I’m sorry that I left without saying goodbye. I was thrilled to be moving out of the apartment that I shared with Dr. Mary Jane for the last two years and it happened so fast. It took half a day to pack and the actual move to my new apartment in the Upper West Side took one car trip and about a half an hour.
Our final week together was tense. After an attempt to swindle me out of my security deposit by blaming the demise of her funky sofa on me, Dr. Mary Jane tried to find other reasons to withhold my security deposit. “There’s a little nick on this table that I don’t recall seeing before,” she said one afternoon, bending over to get a closer look, rubbing her hand on the table’s corner. “Did you do that?”
“That nick was already there,” I responded, rolling my eyes.
And then later: “I can’t find my good frying pan- did you do something with it?” I shook my head and walked away. I never cooked while living there because Dr. Mary Jane hovered over my every move in her precious kitchen. I also didn’t cook because despite my attempts to keep the kitchen clean, Dr. Mary Jane always found a way to wreck it by cooking elaborate Mediterranean meals that smelled like sweaty feet.
Of course, these are just a couple of the reasons why I decided to move. I’m not even going to touch upon Dr. Mary Jane’s marijuana-fueled harmonica jam sessions or her utter disregard for privacy, quietness and bras.
Despite an afternoon thunderstorm, the day I moved was hot and the air was thick with a suffocating humidity. My white tee was soaked with rain and sweat and the front of it was browned with a dusting of dirt. Salty beads of sweat rolled down my baldhead and I looked- and smelled- like I had just sprinted through a marathon. After I packed the last box into the rental van, I returned to the apartment to give her my keys. Surprisingly, she handed me a stack of crisp hundred dollar bills. “Here is your security deposit, sir,” she said, matter-of-factly.
I folded the bills and shoved them into the front pocket of my cargo shorts. “I would give you a hug goodbye,” she said, stepping back and balancing her joint on the side of an ash tray, “but you’re all sweaty and dirty.”
“Nonsense!” I exclaimed. “Give me a hug!” Before she could react, I lunged forward and wrapped my big hairy, sweaty arms around her short, chubby body and squeezed her into me, making sure to smash her face into my wet, dirty bosom.
“Thanks for…everything,” I said. It might have sounded flippant, but in reality, deep down, I am grateful for Dr. Mary Jane. Yes, we didn’t always get along and she was a bully and she was loud and she forbade me to bring bacon in the house, but my two years in her apartment was a huge learning experience for me. I learned resourcefulness and tolerance. I learned to choose my battles and I learned the importance of standing up for myself. I wouldn’t want to necessarily do it again, but I also wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Well, except maybe for a date with Usher.
I thought I would feel sentimental in some way, leaving that apartment for the last time, but I didn’t even give my empty room one last dramatic look. I just turned heel and took off, eager to get to my new apartment where I could play loud music, let boys spend the night and fill the fridge with pork products.
I pressed the elevator button one final time and as I eagerly waited to embark on my new adventures, I could smell the faint aroma of marijuana wafting down the hallway along with the faint echoes of Yiddish rap music.
To read how I ended up living with Dr. Mary Jane in the first place, CLICK HERE.