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easy virtue

Ah, the slutty apartment. This one is cheap and available and a good size. The neighborhood is a little bit skeezy (maybe not as skeezy as the picture here), but I like that. It caters to my sense of myself as a devil of a fellow. And the hood is clearly changing -- there's a new library and a very trendy bar in the next block. I've already met a super friendly -- almost too friendly -- neighbor.

So why not take the place? A few reasons. There's the build-up of years of dirt on the stairs. And the windows that look out onto a blank wall two feet away. And the kitchen. Let me think how to describe the kitchen. How about this?

It's not much of an exaggeration. Would my mom be happy to meet this girl? I was afraid to touch any of the surfaces.

I viewed the place with a trio of art students -- two girls and a guy, early to mid 20s. Cute kids with big smiles and ripped jeans and, yes, lots of tattoos. While I tried to look away from the grime and the mousetraps, and wondered how much time I would have to spend cooking, these kids were over the moon about the place. There's so much space! they said. It's so funky! they said. I looked at them, and I looked at me, and I thought: This is their apartment. They should live here. Maybe they'll be late with the rent and leave their dishes in a pile and attract even more vermin, but they belong here and I don't. So I shook hands with my cheap and easy date, and left her.

Now the only apartment left on my list is the nice one -- polite, clean, open, attractive enough, in an unsurprising part of town. I think I'll give the landlord a nudge. Time to settle in with the right girl. My mom will be so happy!


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