Los Angeles Part 3

My apartment on Edgemont would end up being a fairly constant battle.

Not long after I moved in, just six months or so since we'd started dating, I asked Nicole to move in with me.  I fully admit that I'm a man of extremes and I was (and am) in love, so this seemed like the move to make.  Nicole, who has always been the more rational of the two of us, said yes, and a few months after that she was moving in with me.

I had obviously known that this was going to happen at some point down the line, which is why I had Nicole get so involved in the apartment search to begin with.  Since I'd only been there a few months, it didn't seem like Nicole was moving in with me, at least not completely.  The place was, at the time, nearly as much hers as it was mine.

These are the important things to know about that apartment: it was on the 4th floor (top floor) of a building built in the 30's.  It was on the back corner and had a lot of windows, which was good, since it had no air conditioning and heat, as you probably know, tends to rise.  It was a one bedroom apartment, but when you walked in the living room was to the left and the bedroom was to the right.  It really could have been a college suite with a shared kitchen and bathroom, the way it was set up.  There was a spot in the living room where a Murphy bed used to be, which conveniently held my really junky TV stand and everything that went with it.  The bedroom originally had no closet, but at some point whoever owned the building decided to add one by basically just adding a box and sticking it against the wall.  My desk was in the bedroom, which means that if I was writing, Nicole had to be in the living room.

Also, the entire apartment angled toward the center, like it was a sinkhole.  Things constantly rolled off counter tops and tables.

The building had a really old elevator, the kind you see in movies that have that thick, metal door you have to push open yourself.  It was also very small, which meant we had to move pretty much everything up the four flights of stairs.

Just thinking about it makes me tired.

We also lived just a few blocks away from Los Feliz Village, specifically the strip that contains Skylight Books and numerous restaurants and bars.  Being able to walk to that strip was easily the best thing about that apartment.

We also didn't have parking -- we had to find spots on the street, at least until a few months before we moved, when we finally moved up the list and got a spot behind the building.

The parking thing is important only because Nicole was working nights for a big part of our stay.  This meant she'd have to park pretty far away from our building, as all the street parking close by would taken by the time she got home.  It also meant she'd have to walk back to our place in the wee hours of the morning, and I was not a fan of that.

So early each morning, she would call me when she got to the apartment, and I would go downstairs and get in the car with her, and then we'd walk back to the apartment together.  And I'd go back to sleep for a few hours before getting up for work.

The apartment was a battle because it was the hard period of our relationship.  There's a point, I think, after the honeymoon phase wears off and before the bond solidifies that you are both trying to figure each other out, trying to figure yourself out, and trying to figure out how those two things can coexist.  You're merging leagues, but only some of the teams are going to come along.  There's a certain degree of destruction in that, whether we like to think of it that way or not.  There is a life, good or bad, that was fundamentally different than this one, and we have to break it down so that it fits and can come along.

It was not easy.  It was very hard, actually.  The absolute crazy thing about it was that, for some unknown reason, Nicole and I never gave up.  Honestly, I think most sane people would have said, hey, this is way too much work, I'm just going to walk away now before I get in any deeper.  But Nicole and I were determined, which, to be perfectly honest, is one of the main things we have in common.  If either of us sets our mind to something, then we go at it full speed ahead.  If something is important to do, then we do it.

I know for a fact that we came out of that apartment a much stronger couple than when we went in.

This apartment was also where we lived when I started writing my book, "I Pray Hardest When I'm Being Shot At."  My grandfather's death would be the first real tragedy that Nicole and I would weather as a couple.  It would certainly not be the last, and in some ways it was the easiest.  Being with someone as they grieve forms a certain bond, and that bond began between Nicole and I in that apartment.

I turned 30 in that apartment.  Nicole and I spent a week in New York to celebrate.

It was Nicole, of course, who pushed for us to move.  We were both making decent money and we could certainly afford luxuries like parking and air conditioning.

And so, on August 25th, 2006, we began moving into our new apartment on Martel, a building we would live in for years, although we'd later switch apartments.

For all its strife, I do miss that apartment sometimes.  It seems to me that each new apartment has moved me along the maturity scale.  As difficult as living on Edgemont might have been, it seemed simpler.  It still felt young.

Our next apartment would not be like that at all.

Here are a few choice songs that were on heavy rotation for me during my time at the Edgemont place:
(I've also gone back and done the same for the first two parts of this series, if you're interested.  Here's part one and here's part two.)