When I discuss with someone all of the places I have lived or visited the next question is typically, “What, was your dad in the military?” When I combine that my parents now live in Saudi Arabia the question typically lends itself to “What, are your parents spies?”
Yes. My parents are spies.
Actually, as a kid we didn’t move all that much. Born in Austin Texas, my parents moved to Houston around two years later. There we lived in a duplex. As I strain to remember that house, a few memories come to mind. The hole in the fence my brother and I would climb through to visit our neighbors. The red glitter stickers and the Rock 101 Jukebox sticker on one of the windows. I remember the kitchen and my mom going out the door to work while I ate breakfast and my dad took care of us when he wasn’t at the station.
How my parents managed to work as hard as they did and do such an amazing jobs as parents I will never know.
After a few years there we moved to the first house my parents ever purchased. It was on Lively Lane. It was a big two story house with an amazing back yard, a treehouse we built and a curious sensibility. It seemed like the American Dream. We lived in that house for around six years before the neighborhood started going downhill. In fact the entire area of Houston was showing its unfortunate true colors.
So we move to Bellville, a small town about an hour outside of Houston. We buy a fixer-upper on five acres. For the next six years we convince ourselves we’re country folk. We have a truck, a tractor that didn’t run from the day my dad purchased it, a collection of chainsaws, a giant chicken coop, two horses and a sandy driveway that was more reminiscent of a New Mexico sand dune race track than anything else.
Growing up in a small town was great. I loved the lifestyle, the friends, the culture, the quaintness of the Fair, that the hangout was the Shell station and that you never had to worry about locking your doors.
In 2001 we discovered we had outgrown Bellville so we headed back to Houston. We bought a serious fixer-upper this time. A pretty huge house with mold damage. By the time my parents were done fixing this place up… well, it was amazing. I loved, loved that house.
Then I went to college.
Dorm number one, Wolpers, the Engineering dormitory. Awesome roommate, awesome neighbor. Well, one of my neighbors was awesome, the other one threatened to kill me. Soooo, off to dorm number two.
Graham. New roommate. He was a Catholic choir boy slash sleep eater slash compulsive masturbator. NEW ROOMMATE PLEASE!!!
Graham again, only this time with my best friend, Geoffrey. We lived together there until I got an apartment, aka The Brothel. (Parents move to Tulsa)
Around a year later I move to Forestville California. Bet you’re wondering what happened in between huh? Too bad! 😛
So I’m in California staying in my family’s cottage/river house/vacation home/construction zone. I quickly meet Seth in Santa Rosa and more or less move in with him. It is closer to my job and to school. That is, until Seth moves to San Francisco, I follow along but spend about half my time back in Forestville, until the rainy season comes. I’m forced to move in with some friends for a few months. Mike and Kevin. Awesome friends. I lived there for a few months and then stupidly moved in with this guy I met at Starbucks. He needed a roommate and I felt I needed to give Mike and Kevin their place back.
My new roommate turned out to be a total psycho. So off to San Francisco.
I’m in love. Amazing apartment five blocks from Union Square. A seriously amazing experience and one that I have never forgotten.
I move back to Columbia, my parents move back to Houston. (I love omitting segues)
Move into the Fredrick with my friend Kevin for the summer. Then to Sterling with Jim and David and then back to the Fredrick a year later.
And that leads me to the entire point of this post. I think I just set a record for burying the lead, behind 700 words.
The moment I stepped foot into Apartment 302 I knew it was for me. From the foyer I told the leaser that I’d take it. Turns out the place was a hot mess. But with the expert help of my parents we turned it into the best apartment I’ve ever lived in, the closest thing to home-away-from-home you can get.
Apartment 302 was the epicenter of change for me. New job, new major, new passion in photography, new friends and most importantly, where Ryan came into my life.
In May I graduated and with the closing of my academic life so closed the door to 302. I moved out of the Fredrick and into Ryan’s home. Never have I felt so attached to an apartment, not since my place in San Francisco. Seeing the apartment empty of all that made it mine was heartbreaking. I felt like I had just lost a best friend.
Happiness and heartbreak. Discovery and discouragement.
Many of you reading this have been in my apartment. That’s one of the crazy things to me. It’s not just that this place meant so much to me it’s that it affected so many other people. I imagine it as a nucleus circled by these collected memories.
But as the story goes, all things must come to an end and now I’m working on a new life in a new home where new memories will be made, new obstacles conquered and all that comes along with it.
Why not leave a comment with your favorite memory at this apartment? I know a lot of you have many to share 😀