Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Bohemian Rhapsody (Part II)

The Apartment
Amy's new apartment is located in a quaint, older neighborhood near downtown. It appears to be composed of houses and duplexes in the 40-75 year-old range. It’s hilly and tranquil, and completely wooded with mature trees and shrubbery. Her place is the right-hand half of a late 1960s vintage duplex, which lies at the foot of a fairly steep and well-shaded embankment. Her next door neighbors are two young Chattanooga police officers, who were just leaving to go on duty soon after my arrival.

Upon first entering the apartment, I was immediately struck with a certain familiarity regarding its layout and smell. The layout was reminiscent of my own first apartment, a two-story structure with the doorway on the left, giving way directly to the staircase; a cozy living room on the right. The apartment’s aroma took me back to the home of my paternal grandparents, with a sort of warm, dusky combination of kitchen grease and cigarette smoke. Sounds gross, I know, but hey, nostalgia isn't always pretty.

This apartment obviously has some miles on it. The carpets were stained, but essentially the place looked pretty clean. It was a fairly typical pad for a couple of college students — and perfectly suited for my daughter's modern-day Earth Woman tastes. She's what I referred to in an earlier story as a neo-hippie wannabe, which is all fine and well by me. And yes, she does shave her underarms and legs, but you know what I mean. If she ever stops shaving them, then I'll be bothered.

She, like so many others following the fashion of her generation, is happily sojourning through her Bohemian phase, in which being a hippie is more about fashion than rebellion. In due time, she'll more than likely be forced to put her patchouli on the shelf and rejoin the rest of the world, as even the real hippies did back in the day. Her new apartment is a veritable palace of Bohemian splendor. The wall near the front door is adorned with a homemade tapestry of purple and beige, whose pattern is composed of undecipherable words scrawled in an illegible script.

Whoa...heavy, dood...

In the far corner of the living room, there's a beat-up old New York Times newspaper rack. Its compartment window has been spray-painted black, but is broken in three places; the jagged glass is loose, but still holding. Strewn inside the compartment is a strand of Christmas lights, apparently designed to allow the newspaper rack to provide added value as a mood lamp when so desired.

On the main wall is a hodge-podge of framed art, non-framed posters and cut-out black-and-white magazine photographs, affixed with masking tape, and laid out in a manner that made my inner-perfectionist's skin crawl. Needless to say, I was sure to give Amy a short lesson on the joys of positive space vs. negative space before I left.

Next: Dianna
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