Monday, October 01, 2007

Last Man Standing

Life is so transitory; restaurants come and go on a weekly basis, stadiums and shopping centers are built to last only about 20 years or so, and even countries change names and borders. It blows my mind when I hear about people who live their entire life in one place. My best friend throughout school was/is one of those people. We’ve lost touch over the years but the last I knew, he was still living in the same house (same bedroom) he grew up in. That creeps me out a little. I can't imagine living as an adult in the same place where I played with toys and baseball cards. Ok, I still play with toys and baseball cards, but I’ve moved around quite a bit over the years, with stints in Indiana, South Carolina, New Jersey, Kentucky, Germany, Michigan and here in Florida, so it's different. And even though I’ve spent the last 20 years in the Tampa Bay region, I’ve moved around a lot within that area. I think that’s normal these days. For example, I’ve lived at my current address for 14 months now and as of this morning, am now the longest-tenured tenant in my four-unit building. Here’s a brief history of the comings and goings:

  • Across the hall from me when I moved in was family of about 26 or so. At least it sounded like that. They used to keep garbage out on their patio. The highlight of our time together would be the exchange that took place right outside my door last Thanksgiving morning: “Fuck you, you whore. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck yoooooouuuu!!” “Oh, that’s really nice, mom! Happy Thanksgiving to you too!” I think they got thrown out because they just disappeared one day. Two girls who attend Hillsborough Community College and call me ‘Doctor Rockstar’ replaced them. They call me that because my job has me coming and going at weird times, so their theory is that I am either a doctor or a rock star. I don’t bother to clarify for them. At any rate, it’s a definite upgrade.
  • Downstairs and across the hall was a woman who I heard singing scales one day when I passed by her door after I had just moved in. I remember thinking, “how nice. I like music, she seems to be a musician, at least a singer. We’ll probably get along fine.” She moved out soon after and I never even saw her. She was replaced by a Cuban family; mom and son. The kid (a smartass) and I have had encounters, including the time he helped me carry up some groceries. He apparently reported back to his mother that I had lots of beverages but not much food so sometimes she cooks food and has the kid bring it to me. The kid’s ok, as far as kids go I guess, and I love Cuban food so this works for me.
  • Downstairs below me, the unit that just moved out was an older guy who rode a bicycle and (I think) his adult son who played a lot of video games, judging by what I saw on their television when I’d walk by. I said hello to them a few times but that’s all I really know about them. But they’re gone now and I don’t think it really matters all that much that I didn’t say good-bye. Somebody else will be in there within a week or two.

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