Ten years ago, I was unpacking boxes in my very first dorm room. The rule-following Virgo in me had a very specific idea of how my new apartment would look. I neatly folded t-shirts and blankets and towels and stacked up my CDs and textbooks and DVDs. I threw my brand new yellow bedspread on to my extra long twin bed, hung some lights over my solitary window, took out my guitars, and put away a Costco's worth of boxes of macaroni and cheese. I lived in that dorm my entire first year of college. It was the same dorm where Brad used to pick me up to take me to the mall, or to friends' houses, or out to dinner, or on our very first date. Some days he would drive me back from the campus Art Department, a whopping ten minute walk around the corner.
Six years ago, I was gearing up to move to Chicago after graduating college and realizing the world didn't owe me anything and dreams are completely pointless. I had been to Chicago once during my senior year Spring Break, for exactly three days. My family is all from the Midwest, so my friend and I were toted around the city with drinks thrown at us because my family is Midwestern and that's pretty much how we deal with the horrible tragedy of being alive. One evening we went to a jazz club and picked up three (3) guys who totally promised to call. Only one did. He called incessantly for six months. He promised to get me a job at some marketing firm that he was in town for an interview with. He had bad breath and I hope he's living large in some loft on LSD, the street AND the hallucinogen.
After I settled in Chicago, I was working at Urban Outfitters at night for some extra cash, and also for a premium music marketing firm that had a new website that was supposed to be their answer to Chicago's burgeoning music scene. Their vision was v. unclear and the owners were all getting paid a crazy amount of money for doing shitty "non-profit" work, then hiring decent musical acts to perform at "charity events" for us. I would be stoned and drunk pretty much every day at that office and never treated it like a real job because it was so obvious that the whole thing was going to fall apart soon. But being young and naïve and again, new to the city and life, basically, I’d tell people, “Oh yeah, I work at [insert premium music marketing firm’s name here.]” and they’d be all like, “Wow, you’re so impressive,” and I’d be like, “I know.”
When this entire formula crumbled a few months later, I moved home. There was a spot in my adolescent bedroom where I would sit with my laptop and kill time until it was time to clock in at the Urban Outfitters where I transferred. The one in Brad's neighborhood.
Ten years of changing and moving and fleeing and jobbing and growing up. Always trying to get back to Brad's house.