It's hard to say when it all started, when I started having issues with my Kensington landlord. I'd lived in my one bedroom on Adams for nearly 13 years, and she lives in LA, so over the years our interaction was limited, but it was almost never cordial...if I was hearing from her, it was some other complaint about something- the laundry room being a mess, or dog poop in the yard that needed to be picked up, or just me being me grating on her in some way. She treated me like a child from the beginning, or like a dorm R.A. Most of the time I just lived and didn't hear from her at all, and that was cool. It became clear around September or October of 2011 that she was going to do whatever she could to make my life miserable and uncertain, and in my world, uncertainty is the hardest demon to face, and even after what I thought was a heart to heart, I knew she was going to attack.
And she succeeded.
It is hard to tell when you're in a deep depression until you come out on the other side. I continued living my existence- going to shows, blogging, doing SXSW and festivals and short trips and all of the things that I do- but say anything to me as simple as "how's it going" and I'd choke back a breakdown. I have a lot of friends, but I never really wanted to get into it too much and I knew people were there if I needed them, but this just felt so shitty, and truth be told, I felt completely alone. Throw in precarious finances, harassing calls from my defaulted student loans, and sleeping away days just felt normal. Mostly, I just didn't know what was going to happen, but I kept trudging along with the help of a few friends.
In December, I got my 2012 lease that no longer allowed pets. January and February I chose to ignore it and paid rent and redlined the lease to negate the modifications she made. At the end of February, I got a notice that my lease was terminated after 60 days. At the end of those 60 days, I got an official "Notice To Vacate" (In real people terms, that is an eviction). I had another 60 days to get out or the Sheriff now had authority to lock me out. I started trolling Craig's List and actually only ever looked at one apartment that was so small (and nearly $200 more than my place), and I was about to crack. Fortunately a friend of mine was a godsend and had a studio that came available. It is very small...the size of a standard hotel room, really, but there's a decent sized kitchen, lots of storage, a cool yard, close to the places I frequent in North Park, Normal Heights, and still walking distance to Kensington. Most of all, it is incredibly affordable and my pets are not an issue. I jumped and had to take it.
I know that I was really dramatic about moving, but it was so. fucking. hard. I lived in my parents house, where they've lived since 1972, all of my life. I went to college in Miramar and had an apartment there for a couple of years, but I didn't have anything beyond my clothes, a bed, and some random kitchen wares. This place in Kensington was my home- I had acquired a lot of stuff, spending all of my 20's there, and when I worked in the corporate world, I'd spend money on things I can only describe as nesting. Going through all of it was incredibly hard- knowing I was basically dumping my possessions, and without the time to have even a decent yard sale. I literally gave away half of my shit, if not more. And to a Craig's List asshole who ended up being completely ungrateful at that. But I had to go.
Without dragging all of this out too much, as I prepared to move, I found years and years of letters, journals, concert tickets, books, music, and beyond. I was going through CDs one night and came across these mix CDs from 2006. They were great mixes, holding up even now, and they were signed in various ways- "Love Joshua", "My Love Forever, Joshua", "Yours forever, J-", and I had not a single recollection of this person. Over the next few days, this entire relationship unveiled itself. I found clues and eventually remembered everything- how we'd met on Craig's List (when it comes to dating, I've tried everything), how we spent four crazy days together, divulging everything about ourselves and feeling like we were soul mates (when I perhaps believed in such things). He made me copies of every Pinback CD he owned and made me love this band that was in my own backyard. We saw Los Interciopelados and Pinback while he was here, and back then, those things were so magical. And then he left. He lived in North Carolina and we emailed and sent intense letters and postcards and he returned a few months later for my birthday and a few weeks after that for my sister's wedding, where we came to an end. How had I completely erased this guy from my memory?
I've always credited Scott Pactor (CatDirt) with inspiring this site, but I realize now, after going through boxes of memories, that it goes much further. I've been keeping journals and letter writing and divulging my inner thoughts since I was a kid, and the failure of this long distance relationship with Joshua was also largely responsible for this site. If I hadn't moved, I wonder if I would've ever gone this far back into my own psyche, this deep into realizing that who I am and what I do now has always been in me, that I really just share all of this shit because I can, and I must, even when most of it is just for my own sake and remembering my own highs and lows, loves and failed relationships. It's about the music for me mostly now, but it's also about the community and love and support I get from friends and strangers and keeping this thing going for as long as I can.
And it probably won't be forever, but for now, this life is so good. And I've come out on the other side. And late at night, or early in the morning, when I have my laptop in bed and my cat and my dog are laying at my feet, and I get to write about an amazing show, or post videos of an amazing band, or I get to work merch for Pinback, a band that I really didn't care about until Joshua came along, I am reminded that I am living a crazy dream, and I never, not for one second, take it for granted. I might not have a plan, but for this moment, this is exactly where I need to be and what I need to be doing. On the other side of rock bottom, it is so simple to know that I have an amazing family, with nieces and nephews and parents and siblings who love me, and I know that I have great friends who are there for me, too, and all I can say, without politics or prejudice or judgment, is that this life, no matter what it throws my way (or yours, if you're still reading) is so amazing. And I will take every second as it comes my way.
Now that I've purged, can we get back to the music??