From Cocaine to Rogaine
As I indicated in the previous post, yesterday I attended the Brooklyn Blogger Meet-up in Flatbush. Afterwards, I decided to take a trip down memory lane and check out where I lived before I moved to Greenpoint. I have not laid eyes on this apartment, much less set foot in this neighborhood, since I left over seven years ago.
This is the house: 211 East 9th Street. The realtor told me the neighborhood my (former) new apartment was located in is “Kensington”. I suppose it is, though I never gave the matter much thought. I still don’t.
One day as I was walking home from the grocery store I discovered two Polaroids in front of a Co-op on East 2nd or 3rd Street. The above photograph (and its companion) were adhered to a piece of cardboard. This in turn was mounted in a cheap metal frame with a light fixture on it. It was kind of frame that usually showcases a three-dimensional rendering of Jesus or The Last Supper. You get the idea.
At the center of this ‘composition’ was a circular ring of moisture. I could tell from the odor it was lubrication. That’s when I figured out that “Blueballs” (as I like to call him) had been mounted to this very piece of cardboard at one time. Someone had seen to mount this frame. (And I am not talking about placing it over one’s couch either).
Naturally I showed my new find to all my friends. The usual response was “Did you do this?” This pissed me off. I may very well be a degenerate but I am a very meticulous craftswoman. There is no way in hell I would make something that looks like that: I would at least put the condom on the RIGHT WAY for fuck’s sake!
Thankfully I was vindicated several months later when I made another discovery so utterly fucked-up and foul that even my own friends had to admit I had no hand in it. What’s more I didn’t have to leave home to find it. One of the (numerous) problems that plagued my apartment was electrical outages. This was due to the ancient circuit breaker located in the basement. After what seemed like an endless wait for the landlord to come by and replace the fuse, I decided to act. I went downstairs.
Flashlight in hand, I slowly made my way down the stairs. Directly in front of me was the kitchen area; clearly this basement had been a studio apartment. I found the breaker box but needed more light, so I opened the front door. When I turned around I beheld the bachelor pad from hell.
The living area was roughly one hundred square feet. It was appointed with a pastel velour love seat and a coffee table. That’s it. Sort of. On top of the coffee table was a large ashtray overflowing with cigarette butts. This was flanked by a pair of 40 ounce malt liquor bottles. On the floor there were more bottles, cigarette butts and four empty boxes of Rogaine. The piece de resistance was a solitary condom wrapper on the couch. The brand was Trojan and I got the hell out of dodge.
Several weeks later my buddy Mark came by to visit. Being the most ballsy of my friends, I took him downstairs. I showed him the living area and then we checked out an adjacent room I had previously missed.
It was probably four feet wide by eight feet long. Other than floor-to-ceiling maple paneling it was empty save a cot and a two foot tall stack of printed matter that appeared to be written in Arabic. It could very well have been Farsi, my memory fails me at this point.
The only words that came out of Mark’s mouth were:
It looks like they shot child porn in here.
As time waxed on, my apartment— and the neighborhood in general— wore on my nerves. My bedroom abutted a courtyard that belonged to a home for mentally ill adults. My nights were often rendered sleepless by its residents’ ranting, raving and chain-smoking. A local thug took a shine to me. I became aware of the previous one afternoon when he showed up at my front door with a basket of essential oils and offered to give me a massage. I declined.
Shortly thereafter I gave notice. The final few months I lived there were terrible. By this time I had grown to thoroughly despise this neighborhood and everyone in it. Even staying home was rendered hellish by the din of contractors gutting the rape shack cum Hair Club for Men under my very own feet.
One afternoon a contractor who was working in the basement knocked on my door and asked me to come downstairs. They found something while removing some appliances, he said. It was a condom.
And yes, it had been used.