Thursday, May 06, 2010
the pink house
Some of you will know this place. Some of you won't.
This used to be my house. Well, it still is, sort of, for a few more cosmic minutes. It's on the market. We have to sell it, need the cash to pay my mom back for the funding of our current house, the one we built. Our time is up. The market might not be, but our time is.
The Pink House.
How the hell do I begin to tell you about the Pink House and what it's meant to me? And, shit, which do you want first? The good news or the bad news? Instinct tells me to go good news first. Then the bad news will mean something.
The good news isn't news, either. The good news is the old news, the story of how I met the Pink House and how we fell in love and how good it was to me, how good it was to a lot of us. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that this place was the stuff of legend. It was. (Not, like, giant legend. But for a good dozen or so people...no...more. More. Let's say a score. For a score or more of people it was, what do I want to say...a locus. A real locus. A hub, a gathering place, home base, where it was happening. Depending on who you were and when it was, the Pink House was: quiet oasis, bumping party palace, Daydream Central where all the beautiful girls sunbathed and drank wine and dreamed and plotted away the summer of '98, cozy love nest twice or thrice over, and launch pad into incarnation itself for one Finn Rowley. First house, best house for more than one of us. )
My beloved friend, Kristen, bought it in the spring of '98. She and my key girl, Elizabeth, fixed it up from a falling-down wreck and made it so good. Oh, shit, it was good. My girls knew what they were doing. They worked like hell, plaster in their hair, and made it...oh. I want to convey the perfect aesthetic of the place when they were done with it, and I'm doomed to fail. Pea green living room, cream fireplace, perfectly weathered and untouched windowsills. Kristen's bedroom, that muted blueberry, and Elizabeth's, that terra cotta red, both with the beds in counterintuitive placements that made you want to smack your hand against your head, they were so right. So fresh.
I still lived in my crappy Fremont apartment when they moved in. Post-marriage, mid-perpetual-crisis, chain-smoking, fervent, freaked-out times. (Good times included.) I went over to that Pink House as often as I could, to soak up the brilliant company and the perfect surroundings. Home away from home. Uplift guaranteed.
We'd all climb into Elizabeth's bed in the a.m. with our cups of coffee. Elizabeth always spilled. Little tan blobs on that creamy white duvet. Wrecked the perfection just right.
I'm not going to even try to convey that first summer. Let's just say it set the tone, implanted the magic. I know, it's hyperbole city over here, but you don't know! how! much! the place! deserved it! Anyway. Much drinking, much smoking, and a very witty and good-looking rotating cast of characters. Many regulars, some day players. I was deeply pleased to be a part of that scene.
Kristen moved to New York that December, and I moved in. Take the arrow of my life's trajectory from that moment forward and aim it up. No, higher. Steep, that incline. Whatthe- where the hell am I going? Whoo!
I was infatuated before I moved in. After I moved in, I fell in love. And then it deepened and deepened.
And Elizabeth and I, oh, we had such a good thing going on. 11pm every night, like clockwork, boyfriends present or no, we'd find ourselves in our bedroom doorways, chatting...and it was like someone came and sprinkled comedy dust in the hallway. We couldn't miss. Bang! Boom! Bop. Pa-chow. It's a miracle we slept at all.
It was so, so copacetic.
This is going to have to be a two-parter.