Friday, September 17, 2010

Some kind of racket.

Seven days from today, I will have been in Florida for exactly seven months. In those many weeks, I have gained some semblance of a requisite suntan, traded socks for flip flops and brought too much of that white beach sand back to my apartment floor. I wonder at what point I actually become a Floridian.

Another thing I got was a downtown loft in a high rise. The rent is astronomical, the visitor’s parking doesn’t exist and I don’t have enough furniture to pass off the swanky bachelor pad it should be. I’m a minimalist, okay? I am in love with the high, concrete ceilings and windows that start there and stretch all the way to the floor. I like the fake wooden floor and sunshine that pours down Church Street around 7:30, landing on my face as my alarm clock. I like how John Coltrane sounds in the dark of the city, confirming nightly that jazz sounds better amongst the buildings. I like to hear the train on its way here and as it trails off into the distance, warning wanderers the entire way. And sometimes (and I stress the word), I can even get behind the racket of the rooftop club not so far below, those with their black dresses and high heels and chatter and same, repeated songs that I’d never play on my own. I like it in the same way I enjoy folding myself into that coffee shop down on Bumby, yes, because the free Internet connection is strong there, but also because it’s my way of spending time with the more tolerable folks in my community, even if it’s just to occasionally eavesdrop on their conversations

I also left another place behind, 2,000-something miles away in Utah, one that gets to be a statistic of the present down economy and struggling real estate market. It’s been on the market as long as I’ve been away and, as such, hasn’t allowed me to completely leave my old life behind. It’s not as sexy as this new joint, but I gave it some new carpet and a new paint job and am even considering some kind of new facelift, if that’s what it’s going to take. I’ve dropped the price considerably, I’ve told countless friends “why, yes, I am still selling my place, yes” to no effect and come up with idea after fruitless idea for solving my situation. I feel like I just need to explain to a sensible person that it’s within walking distance of pretty much everything—the fancy library, the grocery store that wants to be a mall when it grows up, the local Urban Lounge bar, the coolest music store you’ve ever wrapped ears around —and that, well, they could manage to make some real history within that space, too, if they’d just given it a chance. Give it a year or more. Roll around in it a while. I mean, I had a decade to discover the layers that were Salt Lake City, but there is depth there. There is beauty there. You get to wake up to the mountains. You get dogs serenading the fire engine sirens, without fail, every time they hurry off to in search of yet another melodic malady.

It comes down to these unanswered questions: what am I supposed to gain from this experience? How does this seemingly endless scenario serving to benefit me? What can I learn?

If you want to get downright existential about it, I suppose there is safety in having an out to any situation, no matter how good or bad it is. It’s easier to date the girl in a different state or country, for example, because you can always blame the distance that separates you for it eventually going sour (and it will). If this job of mine gets stale and Florida stops turning up adventures just short weekend drives away, it wouldn’t take very long to gather my possessions and hightail it for the Pretty, Great state again. It’s not something I want to do, not in the least. The longer I am in this land of sunshine, the more I enjoy about it; that’s the unfiltered truth. However, that home, the one so often covered by the dirty snow, it’s still harboring a lot of my memories within its walls, painted or no. Part of my heart might even be kicking around there, too. I can’t entirely leave until someone buys it up and passes me my Get Out of Utah Once and For All card. Who doesn’t like options?

Until then, I wonder why. I wait for that one person to make my day. And, I promise right now and to nobody in particular, I’ll fly back to either kiss them on the face or treat them an expensive steak dinner. I’ll share stories about the neighborhood that was. They’ll make me a happy, happy man. And I’ll return to take my friends on a chartered boat for a full day of deep sea fishing, too, my treat. After all, we’ve got a big shark out there, just waiting for us to catch it.


Mel said...

Love the post. Hey, will you email me your MLS posting? Maybe I can put it on my FB or blog to see if anyone knows anyone?

Anonymous said...

Hmm, you don't know me, as I'm some random being that comments on your blog, but I know what it's like to have a former residence taking up far too much space, no pun intended. I did a shortsale a few years ago, yadda, yadda, and it was harsh. All I can say is hang in there, because no matter what advice people shell your way, in the end, it's just a house. Yes, it could sell tomorrow, or sit there for a year. Let it. Do not let it dictate, and miraculously, it won't.

Dainon. said...

Those are good words to allow to sink in. Thanks, darling.

sarah nicole said...

Do you need testimonials? I can vouch for the fact that the stove top is particularly good at making canned soup and mulled wine.