My family’s yearly Christmas ritual is relatively benign.
I now, embarrassingly late in the game, see credit-card debt as a problem for many that is nearly as pernicious as drug and alcohol addiction.
On changing your name, and everything that goes along with that.
Any elisions in this timeline represent long stretches without unpleasant interactions with landlords, and uneventful tenancies make boring stories. I rented many apartments throughout Iowa City and Chicago before my first full-scale landlord-induced meltdown, which set into motion a series of motifs I’d revisit over the next eight years.
It started with black dirt around the basement’s floor drain, discovered just a couple weeks after my wife and I moved into the house we’d just bought. Because I’d only rented before then, and don’t tend to learn new things until there’s an immediate necessity to, I’d never had occasion to know much about home maintenance beyond filling holes in the wall with toothpaste and hoping my landlord didn’t notice.
Perhaps the saddest thing about my tattoo and its subsequent removal is that I wanted to get rid of it almost as soon as I got it.