Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Missed Opportunity

It was the greatest idea that never came to pass. We had just graduated and were living on 13th street in an apartment where pineapple pajamas and one mysterious stagnant pool of water in the bathroom were staples.

The TV was flush against the fridge, our horrible table was taken off the prop truck of Party Monster, my room was literally part of the kitchen and dustballs* the size of pets lived under the couch.

Things happened there. Roommates and friends moved in, moved out, hooked up, woke up lying down and fully clothed in the shower with their legs in the kitchen, that sort of thing. Once two of my male roommates had been out drinking and came home, banging on my door until I opened it, then proceeded to get into my bed to hang out (my bed was a single, by the way, this is how small the room was) and thought it would be hysterical to try to see if a three person spoon could be completed. I left to go sleep in one of their beds, alone, and when I woke up, I checked on them, and the boys were still there, fast asleep and spooning each other.

That apartment was the origin of our New York experiences, where there wasn’t enough room for more than one person out of the four of us to have a boyfriend or girlfriend because there were only five seats, if you squished, on the couches. Where The Curmudgeon began to reference my now-infamous black dress, when the boys were on their meat diet and they bought a fan to blow the smell of all that steak out the window just for that purpose, where I had heated, endlessly circular discussions on how leaving the water running was destroying the environment.

We had a lot of ideas, and some of them we actually managed to enact, but the best of all was the one we didn’t. It was to have a portrait commissioned of us, dressed up and as though we were a family, looking straight ahead, me in a cardigan, the boys in hats and maybe one with a pipe. I always imagined the artist would take license and paint in a Dalmation. We wanted to hang it in what we called the living room. It would have been fantastic, but we never quite worked it out. It’s like when a friend moves to an exotic place and everyone says they’ll visit them but no one ever does. Our portrait was just like that. Truthfully, I wanted it more than anyone else. We’d talk about it at parties or when we went out, laughing and pushing each other at the hilarity of it all.

I had forgotten about it until last night. We laughed about it again. We said we’d really do it. Next time we live together, we’ll do it, we promise this time, and it will be just like it was when we were assistants, all of us, we had no money, we ate biscuits for dinner, we slept until four PM on Sundays, we were just so excited to be away from our parents and living with our friends, we would do it this time, we said wistfully, knowing full well we never would...

*I remember pushing a paper towel under to collect them periodically, jumping and then throwing it, thinking I had snagged part of an animal. After that, when we picked them up, we’d sing “here kitty, kitty” and throw them at each other.

5 comments:

Ha Ha Sound said...

You should've done it. Those kinds of things are great.

Back in my 20s, one of us had a summer house up in New Hampshire and every year we'd go up there for a week and take a photo on the dock with all of us. It's funny to flip through them to see how everybody changed.

Anonymous said...

that sounds like so much fun! young, destructive-if-continued fun, but fun!

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

Oh, the memories of being young! I so have to blog my experiences now! lol

Ani said...

You always capture the nostalgia so perfectly in your writing.

Buffy said...

In my first houseshare no one but me spoke English. And since I was always accused of speaking 'American', even that was up in the air. We communicated by using a strange combination of Brazilian-Portuguese and French. I'm still not sure how that worked in a houseful of Finns, Italians, Syrians and...me. But it did. Sort of. We also pointed and ate cheese alot.