A Fond Farewell to 18 Shithole St.

by f

18 Shithole St

Oh, 18 Shithole Street. I give you a fond farewell.

Yes, you stink like shit. No, really, you reek. You’re worse than a monkey’s backside. (Don’t ask me how I know that. It’s a disturbing story I’ll never be able to live down, and it involves a series of pranks I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.)

Your taps leak. The sound is drawn out torture. Particularly when W and I are having sex.

The smell of garbage never goes away even when we stay inside with the door closed. The neighbors pile it gleefully on the curb. Never-ending chicken dinners turn into rot in the hot sun, and then into leachate in the rain.

Your bathroom is always wet. It’s saturated with piss and shit and hard water. The mirror light is way harsh. I always look like warmed-over Death and a nasty date with a Silver Patron or five.

Don’t get me started on your kitchen. No matter what we do to it, W and I catch the centipedes. So many goddamn centipedes. In the sink. In the garbage. Scuttling across the floor. Running for the carob powder. (I absolutely don’t recommend carob powder.)

But I am sad. I’m sad to leave you.

I’m sad to leave you because I’m going to miss the memories. The movie marathons. The buttery popcorn we snag from Duane Reade on the way back. Your proximity to a PATH station.  The fact that you are a basement apartment, tucked away from the street and from the world and from the noise of the benevolent gangs of sixteen year old Pakistani boys whose idea of starting a fuss is to scream Urdu pseudo-obscenities into the street after sweet doctors and their nagging wives.

I’m going to miss the marathon sex sessions. Even if we have them on a mattress on the floor, near a cluster of five thousand wires and in front of the bathroom that have obviously known business.

I’m going to miss just going into the city and coming back after a long IMAX show, at two in the morning, stumbling on a sugar high with W, ready to talk about some crazy theoretical concept that makes me want to fuck W again before getting to sleep at six in the morning. When we wake up at one or two in the afternoon, it makes no damn difference. Since you let in a dank cave’s worth of light, we are always in danger of sleeping the whole day through, basking in the comfort of shared warmth. Buried under blankets to protect us from the whipped cold of the air conditioned room.

I’m going to miss being walking distance of some of the nicest uttappams I’ve ever eaten. Or that whole street full of Indian restaurants, still under-explored. Or that strange Dunkin Donuts where the old ladies experiment with pina colada flavored donuts.

I’m going to miss the hot cop landlord. OK, maybe not. I’ve seen him only twice. But damn.

I realize now that I will have no reason to visit that neighborhood. I’m glad, in a way. Memories make places painful for me. I’m someone who lives in my memory, constantly. So for all of your faults, 18 Shithole St, you’re as magnificent to me today as you were a year ago, when W showed you off to me for the first time. And you know what? I was even impressed. Hey, you were better than the Newark dorms! (I wasn’t a fan of the steak-cooking roommates with the questionable sense of hygiene.) That definitely wore off the more we got to know one another.

Most importantly, you were W’s first foray into independent living, and while he felt lonely for much of it, he still loves you in his own way. He’ll remember you fondly. He might forget about the seasonal affective disorder.

Somehow, in spite of yourself, you helped him succeed. And I am so glad.

One Comment to “A Fond Farewell to 18 Shithole St.”

  1. This is very well-written. I can visualize everything, and I can almost smell and taste the things you talk about. I can certainly understand your sentimental feelings toward this place. But, maybe that’s helped along by the fact that I’m just as much of a nostalgic person as you are. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: