Monday, December 19, 2011

Then and Now

What was your life like a decade ago? How has your life changed since then?

I am in the same apartment I was ten years ago. A decade ago. Jeez. We really need to move. The fact that I am still living in the apartment that was always supposed to be temporary says a lot about me, I think. I wish I could just pull my music out of the apartment and just light the whole damn thing on fire. A nice Viking Funeral for that damn place would be fitting.

It was around this time ten years ago I had a note slipped under my door by my upstairs neighbor. She was not happy that I listened to my music (specifically No Doubt) at such a loud volume at ten in the morning. Before this I thought that 10am was a safe time to listen to my music. I considered writing a note and slipping it under her door complaining about noises that came from what sounded like a one woman brothel. The sounds went like this: A bang on the door. A squeaky bed. A toilet flushing. The front door slamming. The shower running. A bang on the door. A squeaky bed. And so on...

Good times.

Ten years ago I was working for a make-shift advertising agency that was located over top of a jazz bar. There was no insulation in the upper floors (there weren't even floors in some of the rooms!), so we were just getting ready to move our offices to one of the owners' basements. We moved from Rochester to Buffalo for this job. I saw a full-page ad in the ArtVoice and drove to Buffalo to talk to Mark Goldman and his business partner about what they wanted to do with this company. I was two years out of film school and was intrigued by what they were saying and excited to try something new. They were going to make Buffalo great. I was going to be a part of that.

But of course, it didn't last. The business was over top of a bar, after all. There wasn't any money to spend on decent equipment. We had to out-source everything to print houses and film developers. We didn't have any clients either. We were just coming up with ideas that we thought Buffalo needed. It was a whole company of pipe dreams. So it folded. And I was back working as a barista by the new year.

Ten years. A decade. I can't believe it's been that long. That was four cars ago. That was three television sets ago. That was five computers ago. "Alias," a TV show created by JJ Abrams, had just debuted a month and half earlier. I loved that show. And, ironically enough, I just finished re-watching the entire series on DVD last week. So I guess things don't change as much as you'd think over the course of a decade.

I am making a point of not getting sad and nostalgic and depressing about looking back at where I was ten years ago. I'm not going to talk about the fact that we had our whole lives in front of us. I'm not going to talk about how we were getting ready to plan a wedding. I'm not going to write about how stable we were and how sure of ourselves we were. We didn't worry about money. We didn't worry about bills. We were just happy. And I miss the sounds of the squeaky sex bed upstairs. I miss blasting No Doubt at ten in the morning. I miss that job over top of that old jazz club.

Things change. Things get worse. Things get better. People get married. Cars break down. Computers crash. Televisions die. But things stay right where they are.

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