It will be a golden, resplendent, trash panda and I will worship it as a deity.

It’d be easy to characterise this past week as an accumulation of physical and mental exertion. We’ve piled box upon box and unpacked very gradually (he says in a room full of still packed boxes). We’ve thrown things away, hauled others across town. We’ve spent nights thinking about where and how appliances and furnishings fit into the space we have. We’ve dealt with a cat who is dealing with the concept of change for the first time in yonks. Sleep has been intermittent, fleeting. I maybe had one full night of rest out of the past seven. Bones and brain feel dense with exhaustion. It’s almost seemed overbearing at times, the scale of it all, even compartmentalised into little units of effort. That’s why I’m surprised that when I think of the past week it’s not this stuff that rises to the surface. It’s the rest of it, the words that people have told me for years that I’ve failed to receive over the static of doubt:

Moving in with your partner is really, really nice.

The idea of feeling like we have to be present with one another while we’re in the same place is gone. We hang out when we want to, not because there’s some kind of obligation. I’m an early riser. If I wake up ready to go and she’s still sleeping that’s fine. I can leave her to rest while I go into the office and durdle away on the computer. We can be in separate rooms without feeling like we’re neglecting one another. We can tag team on tasks and divide the labour. If a meal is coming up but one of us has stuff to do, the other one will cook to save time. It’s a process, but I’m getting better about not trying to do everything. When I cook I’m learning to step back and let her do the dishes instead of rushing to take care of them myself. The hive-mind is only deepening and we’re getting to the point of transcending language. If I’m about to ask something, she’ll know what I intend before I open my mouth or vice versa. We can spend mornings lying in and having great sex. Yesterday I went out and sorted out a brunch feast (peameal bacon, breakfast sausages, tomato all grilled on the George Foreman with eggs and toast for backup). Netflix in bed to cap off an evening. Time-sharing my metro pass. Brushing our teeth together. Establishing routines. While many on the outside would be quick to decry the normcore nature of our cohabitation as bland, being in it is really exciting. One week in we’ve discovered a kind of domestic bliss that was always at the fringe of our relationship, but now feels front and centre.

Of course this is the first week. Of course problems will crop up. We’ll have disagreements about money and bills. I’ll foolishly liquidate our shared mutual funds into chocolate coins. She’ll stock the fridge with several kilos of discounted back alley durian. I’ll pick up an eight foot golden raccoon statue from the curb and be dead set on it taking focal point in our household. Her cat will record a cover of Sean Mullins’ god awful, patronising, saviour complex 1998 track Lullabye. We’ll both do inconsiderate things out of ignorance rather than malice. It’ll happen and there’s no avoiding that. We’re two different people coming together (and cumming together, amirite?) under one roof. We’re gonna clash. One thing I know, however, is that whatever arises will be resolved with respect for one another. Because there’s something we now share that is worth staying together for.

The aforementioned George Foreman grill, obviously.

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