As told to Kristen Flanagan
The truth is that I never really decorate any of the homes that I live in.
Why? There are a couple of reasons. . . . Part of it is that I went to grad school, and I knew it was a finite thing. So I just thought, “Why bother? Who knows how long I’m going to be here. I can’t stand it here. Why bother?” And then I got a faculty job, and I thought, “Oh, I don’t really want to be here. Why bother?” And then even when I was living in a place by choice, I thought, “Why bother? I’m never home. When I settle down and I’m living with a partner, that’s when I’ll do something to my living space.”
I just start over when I get to a new place. I bring all my books – always. And, what else do I bring? My clothes and some of my furniture. My electronics. I love my electronics. I do have things that matter to me. Little tokens and tchotchkes. Things that I care very much about that I bring with me from place to place. A painting my person, Bob, gave me of Fred Rogers.
Eventually, I think, “I should do something!” And I’ll put a couple of things on the wall. I now split my time between Indiana and Los Angeles. I am actually trying to decorate my L.A. apartment because I do plan on settling there. I hung some art by a friend of mine who does beautiful work – his name is Casey Hannan. And I am really excited about that. My dad came to help me hang the piece. I can’t even tell you the amount of measuring and leveling he did! Because he’s an engineer, it was the most extreme form of hanging things that I’ve ever seen.
But I never paint. Nothing too permanent. There’s nothing for me to really be attached to in my living spaces. It’s not a forever thing. It’s always, “Let’s wait until I have the future I want and then make it home.” I would like to change that mind-set, but, you know, I’m working on one thing at a time.