Friday, July 31, 2009

147 Brentwood Square

I officially moved out of my apartment today. I lived there for five years. By the end, the apartment itself was in less than peak condition after years of eventful living and a pretty basic focus on mere survival most the time.

Roommates came and went in general, but one stayed the same. The last five years have changed my life, but my bond with my best friend and roommie remains the same. Within the first few days of moving in, we had our first memorable 147 experience and it's stuck with me to this day. After a stressful week of moving, we found ourselves playing a weird game of drink-or-dare, which consisted of various acts like licking a conversion van in the parking lot.

The back porch became our favorite drinking spot and I couldn't count the number of people who shared a beer or a cigarette there. I'll never forget the smiling faces or the glow provided by the Christmas lights we strung up, or the Angel on the end, who we called the Sacred Saint of Porch Parties.

Inside the apartment, it wasn't always about partying. Life-altering news was broken there pertaining to deaths, pregnancies, new relationships, break-ups, new friends and new careers. I exited my adolescence while I lived there.

The apartment was home to dogs, frogs and dozens of guests. We cried there, fought there, danced there, laughed there, played many board games there, watched hundreds of football games, episodes of Lost and Survivor, and listened to some amazing music. Oftentimes the music came from Brandon's guitar.

Now I'm at a new place and I have no clue how long I'll be here. I suspect the new apartment will provide more suitable living conditions. I doubt it will be the same sort of shelter that 147 was forced to be.

It's an end of an era, but I'm ready for whatever the next chapter holds. I believe I have the same love and hope in my heart I had five years ago, with more knowledge, understanding and perspective added as well.

OK, that's all for now, I've got some unpacking to do.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A reminder

I'm on the down side of a dream weekend full of happy memories I'll never forget. I just moved into a great new place in a wonderful neighborhood, I am excited to sit at my desk and start reporting again tomorrow and I can honestly say without hesitation I am truly in love.

Maybe it's the sense of calm and contentment that has turned my mind to something more somber. A young man I knew passed away last week. He was 25 years-old when his motorcycle crashed into a deer in the early morning hours of July 19.

He served two tours of duty in Iraq in a war he didn't fully understand. Many will remember him for the demons he confronted on a daily basis. I remember him tonight as a smiling teenager watching Simpsons episodes in our living room -- a young man who loved my sister with all his heart and whose future looked promising.

His death could serve as a lesson about the ravages of war, or the marginalization of the modern day soldier. It could serve, too, as a lesson about lost potential. For me it plays a different role. His death serves as a reminder of the value of contentment, of peace of mind, of modest, but undeniable happiness. Save a select few occasions, I wonder if he ever had any of those things. I weep for the possibility he did not. I curse the military that cast him aside, and I use his tragic passing tonight to say a grateful prayer to God for all my blessings.

[RIP B-Sheel]

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


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