Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Suitcases and Sledgehammers

It's been an entire month since I posted something on the blog. Over the course of the last 30 days I've found myself consumed by the final work of our apartment here. Painting walls. Installing tiles. Wood floors. Lighting. Moving boxes. Throwing random things off of our 25 story terrace. It's the final push before we can say our 'home' is complete and I can get back to my artwork.

Over the course of those 30 days an assortment of milestones were reached. Small things that I have learned to live without for the past 3 months were suddenly being incorporated back into my daily life. A working toilet that didn't require a bucket to flush. A kitchen sink that was actually a sink in the kitchen rather than a 5 gallon bucket on the terrace. Eating our first home cooked meal since Christmas thanks to Annie and our newly connected stove.

There were larger milestones that were surpassed as well. Since I left San Diego last May I have been living out of two suitcases and a backpack. This past Saturday, after nearly 10 months in storage, we moved our things into the apartment. My clothes found a new home in closet drawers and suitcases were emptied and packed away to await their next journey. I opened boxes and discovered things that I had forgotten about. After living for so long as if I was perpetually on the road some things no longer held any importance to me, while others like my t-shirt collection and stacks of books were old friends I was happy to see. The box spring I slept on for the past three months was exchanged for a real bed and the night stand was actually a night stand rather than my guitar cases stacked on top of one another. It actually has begun to feel like I'm living in a home as opposed to squatting in an abandoned warehouse.

On the other end of the spectrum a milestone was reached that left part of me feeling a bit empty this weekend as well. Our friend Mauricio, who has been here since last September, flew back home to Tijuana, Mexico. For the past 7 months he has been my right hand man in making our home become a reality, helping us overcome as best we could all the cultural and regional differences that come with remodeling a property in Argentina. Construction processes and supplies differ significantly from North America and literally each day brought it's own set of puzzles for us to solve. Together though, with his Spanish and construction skills leading the way, our collaborative efforts would always bring us to a solution. I will miss seeing his smiling face with coffee in hand every morning at the front door, and all the optimistic laughs we shared when the venture brought us to a recurring and disconcerting state of confusion. He is a good man. I hold a deep gratitude to my friend and I hope one day I can return the favor.

As the apartment nears completion, for the first time in over a year I feel the ground solidifying underneath my feet. I have no idea how long I will call this place on the Eastern Coast of South America my home. Maybe another year or so. Hard to say, but for the time being it will be a good place for my old comic book tees to see the light of day and my brushes and paints to start dancing again, while hopefully learning some Spanish along the way. I miss the States and all my friends and family that live there. I miss California and the Pacific that graces her side. I'll make a deal with you. I'll keep representing down here for awhile if you keep holding down the fort up there until I make it back. Deal?

CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE


Sometimes the great part of building something new is destroying what was old. We lived with this broken toilet for almost two months. I promised myself that after the new one was installed the old broken one would meet it's end.

Me + sledgehammer + old toilet = me laughing and the old toilet in a thousand pieces.

Mauricio and I on his last day in Argentina. I miss you bro...

Currently Reading:
Lonesome Traveler
by Jack Kerouac


Currently Listening To:
Song: Blow Ins
Artist: Bell X1