I wrote this column in celebration of my re-signing of the lease. Here’s to another year!
A Circus Of Oddities
Necessity is the mother of invention. Or laziness. Or craziness. But, I can’t for the life of me figure out what it was that inspired the layout of my apartment. This column has been a long time coming. Since I moved to my current place, I have found a new hobby. I aim to supply everyone I meet with the knowledge that I live in a doughnut shaped apartment, complete with two front doors that face each other in the outside hallway. Tell people that you live on the first floor, but not which door to knock on, and let the fun begin.
Some believe that people have past lives. I believe the same goes for apartments. In some apartments, these former lives are more clear-cut than others. Uptown, I clearly lived in a closet, a fact that I myself had invented to illustrate the size of my room to family and friends. My room was only about a foot and a half longer, and two feet wider than the twin bed that I had somewhat managed to shove inside. I laughed that I slept in a closet. It wasn’t until a neighbor in the building found out where I lived in the layout that he informed me that everyone else in the building used that space as, indeed, a closet.
Today, I cannot figure out the “past life” of my current apartment. I understand that in some cases, apartments were zoned differently, and some rooms that have been morphed into bedrooms were once living rooms, and on and on. But here, on Second Street, my roommates and I are left without any clues.
In fact, we are left with clues that only confuse. I have a sliding door to my room. I get to feel as though I am a soccer mom, sliding the door closed to her minivan, every time I enter and exit. It’s a grand old time, but it doesn’t quite make sense, further complicated by the fact that this door mimics another sliding door that we only discovered a month ago, hiding in the wall of the hallway that divides the entryway to my roommates’ rooms and the kitchen.
There is another door that, if we used it, leads from my room to one of my roommate’s rooms. I call it the shoji screen, because it is paper-thin. When I sneeze, my roommate says, “God bless you.”
We’ve also found the following: a few electrical outlets halfway up the wall, with their on/off switches down near the floor; a fantastically ornate chandelier with hand-painted, porcelain-like flowers that hangs in one of the bedrooms; and three different types of linoleum that share abstract geometric patterns from the 80s.
All these curiosities, paired with the marinara sauce smell that permeates the air every morning that I have so lovingly mentioned before in this column, and I feel as though the architect to this building was Willy Wonka. It is a circus of oddities, that keeps me endlessly entertained.