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The Apartment

By Tater Barley Banks | Comment Diversions | July 10, 2010 |

By Tater Barley Banks | Comment Diversions | July 10, 2010 |

My apartment has an old couch
My apartment has a chair
My apartment has an old coat hangin on a coat hanger over there
There’s a mailbox that I open
It gets deeper and darker every day
I think I’ll have this place figured out
I’ll hide inside and somebody else can come and stay
They’ll pay the rent
And stay with me
In the apartment, naa-na-na-na-na-na-na—noooow

— Todd Burge

Last week we brought up moving days, which got me thinking about my first apartment.

It was cheap, probably for then and certainly by today’s standards: $125 a month.

But this was 1975, and it got me:

A general living area, maybe 14X14, with a beat-up old couch and a large floor-model gas heater.

A small kitchen, with an old stove, old fridge, little table and two chairs.

A good-size walk-in closet that could have served as an extra bedroom in a pinch.

A bathroom, no shower.

A bedroom with a bed, a chest of drawers and a fine bay window overlooking a quiet leafy street from the third floor of an old house.

I could walk the three blocks up the hill to work if I wanted, or roll down the three blocks from the bar at night.

A woman and her handful of kids lived on the first floor and I was never quite sure who, if anyone, lived on the second. But they didn’t bother me and I didn’t bother them.

Other than one or two battles over the parking spaces (of which there seemed to be one too few for the number of units), and having to haul groceries up two flights of steps (but my legs were younger then), I remember the two years I spent there as a rather idyllic time. I was poor but I was comfortable.

Oh, yeah, this is probably crucial: I lived by myself.

It was good..

Until that day when the landlord very apologetically told me he was going to have to raise the rent. I steeled myself for the worst, and I got it: I had to pay another $10 a month for the second year.

Hah! Those were the days.

Your turn: Tell us about that first shithole you lived in: Your first apartment.

My apartment has this thing I turn on
And it plays old Larry King
I hear him say some similar things about
Not so similar things
There’s a fat guy writing a book and he’s
Telling me how to cook and some
Good-lookin guy I can’t even see is telling me
How to buy his look.
They’ll pay the rent
And stay with me.
In the apartment.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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