We stopped by The House tonight. It was there, silent and dark. There was new paint on the walls. For some reason, The House was always referred to as “The House.” It was the preferred meeting point for a good number of my college friends. I lived in The House for several summers, and for about one year after I graduated from college.
It had central heating and air conditioning, but the vents were in such poor condition that a good majority of the heat never actually got to any of the rooms. Wildlife lived in the attic. Stray cats gave birth in the little wells that housed the basement windows. There was hot water if you got to it first. The kitchen, no matter how hard it was scrubbed–never got clean. There were nine people living in The House at one point, seven of which, actually paid rent. Three of those seven, actually had bedrooms. There were three and a half baths. People lived in the basement, in the dining room, in the laundry room, and in the small pseudo closet that was connected to the basement. You could hear everything that went on in The House.
The House was a prime example of the absentee landlord. It was horrible, decrepit, and dangerous to live in.
Naturally, I had a great time. I learned a lot on that piece of property. I fell in love in that house no less than twice. There was the first cigarette. The first time I truly remember being drunk was in that house. Well, as much as one can remember being drunk, in any case.
The House is no longer The House now. There’s another family living there now. Now it’s just a house on 45th street somewhere in North West Washington, D.C. Looking at it reminds me that I have a lot of good memories. Looking at it also reminds me that I have grown up, at least a little. I’m a big fan of plumbing. Heat. Non-leaky roofs. I guess I am getting old.