This house is renting for $1800 a month. It has four bedrooms and three bathrooms and lots of woods and trees and a whirlpool bath solarium. That’s $650 more than I was paying for a jelly jar-sized studio in Brooklyn with a leaky ceiling. And I know this place isn’t in the city, it’s in Connecticut, which, well, maybe everyone doesn’t want to live there. But it is a little seaside town with vineyards and I bet there are parades along Main Street for July 4 and a cute little library. But it might also be one of those insulated little places that doesn’t take kindly to outsiders, especially ones that look like me, and I might get the side eye a lot as I buy groceries and magazines and beer. And I would wave and smile at my neighbors and try to become a regular at the local watering hole, but I might just get a chilly head nod back, which isn’t totally atypical for Connecticut, or New England in general, but I would be uncomfortable and start to hate leaving the house. And I would hole up that large colonial, albeit one with four bedrooms, but all that room wouldn’t be a comfort, it would give me more space to be paranoid and imagine that the sheriff and a gaggle of townsfolk will march to my door and throw a brick through the solarium window and shatter my dreams and hopes of a life with space outside of the city, far from the subway. Okay, maybe teeny, tiny, dumpy Brooklyn studios aren’t so bad. Not a ton of physical space, but maybe there’s more room for other stuff.
I think some people have ESP. You know when you’re thinking about someone or having a conversation about someone you haven’t seen in a while and all of a sudden that person calls you? Or you bump into him or her on the street? This morning I started this post about Ray and how much I miss him, and at around 2 this afternoon, I got a very funny voicemail from him that made me laugh out loud on the corner of 3rd street and Avenue D.
Ray and I met in an acting class when I first got to Los Angeles. And then he got me a job at his restaurant, and then it turned it out we lived in the same neighborhood, and then there was that day we discovered we both like to drink alcohol, read books, and eat cookies, and it was on. Besties. We got scolded at work for talking to each other too much, but I swear we couldn’t help it. Conversations with Ray, I never wanted them to stop. You know that feeling? When you’re talking to someone you like so much about not much at all, and one thing is leading to the next and you’re both laughing and everything feels vibrant, funny, and smart? Talking to Ray was like that.
My friend is so generous and thoughtful and he knew how I was feeling even when I wasn’t saying much and he introduced me to mai tais at Damon’s and cheap margaritas at Tortilla Republic and he helped me with my tables and gave me books to read and called me Road Soda and could never turn down a Friday at Marie Callendar’s and wore plaid and laughed like a little old lady sometimes and yelled at me for not knowing who Nipsey Russell was (but I remember, Ray, I do! He was the Tin Man in “The Wiz”!) and he cut desserts in half so we could share and knew about my crushes and. Well, I sure miss him a lot. It was hard saying goodbye.