i’m fascinated by how my perception of time has changed since i was younger. i turned 31 a few days after i turned 30. i was 19 for half of my life.
maybe it’s because a lot of important things happened when i was 19. maybe they were important because i was 19.
without question, my life has improved in the last 12 years. i live in new york now. i’ve always wanted to live in new york. i love my job, which is not something many people can say. i finally make a decent living, too. i’m no longer living paycheck-to-paycheck.
but i still find myself yearning for the days i lived with eight other people in a renovated small-town office in minnesota.
mike was a ten minute drive from james’ house. his apartment was in downtown buffalo on 1st and division above an out-of-business flower shop. i could hear music as we pulled up. when we opened the unlocked door to go upstairs i realized it was live music.
the stairway was long and creaky. i would grow to loathe these stairs after i moved in. especially after going to battle against them with the heavy pink hand-me-down couch my mother gave me.
mike was in a daze playing a blues style solo on his electric guitar when we reached the top of the stairs. to my surprise, the drummer behind him was an acquaintance of mine. a man named tim that i had met during one of my overnight perkins coffee benders.
tim was heavily involved in the music scene in minnesota as an event promoter and front-of-house mixer. if you were in a band and live in mn, which i was and i did, you knew tim.
becasue one coincidence wasn’t enough, i also knew mike’s roommate shane. shane lived in the first room at the top of the stairs. the smallest room. i knew shane from when i worked at the local mcdonald’s in high school. we weren’t particularly close. that didn’t change after i moved in.
mike’s other roommates were people i hadn’t met before. justin shared the largest room with mike. he was mike’s childhood best friend. i would find out later that he was also a pathological liar and a sociopath.
tim shared the smaller room in the hallway with his girlfriend, tasha. me and tasha became good friend in the nine months i lived in the apartment. one time she accidentally said my name while time was inside of her.
this was also the first time i met trent, the afromentioned homeless man. trent was friend of tim’s that slept on the couch in the living room. he was also a recovering alcoholic living with a group of teenagers fresh out of their mom’s basement. what could possibly go wrong?
the room at the end of the hallway would eventually become my room. currently it was occupied by a very quiet gay women that worked the overnight shift at wal-mart. i don’t remember her name because she moved out in less than a month.
mike was still engrossed in the music. i’d never seen someone play guitar so passionately before. music didn’t exist before mike picked up a guitar. time slowed down. i could taste the individual notes.
after 15 minutes mike finally looked up from his instrument and greeted us. i was in awe. had he been a women, i would have fallen in love on the spot. in some ways i still did.
over the next few months mike would help me take my own guitar playing to a level i never thought possible. a level that quickly deteriorated after i went to college and lost the passion for songwriting.
after a quick tour of the apartment, i asked if i could play mike’s guitar. we took turns jamming until it was time to go to bed. or maybe mike had to go to work. probably both.
before i left, he invited me a party they were having the next day. i couldn’t wait.