This is the first post of many, or more than one, anyway, documenting my time in OB (Ocean Beach West for any of you New Londoners).
It has been a real trip so far. Overall quite positive, but, well, it's quite a change from my living situations of say, the last 2 decades or so.
The first week I really wondered what the hell I had done. I laid in bed that first night trying to think back to a time that I had lived in such a high-density situation. It was in college, which was back when the chemoautotrophs still used oxidized inorganic matter to extract energy. And which is why, unsurprisingly, my immediate neighbors on both sides in my new home are college students, or very recently graduated.
Did I mention how many of them there are? There are 5 boys on one side and 4 on the other. Yes, we are surrounded by a sea of boys. It could have been really ugly and loud and dirty, but these boys are nice and respectful and quiet. Many of them actually offered to babysit (so maybe they're not nice, but instead a bunch of perverts?). I must seem impossibly old to them. I am almost the age of their mothers, but they smile cheerfully when we pass and haven't yet complained about how loud my girly gang is in the early hours of the morning. They even drag all the trash cans out to the alley each week. But they do look sheepish when they exit the house in the morning with a girl in tow. Because, well, because I am almost the age of their mothers...
Meeting the first batch of these co-eds was actually the first load off my mind that first week. Because, let me tell you, there were other events that, as I've already mentioned above, made me really doubt my rental decision. And sanity.
It started before I moved in, actually. I had looked at the property a few weeks before deciding it was time to move. I really couldn't completely remember the floor plan or other details of the space when I dropped off the hefty deposit, but I knew I left my viewing of the property feeling that it would work for my peeps, and that the price, rental-agreement length and pet policy were right for me.
The day after dropping of said hefty rental deposit I decided to do a drive by. Oh my. Bad idea. Driving by street-side was okay, even in my very critical state of mind, but then I entered (cue scary, suspenseful music) the alley. Oh how I had forgotten how god forsaken beach alleys can be. They are ugly and dirty and full of dumpsters, recycling bins, cast off random sofas, dog shit and shady characters. They are not a place that someone who is having their first pangs of buyers remorse wants to see.
How could I subject my angels to such a display, I wondered?! But I soldiered on that day, and had occasion to be back in the neighborhood that evening, so bravely decided to put the alley incident behind me and go and look at the glory of the ocean, which is mere feet away from my soon-to-be new front door.
I parked in a spot at the end of the street, and leaned over the fence to gaze at the sea's loveliness. I was starting to feel better about my decision. Whew.
Then I walked back to my car. The car that was next to me when I arrived, and nice looking BMW with two people in it, was gone. In its place? A big heap of puke. I kid you not. OMG, where am I moving?
But move I did. And when the moving van rolled up that morning in September to unpack all my earthly belongings, what greeted us but a giant, gross, scaly ripped-off fish head. Still not joking. It wasn't to the stage that it yet reeked. But, geez? A gross giant fish head?! What was the universe trying to tell me?
You know there is more, right? There is the normal, holy-shit-I-can-hear-people-cooking-and-watching -TV-next-door thoughts as you get used to the new space. There was also the 6:30 am wake up from the airplanes flying over head, which I had somehow erased from my memory.
But the first Saturday night there, a mere 6 days into my stay, the helicopters started at 3:00 am and did not go away until past 4:30 am. And I'm not talking far-off helicopters. These birds were directly over my home. They were circling and scanning my particular portion of coastline. Hmm, wow, so this is what a Saturday night in downtown OB is going to be like? At least it didn't wake the girls I thought as I drifted back to (bad) dreams.
There was more fodder for these dreams during my first trip to the trash cans the next morning. Luckily I ran into one of the neighbor boys on my way out, holding my bulging sack of food scrapings, broken crayons, q-tips, dental floss and the like, who warned me to watch out for the..................ready for it? Maggots. Yes, maggots! There was a full-force maggot problem out there on the cement in front of the trash cans.
Bugs don't typically bother me, and I refrain from killing them whenever possible, but maggots? Oh how vile. I wanted nothing more than to douse the area with gallons and gallons of Clorox, until there was nothing left but a white, goopy, dead-maggot puddle. But I didn't. I flung my trash and got the hell out of there. If there is a bright side to living next to a battalion of college boys, well, this is it.
To be continued....