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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Scenes from a previous Life

This time last year, I was living in a simple, small, ground-floor apartment in sunny Fort Collins, CO.  The furniture was mismatched and nearly all second-hand, most of it gleaned from kind friends and colleagues.  I believe only two items were actually purchased: David's heavy wooden desk that I worked at and for which he had paid the princely sum of 80 dollars at a thrift shop, and the card table that served as our kitchen table purchased from the grocery store for about 20 bucks.  Here are some photos of our abode.

Despite the ramshackle feel of the place, it seemed like our little newly-wed home would often be the central hub at which our friends would often congregate.  Several friends had keys and then later we discovered we could just leave the back door unlocked, in case someone needed an emergency nap or Internet access or a snack. 

Additionally, and in truly uncharacteristic form, I got to be on a more-than-first-name basis with both sets of neighbors who lived on either side of us.  On several occasions we shared spontaneous dinners, drinks, and conversations.  When it was time to make the late-night Wal-mart run to get Christmas lights one snowy, bitter night around midnight, it seemed only logical to see if Sally, the young neighbor on the left, wanted to go with us.  We came home and decorated that very night, stringing up our connected lights across both of our front-windows, scrounging up extension cords and leopard-print duct tape to get the job done. 

We even got to know Sally's regular group of friends as they would often hang out at her place. They were a group of young women who were easy to engage in conversation; old enough to be just tasting financial and social independence from their parents but young enough to still be bewildered by it.  This often resulted in long, late-night, wine and cigarette-fueled group conversations that they would conduct on our shared front porch, and into which we could easily drift on a whim.  They covered every topic that could be interesting to a young woman and you could sense their eagerness to learn, their energy, and their vulnerability even through their strategic bangs and tattoos and cigarette-rasped swear words.

One time, David was trying to describe a girl he had chatted with the night before, to our friend Kevin.  "Kelly?" tried Kevin, guessing at who David was trying to describe.

"No," David answered, brows furrowed, searching for the right words to describe this girl that he was sure Kevin knew.  "No, not Kelly.  This girl has existential problems."

"Yeah, I'm better with physical descriptions."

"Well, I'm better with metaphysical descriptions."

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