Tuesday, January 13, 2009

840 Valencia (Part 1)

Last march I moved out of the Oakland apartment into a two bedroom San Francisco sublet on Valencia in the Mission district. I was going to take over Chris' room until the end of May while he was away in France doing some movement related studies. He got back in June but was again headed away to teach in El Salvador and a residency out in New York (state), so it made more sense for me to stay until he got back from the second trip, extending the sublet until the end of October.

Concurrently, Chris' roommate Amy was also going to be out of town, working on a Sol LeWitt installation at Mass MoCA until the end of August. Amy found Casey to sublet her room. Since Amy was leaving a month before Chris, I moved into Amy's room in the month of March, the plan being that when Chris left at the beginning of April I would move into Chris' room and Casey would move into Amy's room. In theory I was subletting from Chris and Casey was subletting from Amy, and both Chris and Amy would deal with any subletting issues that came up based on this division.

The trouble, or ambiguity of who is where until when, began when instead of me moving out of Amy's room in April when Chris left and Casey came, I stayed in Amy's room and Casey moved into Chris' room. Though this didn't create any immediate problems for Casey and I, or Chris and Amy, it mucked up the clear cut lines of communication and division of responsibilities.

Originally Amy was due back at the end of August, but having met and fell in love with Nobu out in Massachusets, her plans changed. Instead of coming back immediately, she and Nobu decided to come back to San Francisco and live together. This meant that Amy would be moving out of the Valencia apartment for a number a reasons, the most important being that the apartment was not big enough for three people (Amy, Nobu, and Chris). Thus raising the question: who was going to take Amy's place?

But let's back up a little bit. Casey and I had been living together since April and were getting along just fine. We weren't the best of friends but were both semi-reasonable people, relatively clean, respectful of each other's space, etc. and happy to be in the apartment. At some point early in the summer the possibility was raised that Amy might not be coming back and we talked a little bit about who would stay. Around that same time Chris was in between trips and was around the apartment to pick up some things. He was frustrated at not being able to find what he was looking for through the hubris of Casey's things, and offhandedly, walking down Valencia after lunch, told me that if Amy moved out he would rather live with me than Casey.

A couple days latter, fueled by the idea that if I know what I want I have every right to pursue it (as opposed to passively hoping that things and people will work out in my favor), I mentioned to Casey Chris' remark and the bad blood began to flow.