RULES OF THE LOFT I WAS JUST KICKED OUT OF

1) Do your dishes before bed and store your food in sealed containers unless it's fruit or vegetables that aren't perishable, like potatoes and apples. Don't leave boxes or bags of pasta open; put them in sealed bags or containers. Keep the floor swept in the kitchen, particularly after you cook, because food crumbs build up around there.

I slept most of the day, daydreaming that I was a lost student standing at the back of a dying professor's class. When I woke up I realized I had been listening to Henry Miller's audio recordings.

2) Don't leave food or dirty dishes in your room, otherwise, you'll wake up to cockroaches in your bed.

I worked all day with Jamye. We had a cigarette together in the hallway and she told me about her 1-year love affair with a Quebecois guy who already had a girlfriend. She invited me to a sex party but I wasn't that into it.

3) Never run out of bathroom tissue.

I tried two payphones before I found one that worked. Jenny was bemused but not angry. I bought a coffee and smoked a cigarette and decided to try the car one more time. Of course it started. I wedged it into a tight spot in the alley, took the bus to Neergard Pharmacy, picked up my Prozac, and walked home.

4) Keep any items that you have agreed to inherit from your former loftmates.

In the evening I swung by Drop Off Service and wasted my time trying to be cool around rich people.

5) Use the main doors or the fire escapes in the rooms currently belonging to Rachel and Ian.

>> are u okay? there is a disturbance in the force and i am worried in prayer for i know not what. love mom

I texted her back that I was fine and that she was probably just nervous.

>> it is probably something here at work. someone somewhere needs prayer. love u and am glad tis not u

6) Deposit your rent in cash.

I told Carole I had a cold, and she immediately gave me echinacea, ginger tea, and some kind of Swedish energy pill.

7) Put short things on short shelves and tall things on tall shelves. Try to stack shorter things so that they take up as much of the vertical space as possible on a short shelf.

I travelled back home, trying to beat back the depression and listening to The Kingsbury Manx. I ate some General Tso's chicken and watched The Dog Whisperer for the first time.

8) Label everything that is yours.

Slowly and inevitably, I felt myself drifting backwards into myself, into nothingness.

9) Remove food from paper and plastic bags and label it. Take inventory of leftover take out or home cooked food that is yours.

At Sarah and Todd's apartment, I smoked weed, drank champagne punch and vodka, and ate half a cupcake. I talked to Kevin about music, to Chris about Central America, to Josh Axelrad about suffering, to Daniel about westerns, to Todd and Sarah about Daniel Johnston, to Josh Polenberg about vodka, to Catherine about event planning, to Lisa about Michigan, to Laura about champagne and poetry.

10) Transfer your leftovers to one of the many storage containers that we have on the shelves. Initial the container, too, so you know it's yours. If there's already an initial on it, then cross it out, or use a container that already has your initial on it.

I was walking home when my dad called; he had seen the show Sex And The City for the first time and thought its insights into relationships were profound.

11) Wipe down the shelves with soapy warm water.

On the train I saw a black guy with freckles and a strange scar on his hairline preaching. I stared at him, and slowly worked my way toward him down the car as he yelled about Jehovah's Witnesses and Catholics. When he was about to leave I touched his arm and told him he needed medicine.

12) Cover everything. Don't leave things open.

There's something sad and beautiful in the air. The night is rainy and cold outside. Yiram is blowing the sax next door. Carrie texted me to tell me she made it home through the rain.

13) Clean the other bathroom.

I walked into Larry Lawrence and gave Jake a tiny comic zine for his birthday. I had a cranberry juice, and when people started to show up I hung out with Jill and Becca and Jenna. Becca tried to sell me on the idea of online dating and I asked her to take my Online Dating Profile Picture.

14) Try and dry up any puddles you leave in the aftermath of your shower.

I poured a couple glasses of Zubrowka and tried to crack the shell of a curly-haired girl named Maria who was sleeping on Laurent's couch. I wasn't sure, but it seemed like she might have been wearing an engagement ring.

15) Clean up your hairs, wipe down the toilet seat and anything that may have dripped on the floor after you've used it.

The day was cold and dark and grey. I switched to Black Heart Procession. I was alone in the empty streets of Williamsburg and I looked down a row of houses and felt at peace.

16) Label your things and package them efficiently.

Joy was tending bar, and they had a new kind of hot sauce called Tork. Rob showed up, we both had shots of bourbon, and I hiccuped because the Tork was so hot.

17) Wipe the stove down when you're done. Wipe the counters down, too.

The true meaning of Christmas is flossing every day.

18) Wipe the table down when you're done so the next person doesn't sit down next to an ashtray, crumbs or sticky table crap.

Dave had fascinating things to say about plastics. Apparently there are seven kinds of recyclable plastics, and no one can categorize the plastics in the seventh category, which include such products as Paper Foam.

19) Have a look by the elevator and see if there's any trash that needs to go down.

First we went bowling, where we had lots of vodka cranberries and ran into Dave, my downstairs neighbor. Then we went to Commonwealth, where Matt joined up with us. At this point I was already drunk. Then we had a slice of pizza. Then we went to the huge game room downstairs, where Matt and William played table tennis and I watched and got drunker. Then we went to Freddy's and I was truly hurting. Then I walked from Flatbush all the way back home because I didn't have any money.

20) Be cautious about leaving your windows cracked when you're gone and also be selective about things that you place on the windowsill or near the windows that you absolutely cannot bear to run the risk of getting damp or sometimes flat out wet.

There was a garage band in front of Bar Reis with a female singer who could really holler. I found a cozy corner inside and drank a Tecate with a lime and watched bowling on ESPN. An old man named Sim was competing against younger, flashier bowlers. I recognized his right-down-the-middle style, it's the one I use because of my bad arm. In the end he won $150,000.

21) Don't leave food garbage in your room for more that a few hours. Don't leave old food containers in your trash can in your room for more than a couple hours. Don't leave sweaty laundry or wet towels sitting around to mildew and stink.

I sat in Ilana's office trying to understand what it was she wanted me to do on her Avid. At one point she came in, tried to show me where something was, and then put her forehead on the desk in front of the keyboard. She moaned that the intern she just interviewed looked like the fiancée she broke up with 13 years ago. I reached out my hand and stroked her back.

22) Don't leave anything on the loading dock because the landlord rides me about it and gets mad.

I went over to Dave's. He didn't have any pot so I drank a couple glasses of whiskey and a tallboy. Kevin played accordion and I played guitar and Dave refused to do anything, complaining of stomach cramps.

23) Don't sell "pot candy" to minors.

Just after midnight the computer stopped sending video to the monitor. I called Orbit and a Latino woman took a message for me. So, You Have A HHHavid Question? She asked. No, It's An Avid Question, I insisted.

24) Don't freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases the dioxins from the plastics. No plastic containers in microwave. No water bottles in freezer. No plastic wrap in microwave.

Early in the morning, I tossed and turned with the most horrific stomach cramps. Finally I got up and spewed what seemed like 2 or 3 pounds of jerk chicken into the toilet.

25) Open the door and go into the hallway and close the door just enough at least to keep the loft out of sight from the delivery people. Do your transaction and then let them leave and walk back in.

Carrying my white balloon, I proceeded to Tommy's Tavern with William to see his friend's grindcore band. A skinny punk rock girl whipped out a sharpie and decorated my balloon with an angry face, and I punched it so it flew above the band.

26) Take time to wash your hands frequently. When you finish in the bathroom, take a few moments to wipe down the toilet or the sink or the bathroom floor before you leave and get rid of the hairs and other grime. Encourage guests to follow these guidelines, too.

I decided to unfold my large poster of vengeful Indians. I was looking at the eyes panel and the gun panel when I noticed Poker and Jen standing behind me, staring over my shoulder.

27) Please confirm who they are and then clear it with the person that they say they are here to visit. Simply ask who they are and who they're here to see. If they say my name, then please tell them "just a moment" and then tell me and I'll deal with admitting them. If I'm not here, simply say that I'm not home. If I am here, get me and I'll take over from there.

It took me a long time to get back to Park Slope, where I had dinner at the Brooklyn Burger Bar. My brother showed up and mumbled at me over beers as I tried not to pass out. We both walked across the street and looked through the telescopes of some stargazers on 7th Ave. and 9th St. I saw Jupiter and Saturn for the first time.

 

- Lem Huntington