the kids are here. Especially since we're not going to have any spare bedrooms for any more people anyway -- Alicia and Julie are going to have their own rooms, and I don't want anyone else crashing in the living room.

Another person is another mouth to feed, another opinion to take into account, another this, another that, none of which I want to deal with. I miss Kristan, but I'm happy to have the house back, and especially once Emmy is gone, I wouldn't give it up for the world.

I hope it works out well for you all.

It *is* strange knowing someone is in your home, even if you never saw them much, but you "knew" they were there.

Good luck.

It's the end of an era! Wow.

I wish the best of luck to everyone whose situation changed, and hope that the changes continue to be for the better. :-)

B'ut how can it be done?

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