Saturday, January 22, 2011

On Where Life Is

I moved out of my parents' house two weeks ago.

Two and a half years ago, I moved back after royally fucking up a year at Brooklyn College. My tail was between my legs yet I was somehow defiant. I was going to be here for six months, maximum. I was going to get my driver's license, pay off my credit cards, and move back to New York, and do it MY WAY, dammit.

I got my driver's license, but didn't get the actual car until almost a year later.

I signed up for a personal trainer for a year. So stupid financially, right? But I still have seven sessions left and I don't have love handles anymore. Yes, skinny people can have love handles.

Just as I had most of my credit cards paid off, hello Nordstrom Signature Visa! But I really only use it for cute clothes, and the occasional trips. Speaking of trips, oh the places I went! I went to Los Angeles, Orlando, Chicago and Vegas, all the while wondering how I had a full-time job and felt like I never had any money.

My current living situation happened unexpectedly, as all great things in life do. About three months ago, the power in my parents' house was out for an entire weekend. There was a snowstorm, and houses all over Minneapolis were intermittently without power. Unfortunately for my parents, our house was the only one within a three-block radius without power, so we were fairly low on Xcel's totem pole, who were busy working on entire neighborhoods living in a blackout.

During the first night, I called my brother out of boredom. He had been drinking, but wasn't at that obnoxious level of drunk that he gets later in the evening. He was one step before that, when he is a wise and sagacious drunk. The life that I had been living was once my brother's. While I was off in college, getting plastered every night and having emotional affairs with boys of questionable sexuality and amazing abdominal muscles, he was fighting with my parents about things like leaving underwear on the bathroom floor. When he finally moved out, my parents had four months of bliss before I showed up from Brooklyn. He moved to a house with a few other guys, and I perceived them as ballers, as Dane would be calling me every weekend home from the bar. Yes, Kim Kardashian totally made eye contact with him during her appearance at Aqua.

"I know you think you're gonna go to L.A. or New York," he said. "And maybe you will. But just, sign a month-to-month lease somewhere, live in a divey apartment, and just LIVE. You're miserable there. You have this whole complex in your head that you live with your parents and you're a loser, and you won't feel like one if you move out."
"But I don't have any money," I whined.
"No, you do," he scoffed. "How much do you make a month?"
I told him, and he was convinced. "You've been there for over two years and you don't have any money? That's embarrassing."
But I had my excuses ready! My initial credit card bills, followed by the additional credit card bills! My two speeding tickets! My hospital bill from the night in February I fell on my face outside of The Saloon and had to be stitched up at HCMC! My failed semester as a film student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College to the tune of $2,200!

The next night, my parents' house was STILL without power, so I took a shower at my friend Dana's house. Dana graduated from University of Wisconsin and lives with her parents. I still have one of her T-shirts. I slept that night at my friend Sina's apartment. Sina lives in a rather famous apartment building with a questionable reputation, but I felt safe there. She told me how much rent was and I thought I could easily afford it. Sure, it had its drawbacks. Parking is impossible in her neighborhood and I could never have people over, especially my friend Julie, who would run away at the sight of the first Somali person. But it was close to the light rail, and it would be fun living in the same apartment with Sina! I could come down to borrow a cup of sugar, only in our case it would probably be a fifth of vodka.

December came around. My mother and I fought all the time, but that's been our relationship for the past ten years. My father and I often get along, but we fought more that month than we have in our whole lives. It was the stupid things, really, like the fact that the living room doubles as his bedroom and I just want to watch my Jeopardy on DVR, dammit, or I'd be late for work because he was in the shower when I needed it, or that he had to park in the street because I did such a poor job parking in the driveway, or his drunkenly barging into my room without knocking asking if I had his phone charger. IT WAS 2 IN THE MORNING. I COULD HAVE BEEN WATCHING GAY PORN.

An acquaintance of mine was hosting a going away party the third weekend of December, as he was following his girlfriend to Colorado. He had a note on his invite that he was subleasing his room if anyone was interested. I wrote him about it, and we talked about it over at the party. Nothing came of it, and I told myself it was for the best. He lived with three "dudes", and maybe we just wouldn't gel together.

The last week of December, my aunt and uncle were staying with us for a week, much to the chagrin of my father. The boy messaged me that day saying the room was still mine if I wanted it. I debated in my head. Could I afford it? What would happen when the lease was over? Should I suck it up at my parents' house for a few more months, then convince Sina to follow her dreams to L.A., and take me with her as her #1 groupie?

I officially made my decision at dinner, when we were all discussing our eating habits, and why you should eat breakfast.

Jakey: "I usually eat really healthy when I'm at work, and then I just come home and eat everything."
Jakey's Aunt: "Because it's free."
Jakey: "...."
Jakey's Mother: "Well, I .... no ... he ... he doesn't eat breakfast in the morning, he never has TIME. He really only eats one meal a day. He ... you know, it's just ..."

Her effort to defend me was admirable, valiant even, but the message had been sent. Later that night, she agreed to give me a ride to the train station the next day so I wouldn't have to drive to the mall in the ice, and when morning came around, you would have thought I had asked her for a kidney. "But we're going to breakfast!!" she cried, and I realized that so long as I was under this roof, I was going to be the Spoiled Ungrateful Asshole Adult Son in the narrative of her life.

I am in a Dude House now. They aren't here a lot, and truth be told, I'm not either. I have, however had two different girls over in the past week, because I BE PIMPING. My roommates are actually cleaner than I am, which is just wrong. They don't even have sisters. Two weeks ago we watched the BCS Bowl and last week we watched the Golden Globes. They think Christina Aguilera looks better now with meat on her bones, and I found that to be uplifting.

Also, they are REALLY cute but that has nothing to do with the enjoyment of my new living situation. Really. Honest. Stop looking at me like that.


  1. Hi, Jakey, I am just browsing through Blogger and came upon your site. You have a really appealing way of telling your story. :-)

    Good luck with your new living situation. It's always best to be away from the reach of your parents (even though I personally lived with my parents until the age of 32).