Andy over at “PurpAnd” was pondering the number of residences he has lived in and wondering which was his favorite home. He commented that one “particular residence is also the one I spent most of my life in (about 10 years total).”
I was struck by a couple of things. On is that, for my friend Andy (whom I’ve never met), 10 years is nearly half his life – which just reinforces the sad realization that I am twice his age and nearing the point where I can not remember where I live at present, let alone all my previous ones. But really, Andy, based on the math clues you dropped in your essay, 10 years is closer to 1/3 of your life. You are closing in on 30 – deal with it!
The other thing that was interesting was that Andy has lived in a lot of places, which is similar to my experience growing up. A lot of people at Andy’s age don’t have so many homes to look back on and rank. My daughter had only one home until she went to college. So, if you are smart, you now know that I have lived in my current home a long time. But in the 30 some years before this house, I lived in (if my rapidly deteriorating memory serves) 14 different places, if college counts as only one. That is about 1 every 2.5 years, pretty close to Andy’s rate.
When we were growing up, my parents divorced and Mom moved us around to various parts of the Los Angeles area. Later, after I had failed to pursue her dream for me and I chose accounting over comedy, she revealed the reason for our nomadic existence. “The best comedians experience hardship growing up. It forms their comic persona. You were supposed to take your unstable life of a broken home and never settled living conditions and build a solid comedy life.”
I could only shake my head. “Mom, every kid in L.A. is an aspiring actor/comedian and every one of them has divorced parents and instability. The ones who make it have gone beyond that. You say you did it all for me, but if you wanted me to have a comedy base, you would have lost your job and made me wonder where my next meal was coming from. If you really loved me, you would have been a crack whore or would have given me an abusive step-father. Then I would have something to create a monologue around. But you did none of that.”
The original question here was which home was my favorite. Looking back on them all:
the duplex where my sister and I used to walk to the coffee shop for dinner or the apartment where we ate crackers and Gouda cheese sitting on the floor before the place was furnished or the house where I become cook and laundryman when Mom broke her ankle -
I’d say my favorite was the imaginary place I created in my head.