Saturday, June 20, 2009

House, Not a Home

Dear 415 1/2,

When I first moved into you some three years ago, I made it a point to change the name of my parents' phone number in my cell from "Home" to "House." I played this small psychological trick on myself for those first exciting months. As a child, I didn't live in LA long enough to actually feel any connection to it, and the vast blandness that Orange County offered held no appeal throughout my teenage years. I came to this apartment with the hope of making it a home not only for myself, but a haven for work, writers and artists around me. To some degree, I succeeded. Nearly every Moderate Revolt contributor has lived with me, or at least slept on my couch for a period of time. At its best, the apartment was a physical equivalent to this space. At its worst, it was a depressing shithole. (Reflective of my college experience, now that I think about it). And somewhere in between, when everything balanced itself out, I fashioned a kind of home out of you.

For the past couple of months, any hint of home that had invaded 415 has dwindled into stress and disappointment. Our lease is up in ten days and I still do not have a new place to live. I sleep there maybe one out of every four nights. My room smells like a stranger. The apartment is so dirty that I can't get any work done there, and any real momentum on Stanley Bigot or Alplerman fundraising or anything else is made totally impossible by the impending deadline of July 1. I feel like I am searching for a new home, and every apartment I look in is somehow inadequate to house the four disparate personalities who will live there. It is depressing, to say the least.

On Halloween night, I walked in the door after a long night of work. This was at the beginning of my career as a narc for the UCLA Police Department, and I my annoyance with the job had not descended into a three month patch of one of the worst depressions I have ever had. I did not know if we were going to do anything for Halloween, and inside the floor was entirely cleared. Decorations were hung from the ceiling, and music was playing loudly. In the kitchen, Ryan stood alone, baking, dressed as a ninja preparing for a party with no guests. I called everyone I knew, and I dressed as Michael Stipe.

When Raul was living on our couch / in our closet, I walked in and Mika Miko were all hanging out in our living room. They took a band-y photo in our bath tub, which had not yet been converted into a dark room. We had a moustache party, and I let Michelle borrow a bunch of comic books.

My favorite apartment gift ever is Stephanie's David Lynch Pillow. I need to figure out how to wash it, and repair its bursting sides we use it so much. In ten days, Shawn and Stephanie also move, and all of the stress at the apartment has kept me from hanging out with them. Maybe, along with the stress, I don't really want to see them go, so instead I just don't see them at all. This is not the best way to deal with their moving.

It is strange to see our home here come to a close because I very tangibly have to start something new. The stress is not just because I am looking for a new apartment -- this is just the space. The real worry is that I won't be able to make this place my home. What happens if Ryan and I don't live together? How can I imagine an LA without Shawn? How can we do anything here when he is so important to me both as a friend and as an inspiration? I hope that by living within walking distance to my favorite theaters -- Cinefamily, New Beverly -- I can create a surrogate Shawn at least in quantity of films watched, even if mere movie houses can never subsitute the quality.

1 comment:

Shawn said...

If you move to Portland, then that's where you'll be.