you need to buy a house.


i went and saw ross last night, as he just moved into a co-op right down the street from me. it's a half mile walk, and it's not so bad, except that the road leading to his house has no sidewalk. it's just a gravel road, and the houses are the kind of rich people houses where you have to walk up cement steps to get to. it was dark and rainy, and i thought i might get hit by a car. always an adventure. ross again had no idea what we should do for dinner, so i brought over some tortillas and sour cream. we fried eggs, squash, red peppers and fake chorizo, and made some sort of burritos out of them. "i don't know if this will be any good," i said to him. "i don't know what it's going to taste like." "it'll taste like food," he said.

he asked me how i liked living in columbia city. "i like it," i said. "it's more real than capitol hill. but not as real as living in the central district." while preparing food, i told him that i'd like it if i had a house. the house he was staying in was especially nice, but he had no reason to gloat over his new dwellings, as he was still just renting. "yeah, i think about that everyday, actually." "i just think it's stupid that i've always been giving my money to some stranger, some guy i don't even know." he agreed, saying the whole concept of renting is completely "parasitic." "i can't imagine ever owning a house in seattle, though," i said. he agreed. to own a house with the kind of money we make, people like us would have to move to some shit town in kansas or else nebraska.

"you guys don't own a tv?" i asked. i couldn't tell if i was being judgmental. it felt almost like an underhanded remark: "of course you don't. you live in a hippie commune." but then again, i don't own a tv, either, so i didn't know why i asked. i think i just wanted to watch the remainder of the debates. "no," he said, "we don't. but i kind of want one." i said i wanted one, too. "as much as i think it's a time waster, and that it sucks you in, i still think it's an important part of national culture. there are things i want to see, like the debates and the daily show." we sat there a while listening to the talking heads.

he showed me his room, which was a mess, but not too bad. on his dresser, there was a wooden head with antlers growing on the sides. "where'd you get that?" i asked. "i made it," he said. i picked up the head and inspected it. it was heavy wood, and he had hollowed out the inside and stuck some rope in there. the back of the head had a small latch door you could open. it must've taken him a long time to do. "what other weird shit do you have?" i asked. he laughed, then showed me his lamp that was some old metallic tool. it was some sort of green scale, and when he moved the scale to the right, the light turned on. "wow, that's really cool," i said. "isn't it?" he said.

he then showed me three wooden boxes with dead bugs pinned down in them. "what the hell kind of a bug is that?" i asked. he explained that he had found a kid's science project in the dumpster, and then cut the bugs apart. he then reattached various bugs' body parts onto one another using superglue, and created these new mutant-like bugs. "i think that's like a beetle grasshopper with a bumblebee head." i thought it was cool, but also sort of gross. i would've thrown that shit out long ago.

he showed me the basement, and it was just your average dark basement used as a storage area. i don't get people who have basements and don't utilize them as awesome hangout spaces. in fact, i don't get the whole concept of storage. if you're not using something or enjoying its value, why even hold on to it? yeah, i can say things like that now that i no longer have a massive cd collection. in the basement, i asked ross if he had seen the orphanage. "no," he said, "what made you think of that?" "walking down the stairs, i guess. it's a good movie."

i've always wanted a house with a basement. my uncle used to give my cousin rich one piece of advice over and over again, and that was this: "you know what you need to do? you need to buy a house." we laughed at his absurd advice, as though buying and owning a house were such an easy task. our uncle owned a house himself once, but now he lives in an apartment. around this time last year, though, rich was seriously considering buying a house. he was going to buy one with some friends, until he found out they had terrible credit. he then tried to recruit me to go in on one with him. "think about it, man. you'll have home ownership experience." it was my turn to laugh, as i was unemployed and had no desire to do anything that involved me sticking around sacramento indefinitely.

this older woman came in just now and asked to use the interview room for her study group. "sure," i said, though i wanted to say, "do whatever the hell you want," or else "go ahead, i don't give a shit." "you're so good," she said, then she smiled at me. "do you like your job?" she asked. i smiled back. and because i've been spending my time blogging, printing strange messages on labels, and resting my feet on top of the cpu unit, i could answer honestly: "yes," i said. "yes, i do."

No comments: