November 23, 2007

Broken glass, broke and hungry...

Broken hearts and broken bones
...This is where we used to live...

So we had an old friend and his family over last night. Mike and Chuck were friends in college. Maybe a year after Chuck and I met, Mike rented out a tiny room in his apartment to Chuck, who was broke and really needed to move out of his dad's house. It was just time. Mike was kind to allow this, because the apartment was small as it was. Chuck's room was barely a closet. It was not heated, and was just about big enough to fit a small bed and a small dresser. He lived there for maybe a year, and I visited him often. It was in Royal Oak, walking distance to lots of cool shops and eateries, so we could spend a lot of time outside of the "room". I think he was able to keep a little desk in the living room too, where he worked and did homework. Chuck was still in college at the time.

After that year or so, Mike decided to move out and move on. So I moved in, and we had the whole place to ourselves. It wasn't much, it was small, but it was our first place, and our first time living together. It was cold, broken most of the time, and very close to popular college bars, so it was sort of scary and noisy at night, especially weekends. We made the best we could out of it, and in a couple of years moved on to a new apartment, with less noise and less character. I often think of that first place though.

It was great to see Mike and his family. The children were beautiful and the little boy slept in the bedroom for the whole visit while the little girl seemed to bond with Zoey, who loves to be petted and talked to, especially by little girls. They seemed to have little nonverbal conversations about their toys and snacks, and other interesting things.

Much of the conversation was about living in Detroit and leaving Detroit. They had been in Hamtramck for a long time. They moved to Columbus OH and seem much happier there. I think I would be happier somewhere else too.

So the picture above is the only thing I had on my computer that I made when I lived at that apartment. It is a porcelain vertebrae bead, lightly salt fired, as anatomically correct as I could make it. I spent many hours at that apartment on this series for a project in college my senior year, with my copy of Grey's Anatomy, carving bones and brains and uterus beads. Below, a video of a song that always makes me think of our first place on fourth street, The Barenaked Ladies with "Old Apartment"


  1. Love the vertebrae bead (sort of curious about the uterus bead, now that you've mentioned it...)! Very nice story, too. Made me think of similar circumstances in my student past (it all seems woefully long ago at this point). It simultaneously reminds me that very little is required to be happy (now that I'm surrounded by middle-age trappings of _stuff_) but also makes me grateful for where I am now, with my own family, etc. Thanks for the opportunity to reflect!

  2. very cool bead, extremely cool memory!

  3. Melissa,
    Thanks for reading! As far as the vertebrate bead, I can't believe I didn't talk about that here! I started doing these Flashback Friday posts, but I think it was when my computer crashed and died over the spring, so I never got back to it. I should revisit for New Years...