Friday, May 13, 2005

Did Buffalo Bill leave his sewing supplies? 

Because that could be the deal breaker.

You know the Czech legends about Golem, viceless automata made of mud and forced to to the bidding of their evil and blasphemous creators? Yeah, government-related interns and staffers, I think, are the modern extension of said parable, and I only say so because I have seen, nay, experienced the dank pits in which they live, with all of my senses. I never would have expected a bubbly, intelligent blond girl to switch gears from talking about blocking a federal judge who hasn't passed the bar directly into showing me, with a smile and open hands extened in a gesture of welcome, the musty subterranean well-hole that was used for the filming of "Silence of the Lambs". I must have let out a terrible shriek or threatened to kill her dog if she didn't let me go, but, whatever actually happened, I was on the street moments later, sweating and gasping for fresh air.

Seriously, what a nice lady, that Amy, but damnit, I am not a staffer who will only use my room for twenty minutes per day, and, as such, I would prefer that the walls be made of something more substantive than pressboard. Also, a basement that has been rudimentarily filled with barriers connotes a "divided space for living," not a "small bedroom." "The room is small," she so understatingly reminded before declaring, "but the price is right." True, it was filthy cheap, generally a fair exchange for being actually filthy. My fiscally responsible side was thinking of where to sign, but my smarter public health side was checking off observed details that normally constitute health code violations in restaurants. Cat litter in the kitchen: check. Mildew at wall seams and near ventilation ducts: check. Warm, moist areas left as is: check. Flickering green fluorescent lighting: fuck, get out, get out.

Our five minute rent-my-space date over, I went home to scour away the imaginary dusting of Cryptosporidium oocysts that I just new had showered down on me when I leaned against the basement wall. Shudder. No amount of proximity to Eastern Market could ever compensate for getting dysentery from one's abode.

More open houses this weekend, more adventuring into the land of bizarre human reality, undoubtedly. My friend Steven from high school is driving into the city as we speak (hooray!) from law school in Cleveland, so there is no chance in hell that I will actually be "prepared" for my Monday final. I keep looking over at my paint, staring at me, warbling, "Come use us, Jeffrey, we miss you," but I shake the siren song out of my head and focus back on the studying. Speaking of which, sigh, it waits for none.

Steven swimming at Greers Ferry

Evil paints.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Will sublease for food 

or: Look, a post! Hush now or you'll frighten the poor thing away!

I like looking for a new place to live; it's the same kind of energy that you feel browsing through a car lot, or idling through a gallery, anything, really, where novelty is at hand. The room-to-let market is no different, though at such significant scales, novelty is accompanied by all sorts of other anxieties; some of these anxieties are positive, some are notoriously negative.

Positives: new roommates means new friends, new music, new food, etc.; a new room means a new view, a new neighborhood, a new coffeshop to frequent, new intimacy with somewhere else; and so on.

Negatives: new roommates means new bitterness, new neuroses, new irritation, etc.; a new room means I have to get all of my shit across town; a new neighborhood means abandonment of the routines from the old neighborhood; and so on.

In sum, moving sucks, moving is a hell I'd never fully comprehended until having done it, but it's necessary and, by God, good things come of it.

I'm looking mostly to stay in the, ahem, 'bohemian triangle' (it was actually referred to as such in a recent Craigslist ad) of Columbia Heights, Mount Pleasant and Adams Morgan, and have looked at places in the same price range as my current stead in all of them. There's a nice one just around the corner (literally!) that I'll be looking at today, and a couple of open houses here and there during the weekend. The trouble is, of course, that cheap rooms up here seem to boil away before my very eyes, faster than I can keep up. I have memories of my previous search for a place to live, mostly of the fat pocket notebook that quickly filled with addresses, phone numbers and meeting times.

As such, I'm throwing in the towel for the sake of, um, jesus-I-have-to-move-in-two-weeks, and looking elsewhere, including some astonishingly affordable options in Eastern Market. I may have to live with staffers, but, damn them, their prices are so right.

Passing days have been fantastic, by and large. In between finals and home-hunting sputters, afternoons have been hilariously spacious and hot. I'm shades tanner than two weeks ago. There have been Ghandi-based picnics with clandestine backpack booze, rowdy neighborhood barbecues with iPods attending, raging dances with triple-fisted bottlenecks, rooftop hijinks (who broke the glass?) and all manner of other mood elevators. Sighs loudly.


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