Sunday, April 1, 2012

No. 795 – The Main Monkey Business

Performer: Rush
Songwriters: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson
Original Release: Snakes & Arrows
Year: 2007
Definitive Version: Snakes & Arrows Live, 2008

Although I was a bit skeptical when Snakes & Arrows came out, given how hit and (mostly) miss Vapor Trails was, there was never any doubt that I would be buying as soon as it came out. New Rush? Come on! This was the first song I liked off it. Even though Geddy wasn’t playing the synth anymore, it had that synth-period Rush feel to it. At about the same time it came out, Laurie and I found a new place to live—the place where we live today.

The decision to find a new place together had been a long time coming. I appreciated Laurie’s invitation to move in with her while I was looking for a job after moving to Chicago in 2005, and I appreciated even more her invitation to not move out after I had found a job.

But it was not an ideal situation. Laurie’s apartment, being a one-bedroom unit, had long since outgrown its usefulness. In short, I was getting tired of essentially living out of her coat closet, as I had for the past year-and-a-half. She agreed that we needed more space. This was a big decision for her. Laurie and change aren’t the best of friends, and she had been in this apartment for nine years—longer than she had lived anywhere before, even when growing up.

Meanwhile, a perfect solution became available. While we discussed finding a new place when Laurie’s lease ran out in June, the woman who had been living in the unit next door—she and Laurie were flatmates, with doors on the same landing—was moved out of her apartment. The woman was a shut-in who had long before lost the ability to care for herself, and someone, we never found out who, got social services to come and move her into an assisted-living facility.

The building owners refurbished the place—a studio apartment: We heard the comings and goings for the next two months after, and the obvious solution jumped out at me: We don’t have to move if I rent that place.

The solutions was so genius, I couldn’t belive I thought of it. We could turn the floor into a suite, albeit with dividing walls. Laurie could keep everything the same—we’d still be able to sleep in Laurie’s bedroom. But now, we’d have two bathrooms and—great for parties—two kitchens and the entire back porch. We’d have a large living room that we could turn into my office while keeping her dining room, and I’d have a huge walk-in closet that we could use for additional storage,. It was about $575 a month, and we’d divide the total rent payments.

Just one problem: I didn’t have a job when all of this went down. And as soon as I was hired in April 2006, when we called to inquire about the studio, we learned that someone else had already rented it. Typical.

So we’d have to move after all. Given everything, it seemed obvious that Laurie should take the lead on finding a new place. I had veto power, but I was adaptable: If Laurie liked the place, I was sure I would, too.

She wanted to stay in the neighborhood and started by calling the company that managed our building. They treated her well, and she wanted to stay with them if she could help it after having built up solid cred with them. However, they mostly rented buildings that were studios and one-bedroom units. They had one two-bedroom that we looked at, but the layout was such that even though it had a second bedroom, it really didn’t provide much more space than what we had.

We also tried a few newspaper-ad places, but nothing seemed to work out. Then, one day, while parking her car a few blocks away from her apartment, she saw a for-rent sign in the window of a building that she always had been curious about. She called and made an appointment to see the place the following Saturday.

And we’ll continue this story another day.

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