DC group house living is a very small world
So way back in the day – a decade ago easy, I lived at 1640 Hobart Street NW for three fun-filled years. Years and housemates I remember fondly, from drunk-typing on the front porch, using a real manual typewriter, to wild nights of hard drinking with glasses thrown into the fire, to amorous moments on our roof, getting busy where the whole world could see. Yeah, 1640 was a trip.
As I left for my own trip, what started as a two-year stint with the Peace Corps and became a four-year walkabout, I bid goodbye to the cool kids in 1640 Hobart and didn’t expect to see many of them again. I did meet up with Danny at her family’s home in London for a weekend, I talked on the phone with Louisa, and I had an email exchange with Billy Wimsatt.
When I returned to DC, I went by the house and Martin Thomas was still living there, five years after I got him into the place. By then, he was a DC Statehood big-wig and was causing a mighty ruckus in the DC political scene as well as throwing parties that made a ruckus in the neighbourhood. As we were more politically divergent as ever, I bid him farewell and put 1640 Hobart Street NW out of my mind.
That was until last night. Drinking heavily at a house party at 11th and Park Road NW, who do I hear is the owner of the property but the same Martin Thomas. Shocked at his transfer to the bourgeoisie, I could only stutter something about him changing his stripes and going capitalist.
Then I hear a mighty “Wayan!” and realize that sharing the porch with me is Andrew, another 1640 housemate. We laugh, hug and start trading Russia stories non-stop. As we do, I realize the whole porch has a 1640 connection – a decade of people and parties that passed while I was off in foreign lands and other DC neighbourhoods.
For the next two hours I had great homesickness for 1640 Hobart and all the love I felt there. Then, walking home to my very cool, very clean, very private apartment I slowly lost all that homesickness. I’m no longer 24 and five housemates – that’s too much for me, now.