I’m taking you down memory lane today.
It was a warm summer night, and we were all sitting around this apartment that 8-14 of us lived in. We were singing. I think one of the guys had his guitar. The crazy one was painting a massive Alice in Wonderland mural on one of the walls. I could hear Belle and Sebastian wafting from the loft and the sounds of Crazy Taxi on SNES.
I was surrounded by dudes. Dudes and Candy. Candy was one of the only females I got along with at the time. She is still among some of the only female company I can keep without slapping…but we have all settled into our adult lives and thus don’t see each other nearly enough…let alone do things like…this happen.
I was 20, going on 21, and I was going through a phase where I stuck a safety pin through the piercing in the middle of my nose (I had a 14g septum piercing that I would often literally shove a safety pin through). I had a short bob haircut that I wore with Betty Page bangs. Always dyed either black or red.
A lot of crazy times happened in that house, Including me getting together with A man who had loved me since we were sixteen. Since I am not married, that obviously didn’t amount to anything for us. He is now happily married, and a pastor of all things – with beautiful children. I was so not ready for him.
It was the kind of place that probably would have been raided on a regular basis if it existed now…but that was a weird moment in time.
We had a regular core group of kids, but whenever someone was getting knocked around by their parents, or didn’t have a safe place to go for any reason – they ended up there, sleeping on the floor.
The internet was still relatively new at that point and one of the guys ended up getting ordained.
You can see where this is leading.
For thirty days in late 2002, I was married.
Not that I ever realized it at the time – but apparently the marriage is legal for thirty days so people can get all the paperwork in, then if that doesn’t happen it is just…dissolved. There is no proof that this ever happened, aside from the memories of the people there.
My wedding guests were a bunch of drunk punk rockers, kids who were living on ramen and beer at the time and instead of a wedding ring I was given rave candy and a ring pop that someone pulled from their purse. He kissed me on the forehead, and a quick peck on the lips and a hug that lasted forever.
For our reception we went to Denny’s and watched the waitress threaten to kick out a mutual friend for not wearing any pants.. I think that happened that night…it’s all starting to run together.
The “groom” I still count among dear friends, and we joke about it.
We have all traveled and grown since then. I’ve drug my ass all over the country. The groom is a straight hairdresser/actor in FLA…A few of the kids who came out of that apartment are really amazing performers. Some of us are writers. Some teach art.
Living in that apartment was like running around on the best drugs you’ve ever had every day turbocharged…on fire with the spirit of everything. It was tough – don’t get me wrong. We had to pool our money to make rent. Feed ourselves, and with guys that age beer counts as food so…there were definitely days we took turns eating and making things work.
Everyone there during that time though knew it was special.
I like to joke that it was like boot camp for the way the world may become someday.
That snapshot of time is very special to me. That’s when I started finding my voice, among a bunch of other people who were all doing the same thing. As I start thinking about where i’m heading, and what my life is going to be this upcoming year…who I will become, I remember how I got my start. Where I came from.
Those were really hard times sometimes. People falling into hard drugs….hormonal 20 somethings in a house all having sex with each other and fighting it out…but for a brief moment, it was family and it did A LOT to affirm in me the voice I have today. It made me tough…trimmed away the bullshit.
I’ve been in this place for two years now. I’m getting the itch…Soon I will start a new adventure.
I must do that by remembering how I got here.