While at least one of my neighbours in this building of six apartments participated in the National Moving Day Parade (it's a parade on every street!) — and looking very B-boy supervising the movers, I must say — I did not have a float for this year's event.
This made me reflect on the fact that I moved into this apartment in 1995, fully sixteen years ago! Next year, I will have lived a third of my life in this apartment (roughly), about the same amount of time I lived with my parents growing up (I turned 18 at the beginning of my first year of university).
When I moved here, the "tree" that I hack at mercilessly with the pruners in order to keep it from interfering with my progress climbing my stairs did not exist. In fact, it sprang as a weedling (unintended seedling of a tree) between the concrete of the sidewalk and the asphalt under the stairs, and is now fully two storeys high.
When I moved here, I had no idea that I was living with HIV. I was diagnosed two and a half years later with my infamous low CD4+ count. A year and a half after that, I changed jobs and began working in the HIV/AIDS field in the community.
This is where I was for my first rejection based on my HIV status (well, I can't really blame the guy who didn't want to pursue a relationship with someone he had met just weeks earlier, then radio silence until the guy told him he had been diagnosed with HIV and 4 CD4+s).
It's also the place where I slipped smoothly from slut to social worker to calm down the guy who asked my status after we were done with our series of non-risky manoeuvres (I had to walk him back through everything we had done to explain how there was no risk). Then there was the satisfying moment where I got up on my own high horse to tell him that if it was that important to him, he should ask first.
When I moved in, there were all the elements of casual sex around me: parking lot out back used in the night by people having quickies in their cars; recessed doorway across the street in which many a street performer strutted his stuff for my receptive gaze; and just the positioning between the gay bar area and a once-frequented cruising park. The parking lot is now condos, the recessed doorway has a cage keeping people out and the bar to park traffic seems to be rather sparse, likely a combination of the decline of the bars and the renovations that made the park more open to the view of passers-by and neighbours.
I've been through a few computers and toasters and two TVs and other things too countless to relate. Some other things I have not so much been through, but accumulated. There's where the inertia needs to end: not to move, but to purge and reduce. The mammoth task that's long overdue that I ought to find the energy for sometime this summer.