Long ago, I rented a townhouse close to the happening area of the city. This year of my life is what I refer to as “The Good Ol’ Days.” High school years were not the best years of my life. I don’t know why anyone would say that, ever. College was the opposite of high school, and for me, it certainly beat the pants off high school ten ways to Sunday. Nothing in my youth was better than The Good Ol’ Days of Townhouse Life.
Initially, I took the apartment with my friend Tori, and her toddler daughter. This period of my life is known as my first marriage. No, we weren’t a couple. We’ll talk about that first marriage some other time. She made amends with her husband, and left me just before summer, but not without leaving me her cookware. I spent the summer alone, until HME came to Indy to do her internship. My friend Mick came then, too, because he wanted to go to back to school, but he didn’t want to live at home. By Thanksgiving, he was off to the Marine Corps, leaving me his kitten and Ye Old Barn Jacket. Just before Christmas, as I was about to lose HME to marriage, I got a new roommate, Ms. Keith, who also left to get married before my lease was done. (But not before buying me a dozen stainless steel mixing bowls.) Drew only lived two buildings away from me.
In the townhouse time, we were all so young and free, with minimal responsibilities. Also? Minimal furniture. Secondhand bits, makeshift sorts. We shared books, music, clothes, and friends. We partied pretty hard, how young people do. The influx of guests was constant. More events and stories took place in that one year than did any other year of my life. HME says those days are also her good ol’ days.
Even then, I was the structure, the launch pad, you could say. Rent included utilities, dinner, and for an additional cost, laundry. I was a terrible housemarm who insisted on tidiness, and said things like, “Don’t call any 1-900 numbers!”
Although weekends were fend-for-yourself days, I served brunch every Sunday at noon, wherein I wore the same holey gray sweatpants (belonging to my middle school boyfriend, no lie) served the same cheesy egg bread while playing the same Tori Amos tracks. Despite the obvious similarities, no two brunches were alike.
(Coming in at a close second, cold beer and cigarettes on the back patio after work.) *nods*
Mick’s mom would supply him with groceries here and there; meats mostly, because I didn’t buy meat, since I didn’t eat meat.
One day, he stopped me at the door, shoved a fruit in my face, and said, “You gotta try this!”
“Oh my God, so gooood!”
“What is it?”
“I dunno! My mother brought them.”
“It’s like a giant apple, made of honey!”
We shared the rest of that one, and ate another. Apiece.
They’re Asian pears, apple pears, Chinese pears, Nashi pears, depending on your region and where you shop. They cost a dollar or two a pear. They are cheapest in winter, and in my opinion, are best eaten off the knife, with a towel in your lap and a chunk of cheese at your side. They are also best eaten alone, or your children will come at you like little birds.
One Asian pear provides 39% of your daily fiber intake. Which is good if you like cheesy egg bread. People from those days randomly ask me how I made the cheesy egg bread? and will I make the cheesy egg bread? They are pleased to find that it’s easy. I apologize for not being a cook who uses measurements in recipes, but I can still give clear instructions.
I incorporated items from Townhouse Time into my permanent life: the roommates are still my friends, of course — but also Tori’s cookware, Ms. Keith’s gift of mixing bowls, Mick’s barn jacket, the Asian pears…
I’d like to bring back brunch, but I still make cheesy egg bread now and again, and I’ll never give up Tori Amos.
I wish I’d kept those holey gray sweat pants. I don’t care if they became “obscene.” Pshaw!
What were your Good Ol’ days? Did you keep tangible memories? And are there any recipes?