I was so relieved to get here after my trip across America. After five days on the road, I pummelled into Christina’s place on Friday at 9:30pm. She immediately asked me if I was stoned because I had a semi-conscious, tired, bewildered face on. I was beyond exhausted, and I suppose was just incredulous at the fact that I drove for five days straight and was actually home. I fucking missed this place.
The next day I rose early and moved my car-load of things into my new place on Commercial Drive. I had arranged to sublet a room long distance from Ontario, and was glad to have a place to land when I got here. In hindsight … well, hindsight is a little bitch, isn’t it? I walked into the home that first day and knew immediately that I didn’t want to live there; but, I moved in anyway, because I didn’t really have a choice and because I convinced that little gut-feeling that things would get better.
Plus, where else was I supposed to go?
My new roommates:
- A lovely English couple, in Canada for a year working and experiencing all the Canadian (Vancouver) things.
- A hippy, go-with-the-flow kind of guy (let’s call him Trent) who was actually only subletting his room in the house for 2 months from another roommate who went traveling.
I dumped the contents of my car into the most tiny, leopard-print, red-accent walled room. The room had two closets, the larger of which was comically stuffed to the brim with things. I tried to open one of the doors, only to have a towel and half a painting come pouring out onto my face. My attempts to restore (close) the closet involved me shoving the contents back in, while simultaneously (and rapidly) closing the closet door. Naturally, the mirrored closet door came off its track, so this became a sweat-inducing work out of great proportions. After all that, the small red closet that remained empty for me had few clothes hangers, and needed a good clean. When I’d finally unpacked, I tried to store my empty suitcases under the bed, but I was greeted with a series of painting canvases. The rest of the house was similarly filled to the brim, so I lugged a bunch of my stuff to D.’s place in Squamish.
Thank goodness that was even an option.
Taking it all in
That evening, I sat in the living room with the new roommates. The couches we sat on were stained, likely never cleaned since their original day of purchase. In fact, the English couple would tell me much later that they once found a full cupcake in the cushions …
I looked around … grey, dirty walls surrounded us and evidently hadn’t been painted or cleaned in a long time (ever?). The kitchen floor may never have been mopped, and the tiling was curling on the sides. There were weird brown growths on the popcorn ceiling, the toilet tank had a major crack in it, the shower curtain had mildew all over it, and the bathroom mirror was caked in white droplets … the list goes on.
As I sat there, I decided to stop looking for things because it would just make me upset. I focused instead on getting to know my roommates. “Trent” was from another province, and panhandled/couch surfed his way west. He was a kind, and free soul, not needing much and giving generously. He worked in kitchens doing prep, was polite and alternative. The English couple were hilarious, with great taste in music and good stable jobs.
Before bed, I came to the quick decision to leave Gemini with a friend instead of in this new house. I didn’t want to dump her with a bunch of people, in a weird environment, without me. She was stressed enough from the trip.
I had also subconsciously started to plan how to not be home. Since I was heading to a cabin on a lake the next morning, that ate up a week. A couple weeks after that, my friend Christina was planning on another adventure with her cousin. We had chatted before my move about me potentially staying at her place while she was away, but as I sat there on the decrepit cupcake couch, I instantly knew this was no longer optional – I had to ask her (beg her) to confirm that this was ok.
I also couldn’t help but wonder … is the bright side to this still coming? Will this get better?