Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Breaking up with my apartment

The last time I moved from an apartment, I walked in on strangers having gay sex in my living room.

Apparently, there'd been a miscommunication (read: no communication) between me and my recently "exed" boyfriend concerning when the new tenants could have the keys and start moving in. That's the difference a day makes.

Our relationship was a recent fatality, having ended with style and force usually reserved for collapsing mine shafts, atom splitting and revolution quashing, as most long-term relationships do. Everyone involved scrambles for their lives, there's screaming, and no one makes it out unscathed. Still, when it's all said and done and a new day comes, it's a bright one.

More than simply packing up, we'd had to negotiate seven years' worth of mine vs. his. Through clenched teeth and the staccato of monosyllabic reluctance, we still managed to negotiate divisions of things like dinnerware: Three plates for me. Three plates for him. A holy travesty.

The car was his. The furniture was mine. The apartment and its gorgeous patio would soon be for someone else. The hate was initially his, but we soon managed to ensure there was plenty for everyone. Eventually, all I wanted was 'out'.

I'd arranged for movers to come when I didn't think my Ex would be there, the cheap kind that arrive late and try to buy weed from you when the move takes longer than expected, because they can't call their regular guy after 11 PM. It doesn't occur to them that you don't smoke weed and don't know where to get any, so they become annoyed, and you end up tipping them more than you would have otherwise. They know where you live.

The final and more delicate remnants of my three years in the old apartment were still there come midnight. Returning in a taxi to gather them in a last run, I'd romanticized that perhaps the night would end with one final moment of silence for that era of my life, and with a deep breath I'd both symbolically and literally lock the door behind me. Saying that I felt like I was reluctantly saying good-bye to a beloved, but toxic friend would be a good analogy, if that wasn't exactly what was happening.

When I arrived, all sentimental and melancholy, I remember turning the key and slowly pushing the door open, expecting to be struck by the vacant space that was once my home. I remember just as clearly how instead there were two svelte, naked bodies humping in the dark on my living room floor.

Oh my gawd, I gasped and gawked, too shocked to avert my eyes and still not quite understanding what I was seeing. Initially, I'd thought my Ex was exacting some sort of revenge, and had arranged to have me catch him doing the dirty with some poor martyr or hussy. Moments later, I realized both bodies were of the male variety. Oh my gawd, my sense of wonder renewed. Then, I realized neither belonged to my Ex.

They scrambled for pants and sheets, all the while apologizing and urging me in. Blushing and gathering my things, I knew I wouldn't have that final moment of closure I'd romanticized, just as the new tenants' first romp in their new home didn't quite go as they'd imagined.

That's a lot less likely to happen this time, I think – as I pack, sell and donate my belongings before my next big move – but I can't wait to see what will.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Reason I love to travel #2

If I put on a brave face for the camera, even if only for a few seconds, someone will snap a photo that will make me seem tough for all eternity – not because I like to eat bugs.

Costa Rican Crunch, originally uploaded by Kate Savage.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The 'big prize' for learning French

"I should warn you," said my friend, J, who's witnessed every bad dating decision I've made since becoming single again two years ago. "Grand Prix asked about you."

Grand Prix is a friend of a friend of a friend, and the sort of guy who could be attractive if he changed his shirt, cut back on the beer and said something coherent, but that's just not his style.

He's had a major crush on our friend Cathy for quite a while, which manifests for her as unwanted awkward, drunken advances at gigs, in French, a language she doesn't know and the only one he does.

For Grand Prix, Cathy's beauty compensates both for her total lack of interest in him and her complete inability to speak his language, so he continues his pursuit convinced she'll eventually come around. Two years of dedication and he's holding strong, and she's still ducking into crowds to evade him.

"Yeah, he was all excited," J went on. "Apparently, you spoke with him in French, and now he thinks you'd make a better date than Cathy, because all she knows how to say is 'no'."

Second language math, originally uploaded by Kate Savage.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Reason I love to travel #1

I get to take pictures of Teletubbies-lovin' child Christs. Not everyone can say that.

Señor Santo Niño and the smoker, originally uploaded by Kate Savage.