I was in Byron Bay, Australia when I got the email. My entire body ran hot and seized with panic as my eyes ran over the text. I'd felt this coming for months now, but still, I slipped into instant denial of the situation. Had I done something to provoke this decision? Would this adversely affect our friendship? And why decide to drop the bomb on me when I was 8,000 miles away on vacation?
Showcase was moving out.
As I walked from the internet cafe to the beach bar where Pauly was waiting for me so we could commence our afternoon of drinking and watching the Australian Open, a dozen scenarios ran through my head. Do I keep the apartment? Get another roommate? Move somewhere else in L.A. by myself? Should I even bother to stay in L.A.? Could I afford to? What was really keeping me there? Do I take this as a sign and just say "fuck it" and move to Vegas or New York? Or sell all my furniture, cash out my 401(k) and hit the road full-time?
Life was suddenly influx. It took three pints of Toohey's and about twenty utterances of "everything's gonna be OK" from Pauly for me to stop shaking. For the sake of our trip, I made my best efforts to put the whole thing out of my head until we got back to the States.
By the time we did get home, I was completely fine with the whole thing. Showcase's decision had nothing to do with me and everything to do with the fact that we're in our thirties now and our lives have both dramatically changed since we started living together four years ago. We both went from humping 9-5 jobs to living more unstructured lives as we worked from home. He started his pet care business. I started writing. Back then I was a single D-girl that went out almost every night. Now I'm in a two-year old relationship, abhor the thought of spending time in nightclubs, and travel about a third of the year. The times, they are a-changin' and our living situation would have to adjust with it.
Showcase wanted to find a house with male roommates, where he'd also have more space for the dogs than our 700 square feet allowed. I certainly couldn't argue with that. I decided pretty quickly that I would just keep the apartment. Since the WSOP was looming and I had two gigs in Europe in between, I knew I didn't have time to move. That, and the rent on this place--a rent-stablized two bedroom-- was pretty much what I'd have to pay to get a decent one bedroom in the current L.A. housing market. So I'd be staying put,
and Pauly would no longer have to worry about imposing on Showcase on his frequent visits out west.
The olive-green walls of Showcase's room are bare now, and the room all but empty. Over the next few months it will evolve into an office. He's ensconced in his new place now, a West Hollywood bungalow only two blocks from where I lived when I first moved back here from college. He has two new roommates, one gay and one straight. It's a cable sitcom waiting to happen. The pooches love their new backyard.
And now, my apartment boasts only one karaoke machine.