Fall brought its own changes.
Our housemate Jamie was finally over “that buttfucker” Mason, who had left her for some guy. (As it happens, Mason and his now-husband are very happy.)
Jamie’s newfound lust for change had chopped off all of her hair and bought her a one-way ticket to Guatemala to find whatever she was trying to find in Mason. So Bonne chance to her and her very original pixie cut, but now we needed a new roommate to pay rent in ten days.
www dot craigslist south Los Angeles what could go wrong dot com.
The first few were just as nope as you’d expect. And then some golden boy showed up at our door. Pale, blond, skinny, skinnier jeans, non-prescription glasses, hair still pushed gently to the side in a way that said “I’m still in 2003, but I’m so far ahead of you.”
I hid my judgement from everyone but myself.
We all stood in the kitchen for a talk. He stopped short and leaned against the door frame.
“Sup, I’m Brent.”
He would be a fuckin’ Brent.
As everyone introduced themselves, my dog ran from her room to see who was getting the attention that only she deserved.
Brent noticed her. “Oh sweet, a pit bull. They are such chill dogs.” Bending to pet her, he asked “What’s her name?”
Maybe he wasn’t so bad. “Stella.” I replied with a smile as she looked up at me.
“Rad. Stella was a diver and she’s always down.”
“YES!” My eyes widened. No one had ever gotten this reference before. We named her Stella because of the white star on her black chest, but her secret middle name was the title of this song that had brought me through a time I didn’t even know I was going through. (That’s another story)
But maybe Brent was actually cool. Everyone else was kinda convinced, and if this guy was into Interpol, maybe I could even spend a few months with him in the house.
Then he started.
“Yea, but you haven’t really heard it until you listen on vinyl.” The back of my throat started itching.
“Jeez, would my vinyl collection even be safe in this neighborhood?” He squinted out the windows through his fake fucking glasses. Everyone gave an awkward laugh. The 14th street gang down the road doesn’t really deal in vinyls, Brent, but we could ask for you.
A few more lines wiped the smiles from our faces. To finish the conversation he reached into his vocal fry register, “Yaaah cool, well listen I’ll uhhh, call you if something else falls through. Take care.”
We all looked at each other as the door closed.
“We’ll just pay for the empty room.” I said, locking the deadbolt. We laughed, shook our heads, bit the bullet, and found someone to fill the room the next month.
In Brent’s honor, I enjoyed a compressed-as-shit MP3 version of Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down paired with a fine bottle of Two Buck Chuck, 2011, while petting the stank of Brent’s Dad’s Chanel Egoiste off of Stella.
(Song recommendation by Jon Johnson)