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Quarterly Writing Theme Winner: Inhabiting – The Bench in Apartments

“‘We’ll just write and be artists,’ we said over a jug of cheap wine.”

Inhabiting – The Bench in Apartments

By Two Girls on a Bench (Siana-Lea Gildard & Patricia Marsac)

We are often known for sitting on benches.  But when it comes to inhabiting, we have actually lived in quite a few places.  When we were first welcomed into adulthood (the day after we graduated from college) we moved into a motor home.  It was parked in our friend’s parent’s driveway.  We had no apartment lined up, no real jobs lined up, so this was our big plan, to move into our friend’s parent’s motor home.  Yes, we had humanities degrees – planning is not in the DNA of those with English and Theatre majors.

TRICIA: We aren’t that bad at planning, at least we had the motor home.

SIANA: A motor home is not a plan, an apartment and a job would have been a plan.

The best part of inhabiting this motor home was the adventure.  We felt so cool, so bohemian, we were just “crashing” somewhere until we figured things out.  Sure, the motor home was musty and the plumbing didn’t work and we had to go in the house to shower, but we got so much street cred.  Not sure who gave us the street cred, guess it was all in our minds, but we felt kinda cool.  We laughed about it a lot, mostly because we didn’t allow ourselves to be nervous about the idea that we didn’t have a frickin’ clue what we were going to do with our lives.  “We’ll just write and be artists,” we said over a jug of cheap wine.  But then our friend’s parents started asking when we’d be moving on and we really did miss running water, so we took all the checks we got as graduation presents and put them together for a deposit on an apartment.

Our first real apartment was in a sketchy area where we lived next store to a drug dealer.  We aren’t exaggerating, Tricia went to pick him up from jail one day because his pregnant fiancé needed a ride.  We really loved that place, it was a few blocks from the beach and had huge bedrooms and we wrote and painted all the time.  Sure, our window was broken by someone throwing a bottle through it one night.  Sure, Siana’s crappy ass car was broken into and nothing was taken because there was nothing to take.  Sure, Tricia felt it necessary to walk down the street carrying her Econo Club to protect herself rather than to protect her car late at night.  But that place was a gem.

After six months of living the life in that apartment, we  needed to move closer to the jobs we finally got (Tricia lugging things around the theatre, Siana lugging papers around a publishing company) and moved into what we now refer to as the roach motel.  This place sucked, but it was cheap and our reflexes became lightning fast as we killed roaches left and right with whatever we had in hand; whether it was a paper towel, a frying pan or a shoe.   We chalked this up to life experience and wrote a song for one of our performance art shows about roaches, which received the acclaim of many.  Writing what we knew, that was really living the dream.

SIANA: Yeah, I don’t remember the roach thing being that romantic.

TRICIA: Shut up, that roach song was beloved by all.

Finally, our last apartment together (before we moved in with the men that would later become our husbands) was the best.  We still talk about it with such nostalgia.  We set one of our screenplays in this apartment just so we could spend more time there in our minds.  It was a sort of two story apartment with a great kitchen where we really started learning how to cook and a living room where we really started learning how to drink and party.  We had a neighbor that played the piano, an old man across the courtyard that sat there with a little girl watching the swimming pool and a next store neighbor that became Tricia’s husband.   We had people over a lot; cast parties from the shows we worked on, birthday and fondue parties and random gatherings with strange people showing up that we didn’t know or invite.  But it was all fun.  And we wrote a lot together in that apartment.

TRICIA: I loved that apartment, I miss my bead curtain.

SIANA: Me too, I miss that old papasan chair too.

Now we live in houses just a few miles away from each other.  We thankfully share a 7-11 between our houses that we can frequent to keep our youthful spirits intact.  We’re thinking inhabiting may be more of a state of mind than where you live.  Although we have to admit, we are kind of attached to indoor plumping now.



­­­­­­­­­­­Website: www.2girlsonabench.com

Email: blog@2girlsonabench.com




2 Responses to “Quarterly Writing Theme Winner: Inhabiting – The Bench in Apartments”

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  1. Girl Parker says:

    Love this blog post!! It’s almost exactly how things went with my best friend and I, minus the bailing our neighbor out of jail. We too have a favorite apt that we reminisce over. Ahhhh, the good ole days.

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