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LA Memoir

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It’s been three weeks that I’ve tried writing this post, and also three weeks since I’ve moved from LA. It’s not because I’m sad, because I’m everything but sad; it’s moreso that I don’t know what to write. I moved. I move all the time, it feels like…and with this time, I know I’ll move back to LA.

Two months ago, Jo and I were ready to move apartments in LA. We were in Koreatown and had a super cheap deal – and I use the word cheap lightly, because it’s still ridiculous to spend that much money on an apartment (I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it). We were ready for a nicer apartment, or at least one without creatures that come out every time we leave to travel, that being typically three out of the four weeks in a month. I had dealt with mice living in Harlem, and I thought I was pretty tough when it came to living amongst these animals, but that was because one had never run over my foot while I was in the kitchen cooking.

A rat literally ran scurried over my foot, with its furry little paws. Not even sure if it was the same rat or a different one that Jo had warned me about the day before while she was cooking in the kitchen.

Mhm, sure Jo. We’ll find a way to get them out.

I responded, all calmly. But again, this was before the rat jumped on me.

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I have this thing where I’m totally fine with all animals, until they choose to jump on me. The same thing happened with me and squirrels. I loved squirrels. I was a fan of the squirrels – but do not think it is OK to jump on me. And that’s just what one squirrel in Battery Park, New York City did to me. Scurried up my body, and ever since I have a legit dislike for anything that can pounce (cats are included in this).

We saw two apartments the next day, one that was so expensive for no reason, but that would allow us to sneakily AirBNB it because of the location in a huge apartment complex, and then another one. The dream apartment. It had not only everything I wanted, but also everything I never knew I wanted: a long hallway, wood floors, a wine cabinet, updated appliances, a mail holder, a view of the Hollywood Sign. All the things you’d hear from a modern couple on House Hunters. We put in an application.

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The next day, I get a phone call from the landlord. We got it. But what I felt was not what I thought I’d feel. I thought I’d feel like a weight was lifted off my shoulders, but instead, I felt the opposite. She ran through the logistics: we could move in next week, the lease would last a year, we absolutely could not sublet or AirBNB.

The tone on that AirBNB line was the kicker. First off, why not? It helps everyone: us with keeping up with rent, tourists with finding affordable accommodation, and the landlord’s building by keeping movement in the house away from mice (might be taking that one a bit too far). It definitely made us reconsider. Is it worth paying for an apartment…when we’re never there?

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We let a few days pass until we get an out-of-the-blue, could-not-be-more-unexpected call from our current landlord.

We know you’ve been in your apartment for a year now, but I’m afraid to tell you that the building is being demolished and you’ll need to relocate. Because of the inconvenience, we’re legally required to offer you two months of free rent and a relocation assistance in the form of a check.

What the f@#$#@$ck. We were getting ready to pay you to leave! And for this to happen the day we were going to call the other apartment and possibly sign the lease because we were out of options.

But.

While it would be an easy transition to ride out the free rent, take the relocation money, and go straight to the other apartment…why not just ride out the free rent, take the relocation money, and go travel?

So in typical @damonandjo fashion, we shut up and went. For how long? We still don’t know. We’re currently on our trip. Take your life into your own hands. When an opportunity presents itself, lean in, see if you’re feelin’ it, and then go for it.

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To our first apartment in LA, I won’t miss you that much, but I will miss Joshua always singing Top 40 pop hits at the front entrance, Ms. Cheng being seen nowhere except walking up and down the stairs, the gay couple who had two dogs, our Latin neighbors whose dogs and children somehow always drifted into our apartment, and our most adorable Korean landlord, Tony. That, for me, is my L.A. memoir.signature

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