THE OTHER DAY I was going through my phone, and I found the pictures I took of my apartment in Oakland before I left it. I moved in September 2021 and moved out at the end of August 2022 on account of my rent going up $400 a month. I always take pictures of my apartments right before I move out of them. I’ve been doing this since I was 18 years old. Usually, upon rediscovering these pictures, I feel a little tinge of sadness that I left a place I had liked. Somehow I even possess a sentimentality for my little grey house in Portland where I lived with Stites and Kerwin:
At the time, I hated that city and could not wait to get out of it . . . but I always liked that house! The three of us had a really good time having a bad time inside of it. There were always people stopping by, what with us being right there on Hawthorne Blvd., and we used our fireplace all winter long. I even liked that weird gross basement that Kerwin ended up moving into without our landlord’s knowledge!
The only way you could ever get me to live in that city or that house again would be to kill me and prop me up on the porch, though yeah, I can appreciate what I got out of it. Seeing these pictures again, I don’t necessarily regret hanging around there, because I know what happened afterwards, which is that we left it for a better apartment in Oakland, which is the best apartment I’ve ever had.
I do not at all feel this way about my last apartment by Lake Merritt. I regard my memory of it with total indifference. It was nothing more than a mausoleum and I was dead inside of it! And back in August, after I spent three joyless nights cleaning and emptying it out, I put the keys on the counter and shut the door and walked out of the building for the last time, relieved to be done with it all. To be honest, I hate that I feel that way about it, but that’s what it was: a year of nothing inside of a black hole. I just gotta make sure that never happens again. It can’t!
I’LL END THIS by posting the pictures I took for myself right before I started breaking down my furniture and packing everything. People said it was cozy, but I never did much with it because I always anticipated that I’d probably have to leave it, and so it wasn’t worth the money or effort to furnish it anymore than I did . . . so that’s why it looks kind of sad to me. I never even bothered to hang most of my paintings. They sat wrapped in the hallway for an entire year.
Well, here ya go: