Looking back over my recent past I find myself missing something suprising; Andoe's apartment. It was a nasty little affair to be honest, small and unclean and rank with the smell of smoke. As were the Salvation Army couches bought for the lump sum of $15 covered in cigarette burns and questionable stains. The kitchen was the size of a closet and so was the bathroom, but the balcony was comfortable and so was the carpet. The carpet of course was also stained by all manner of alcohol and bodily fluids, but no one really cared. I spent many nights sleeping on the carpet covered in the heavy Michigan State blanket Andoe's wife always draped over me with oddly reassuring care even when we were all so drunk we could barely stand up.
I loved the old apartment because it was a refuge that I could fall back to when life on base got to be too full of bullshit. It was a place to eat real food when I couldn't stomach the DFAC or fast food anymore. It was a place where I could trust the people around me to not care about my stupid shit and help me out. It was a place where Andoe and his wife could relate to my feeling unsure and way out of my depth. We were all learning exactly how to be adults, playing house in a strange city far away from home. They needed someone to act as the kid in the playhouse and marriage counselor in real life. I needed someone to take care of me and to serve as dramtic foil. I'd accompany them to the Emergency Room for the various injuries they would inflict upon each other and help them manage the bills. They would let me drink myself stupid and tuck me in at night. Andoe would drive me to work in the mornings and his wife would yell at me to come back to bed with her when I was on the phone with ex-ladyfriends.
But as with all things in this world it didn't last. They moved away and are growing into adulthood and their marriage. I stoped hiding and started coming home more to deal with shit and become something of an adult myself. And its for the best I'm sure, but some days I miss the yelling and the cheap wine and the self-rolled cigarettes (real smokes don't help the bills) and Dexter the chiwawa and the Michigan blanket.