Wednesday, September 23, 2009


In 1996 I met a classmate. We lived on the same floor of the freshman dorm. We had the same class schedule. We rushed the same fraternities (Yay, Rah Rah...). I didn't live with him my first year but did every other subsequent year. And then a year and a half break after college (I was done, he was not). Then again for a few years until the jerk went ahead and got married, especially when we were so close to common law! We were like Joey and Chandler from Friends (his favorite show).

While I was living with other great friends (Valentine, Signal, DVL) I suggested that he and one of my oldest friends could live together. There, enjoying freshly made pasta and pouring ragu directly onto the plate from the jar, they bonded. They honed their Mario Kart skillz (still not better than me).

Then we had city swaps. One great friend moved to the west and he sent a replacement to the midwest. This guy. He was so nice. I repeatedly nagged him to come out. Got him to join our football team. We shared our early love of Arrested "I want to know what it feels like to get my face punched in". I remember one day I casually asked him where he lived. He said around Clark and Belmont. I said I lived over there too. So, I inquired again for specifics. I always felt that my continuing to question exact location came off pretty gay, but I've never asked him if that's what he thought. Also, it turned out we lived a block and a half away from each other, so it was a fair question.

Then there's Jolly. My oldest friend. Not by his age, but by years we've been not only aquainted but dear friends. As a child, I could see his backyard from my backyard. Never lived in the same city from age 7-23, we've remained close. That may be a bit of a misnomer. His family kept a lakehouse near my home town. He spent a month back in town every year. I'd get to take trips out there. He'd come to visit in college. Then the aforementioned pairing of my roomies with each other. Then he hit the road. Years later when he'd return to Chitown to set up residency, he brought along his lady love. By my birthday the next year he was a permanent fixure on my couch (which is now located at the Car Wash on Damen, if you want to take a look-see).

With leases up all around, MGM powerhouse was born. The perfect location. Two living rooms. The "Rec Center" kitchen. First floor back porch. Completely closed off (except for bike thieves). After that year, we opened the North compound. More space to run and dig. Then we get another "oh uh, I'm in love, later, jerks" move out this summer. MGM was no more. Boo.

I've been blessed to have had great roommates since 1997 (well, I guess techincally my family is okay too). It's nice because I consider them all my family, no matter how long I've known them, or how long I lived with them. There isn't a single one that I wouldn't help at a moment's notice. I'd help any of them bury a body in the desert, no questions asked. You couldn't ask for better roommates or better friends.

So, I'm not sure how to feel that I'm getting what will likely (hopefully?) be the last roommate I ever have next Thursday. That's not true. As I watch more and more of my friends do more and more grown up things, I'm glad to be taking steps towards doing those things myself. I've never been happier.


CircleGetSquare said...

Oh Gabe. You are missed up in the Bryn Mawr Palace, but I'm happy to know that you and Pickster are jammin' it on the ones River North style. This was a really, really nice thing to read.

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