ward street d: the evolution


Ward Street used to be a strange, cooperative, co-dependent apartment, where the lives of all were intertwined. We'd return from class, or work, or a twelve-hour slumber, and meet in the living room. Sometimes we'd share a meal, sometimes we'd just watch basketball and drink forties. Our primary social group was each other, as we each amused one another far more than anyone else did.

Slowly, over the past six months, this little world has changed. Jigar moving out wasn't a big deal, since he was the most independent of the four of us anyway, and he'd left before. Also, he went on trips a lot. It wasn't uncommon for him to spend three weeks following a family of disabled children across the country, or fly to Los Angeles on Bigar Maaf business. Aaron H.'s one or two nights a week at home seemed like a natural filling of the ghost roommate slot.

It was different when Docta V moved out. Gene came in and immediately started painting. And cleaning. And repairing. It was as if it took an outsider like Gene to hold up the mirror to Ward Street D, and show us what we'd become. Maybe it was a bad idea to let the heater go unrepaired for half a year. Perhaps we should have actually rearranged furniture for the first time, rather than simply talking about potential layouts for the living room. The question constantly asked was, "What happens when you do things?" The answer was, "They get done."

Mike had been moving things out gradually for the past month, but by last Sunday, the last of his possessions was gone. There was something profoundly unsettling about looking into his empty room, stark walls and windows standing unadorned. Walking into the room devoid of Mike on Monday afternoon was the first time the extremeness of these changes first hit home. Things had been metamorphosing for a long time, but I think I'd just been distracted by other concerns. Mike and Aaron had places, with girls. The wicker was soon to be flaming ashes in a fratboy firepit. Newcomers and oldtimers had both passed judgement on my living conditions, and found them wanting.

It reminded me of coming back to my parents' house in Pleasant Hill. Even now, after five years of college and not-college, it's hard not to think of the small room that currently holds quilting books and sewing supplies as my room. Of course, the old contents of that room ended up in my Ward Street room, and the bed is always covered in too much stuff to be sleep-worthy, so that helps with the separation. Still, I can remember coming in one day, probably some time in early 2000, where I had the sudden sensation of not really living there anymore. It might have been a new teddy bear, or tossing my keys to a spot where a coffee table no longer was, but it was a very sudden and distinct feeling.

Tonight, I walked in to find the living room and kitchen in a completely different state. Couches in new places, cabinets in different rooms. The furniture and roommates are both able to operate independently now, it seems. I don't know if the new living room is good or bad; right now, it's just unsettling. My only solace is that the principles of feng shui may finally be working in my favor. Or so the souls of my ancestors would hope.


i think there was one trip when i left for 10 days and forgot to tell anybody that i was going....when i returned mike or aaron commented that they thought i died but would give it another 3 days before they would call anybody with concern....hee ward st., i hear it's the trump towers now....i'll have to come by and drop off my present from england...

I can't tell you how happy I am that you're home. I'm assuming you're home since you noticed the work we did last night in the living room. I feel like such a dork, every day or two, giving a call out the P Hill probing around wondering if anyone's seen Sean. I'm always one step behind. A trace here, a remnant there. "Ya Sean was here a half hour ago, I think he went to Mikes." "Ya Sean was here, he left though, said he was going to his parents." I feel like Holmes following Moriarty. Except no detective work, and you're not a master criminal (or so I foolishly believe). For those playing the home game, I haven't seen Sean for, what I think is coming up on 5 days now. Every time I hear the front door open from my room I think it's him. To put this in perspective, for the last week, I've seen Hammack more often than Sean. Hell I've seen Tammy more often. It then ends up being Lily or Aaron, which is good, but not Sean. So many meals you missed, so many games of Street Fighter, so many band names, so many instances of hearing a group of 8 to 10 huge men standing around a car (most recently an econovan) hollering at each other. Well, it's settling to know you're in the other room asleep, and I hope that you're around more often since my life is brighter in your company.

i think that is the longest comment i've seen gene make anywhere. EVER.

and sean, i hear ya. i'm still having issues at my house with things being different. i mean, my room is BRIGHT YELLOW, for pete's sake. and i still get a little confused as to how it's possible that i am allowed into the tv room whenever i want now, because it's mine and not adam's. and then there's all the cats....

and don't disappear on gene, he's like a worried mother hen. you have to call him every five minutes and let him know exactly where you are and what you're doing and who with.

I think I knew it was over between me and the parental home when they converted my bedroom into an exercise room WITHIN FIVE MINUTES of me vacating it. and then changed the locks. and then began humming whenever I spoke to them and asking each other "did you hear something? me neither."

yeah, please don't disappear again. it's unsettling to have gene curled up fetally in a corner, sobbing for you. while fixing something.

I guess I thought someone would notice. I guess I thought somebody would say something if I was missing.

Come on color me in. Give me your blue rain. Give me some ugly-ass lamps. Give me a broken blue car. Come on, give me your white skin.

are those perverted counting crows lyrics? am i a dork for knowing that? i'm fairly sure both these questions can be answered with a resounding yes.

Yes and yes. Resounding like the wind whipping down the alley like an acrobat who's dancin' on the stars. Hey mister, I'm watchin', and waitin', and listenin' to Maria cryin' in the ra-a-ain.

Gene is such a baby.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on January 8, 2003 12:58 AM.

trends i have noticed, but do not understand was the previous entry in this blog.

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