We walk through the streets, my soon-to-be-former roommate and I, gazing into lighted windows.

There used to be a bunch of us living together in a Jerusalem apartment, but near the end the population dwindled down to three. This was good because our boiler only produces enough hot water to shower a mouse, but it was bad because we began to feel a little bit like the last survivors of a dead civilization.

Then one of our roommates told us that she couldn't buy the toilet paper when it was her turn "because I'm just really busy this weekend, I'm going to Tzfat." The next day we arrived home to find that not only had she decamped permanently to Tzfat with all the living room furniture, but she had installed in her room as replacement rent-payers a small society of teeny-bopper hash enthusiasts.

What with this and that, we both decided it was time to move on. We have till the end of the month. Where will I go?

We walk through the chilly streets, dreaming of hot soup in familiar bowls and discussing which houses we would like to live in.It happens a lot around here. One of my friends recently found out that contrary to what the owners promised her, they are selling her apartment. This means that she has to move out, less than a month after she moved in, an event which at the time we definitively celebrated by painting birds on her bedroom wall. A proud and gentle-looking flock, designed to lull any thesis-writing, dead-language-studying poet (which she is) off to sleep in an instant. Well, what can I do but offer to help paint a mural in her new place, too?

Now my beloved, last roommate and I walk through the chilly streets, dreaming of hot soup in familiar bowls and discussing which houses we would like to live in.

We met as roommates, never having heard of each other before. That's how it works in this neighborhood – one minute you are strangers, and the next minute, you are marveling together at the giant slug on your kitchen floor and mounting a joint sponga attack.

Luckily, I have someone to advise me in my pending apartment search, a dedicated expert. This friend has been looking for "her" apartment ever since I met her, almost two years ago. She will definitely recognize it when she sees it; the grand reunion between human and home lingers just below the horizon. In the meantime, she moves from sublet to sublet, with brief interludes on other people's couches.

I used to worry for her when her time was about to run out somewhere and she didn't have anywhere else lined up. What was especially worrying to me was that SHE never seemed to be worrying at all. As the final hours of her sublet approached, I would drop in to find her reading books on Jewish mysticism or deep in reasonable debate with her cell phone company.

But I have learned that this is the way she does things. Somehow, at the last minute (sometimes literally), something comes up for her. She is like a trapeze artist. She always ends up somewhere.

I know she will help. This will not be the first time I have fended off homelessness, and we have, in fact, achieved a touching reciprocity. We take almost regular walks through the streets carrying mattresses on our heads: sometimes hers, sometimes mine.

I have trekked with her, too, to view apartments she has seen listed on craigslist and janglo. I was with her when she finally accepted that the apartment she had seen listed for $100 a month, with swimming pool and doorman ("you pay the deposit, we'll send you a key"), was a scam. Forget doormen, there weren't even any buildings at that address. Filled with indignation, I filed an internet fraud report. (And then another one. Our fraudster is getting fanciful. Now there are tennis courts.)

Twice, when she was between sublets, I invited her to stay with me (she is a perfect guest, both invisible and friendly, and she comes bearing gifts of french fries), and once when I needed to store some wicker furniture somewhere for an unknown amount of time, she conveniently needed to borrow some.

Now it is time to do it again. Again, I will shed lamps and books and CDs and mugs, give away fans and pots and bags of rice and oatmeal. The same story all over again. Each time I am a little lighter. It is kind of lovely to have so little stuff.

It starts to rain, so my roommate and I run back to our stone-cold apartment. Maybe we can snuggle up with some damp towels or something.

At home, I power up my laptop and warm my hands underneath it. I am not able to type this way, but I won't develop frost-bite either. It's a difficult choice, but I am relatively happy. I have an internal sense of security. I do not need to see my toothbrush in the same toothbrush-holder every day. I do not even need a space heater.

I am close to mastering the art of transience, but it isn't really okay. This semi-nomadic lifestyle takes a toll. This is something refugees know. That even when you are alive and well, it isn't okay not to have a home of your own.

So when I hear that according to chassidic teachings, G‑d created the world because "He wanted a dwelling place in the lower worlds," all I have to say is: Really? You, too?

For each it is something else that makes a home. Personally, I am of the opinion that incandescent lighting is crucial. (When I move, I take my light bulbs with me.) But to each, one's own. For my friends, I document the moves of internet criminals, carry mattresses, paint murals. So if G‑d wants me to do lots of mitzvot to make this world comfortable for Him, it seems only friendly to comply.