The first assignment in my writing class this week was to make a list of objects from a place where we feel a story unfolded. I chose the apartment I lived in during my junior year of college. Lord knows enough happened there. 1724 W. Kilbourn. Items that made the list include:
books we didn’t read
furniture we didn’t buy
all twin beds (maybe one full bed?)
a bowl of candy corn from Valentine’s Day that lasted well into March
crutches a guy lent me when I hurt my meniscus
ripped-out pages from an art book taped to the walls
a ceiling fan I was afraid to turn on
no clocks — anywhere
Practical Magic soundtrack
That place is still crisp as a dollar bill in my memory, which it probably should be, as it was only five years ago. It was a three-story walk-up that, in hindsight, left much to be desired. We thought it was Taj Mahal, though. And the one thing it really had going for it was its back porch. That was its saving grace. We relished that porch.
This picture was taken on that beamed blessing. It was one of the first real spring days after a weird, drab winter. I’m wearing a men’s flannel shirt from Goodwill, laughing at a joke I don’t remember. Moments after that picture was taken, I borrowed my roommate’s Buick, picked up friends and drove to a vegan Southern tavern on the south side. We played Devendra Banhart’s “Lover.” We played it loud. We ate hushpuppies in a pleather booth. We drove back on the Hoan Bridge, and I still remember how much the city — from that angle — looks precisely like home.