Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wayback Wednesday: Stranger Things Have Happened



When I was in college, I lived in a two story brick house with a finished basement with five other people.  The house was on Albemarle Street.  I loved Albemarle Street, even though I never once for the 2.5 years I lived there ever pronounced it right. 

I had my own room there, up the stairs and to the right, next to the computer room and next to Jandy's room--the resident pretend-like-we're-married couple at the age of 19.  They played Mom and Dad, while the rest of us all played wayward children and griped and complained about their "rules."  Home Sweet Home. 

Willie owned Albemarle Street--not the whole street, but just the house--I'm just not adding the number here in case some person in D.C. (long shot) reads this blog and decides to go see who lives there now.  Right when you went into the door on Albemarle Street there was a door to a left with a tiny, and I mean teeny tiny, guest bathroom.  This bathroom had no vent fan, and it got muggy and unusable, so Angie, who loved The Rolling Stones but hated the Beatles, called Willie and asked that he send a contractor over to install a vent fan.

The contractor came; skinny, bearded, tool belt hanging from his stick-like hips, and a dazed look in his eyes.  He spent a long time in the bathroom, cutting a whole in the ceiling, then said something about parts, and he left never to come back.

When I say never, I mean never.  About two months later, after many late night conversations with various guest about the hole, we finally get a call from the company.  This is how the call went.

"Doug was out there in February to install a vent fan in your bathroom?"

Angie says, "Yes.  He never came back.  What happened to him?"

"Oh.  He died of an overdose, and we're sorry we're just now rescheduling, but there were a lot of people on his list who were never contacted."

Just like that, so pass√©--so flippant.  Oh--he died of an overdose, as if this kind of thing happened every day to every single contractor you knew.  Angie hung up the phone and blurted it out to us, and we could barely stand it.  Crazier things have happened you know, like your roommate sticking your cats claws into the electric socket, and finding a friend who doesn't know how to ride a bike at the grand age of 21, and trying to teach her in your 9 x 11 backyard while you are all drunk...and there are about 20 other hippies standing around commenting on it.  Yes...stranger things have happened then the contractor ending up dead.

Like the time we went to Halloween at Art-o-matic.  I went as a goth girl, but really I was dressed as a slut.  We were waiting for friends to arrive, and we were already having a party, but Angie and Tiff and I decided to walk up Albemarle to the old Hechinger's, which they had turned into Art-o-matic (I wonder what's there now).  We walked around looking at the art, statues, murals, antiques--every single kind of art, and what some people describe as art that's not really art, was there. 

We left, me dressed as a slut, and I don't remember what Tiffany and Angie were dressed up as, or even if they were dressed up as anything, and we ran into Sideshow Bob and a Bear on the corner.  The Bear was tall, and I wanted to climb him.  And Angie, who doesn't know these people, sticks her tongue down Sideshow Bob's throat and then invites them back to our little soiree at our house.  By this time my other friends had arrived, and it was blatantly obvious that the Bear had little interest in Sluts, although I'm pretty sure Angie and Sideshow Bob were having a little show on the side down in the basement.  Again...memory could be deceiving me. 

I was an undergrad assistant for a Sociology professor, and the next day I had to describe to her why my hair was suddenly pink.  I put it in a ponytail, trying to hide the highlights, and still she discerned it as I was passing out papers to her Grad class and the lecture was about to end.

"Lauren, is your hair PINK?" 

Surprise, surprise.  Stranger things have happened, like your contractor dying of an overdose and the hole in your bathroom never being fixed, and just becoming a conversation piece for a "once upon a time" story.   

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