Sunday, April 01, 2007

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes Part Two

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes Part Two

Sid Lonesome is moving out of my apartment next week. He had been living in there for almost 18 years. Even though it was my apartment, Sid lived there far longer than me. That is because he flat-out refused to leave, and so I did instead.

If you do the math, Sid's extended stay means that he had known me since I was 16 years old. This is true. I met him at the comic shop. Most of my relationships begin with the phrase, "I met him at the comic-something."

Me and Sid had a very close friendship, but it was always platonic. I sometimes think that had it not been platonic, it would have been easier to end it. With sex as a factor, there can always be the explosiveness of adultery and jealousy to speed the process along if things are stagnant. But me and Sid were tight. Tiiiiiiight.

Sid never cleaned the house. He was an obsessive comic book collector and he never cleaned the house. This meant that dirt, comics, and toys all grew exponentially in the space over the years. But to be fair, he didn't buy the toys. I bought them. For him. I bought all his toys. I liked giving him gifts. I bought him an entire set of Sideshow Toys James Bond dolls. They looked very awesome posed on their stands, pistols at the ready. I bought him Pussy Galore, too, but he chose to keep her in the box because he didn't want to get cat hair on her shirt.

Sid never cleaned the house. He was never mean about it. He just wouldn't do it. So I split my time between cleaning it myself and nagging him to help me.

When I was 20, I asked Sid to move out. I was in college and I wanted my own life. I tried to bring boyfriends over the apartment, but it was just too weird with Sid there. Even though me and Sid weren't romantically involved, he was passively jealous of my suitors. By passively jealous I mean like when Felix Unger would honk and moan and say "don't mind me, I'm just going to stick my head in the oven."

I was always afraid that Sid was going to die, either by killing himself because I was gone, or from neglect of his own health. I realize now that he fed into this fear, and that it was all a passive-aggressive cluster-f**k.

I can hear Sid now, as I write this. He is coughing and hacking away. He just took up chain-smoking again two months ago.

"I quit!" Sid says to me. "I quit three days ago!"

He is always quitting three days ago. And then I always find him in the middle of the night smoking by a crack in the kitchen window, flicking ashes into a coffee cup. And look, I got no big beef about smoking but when you're 50 years old like he is and diabetic and all these other medical problems, smoking isn't the way to go.

Yes, you heard me, he is 50 years old.

When I was 24, out of desperation, I packed my things and left him in my apartment. When I came back four years later, he still hadn't cleaned anything. I mean, ANYTHING. It was like something out of the movie "Seven."

But I thought I could fix things (and rent-control is an alluring mistress) and so I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

Two years later, I moved out again.

Last summer I moved back for the final time. I told Sid that the apartment was under my name, that I needed to save money because of my hospital bills, and that I was giving him 3 or 4 months to move out. That date stretched out until this April, but he's finally moving.

I would say Sid has about 10,000 comics to move, and then another 2-3 thousand books & magazines. My intense desire to see these things gone is indescribable. My intense desire to see life move is indescribable. I mean, this has been going on so long that I am just in shock that it's finally happening.

But also, despite of everything, Sid is my friend. I worry that he won't be able to properly take care of himself -- that he won't get out from the avalanche of comics and medical problems and depression -- but I keep telling myself it is not my problem anymore.

And I don't blame comics for any of this. Comic books get a bad rap for being the oasis of the dysfunctional, but that's not what it's about. In the end, comics gave Sid tremendous happiness. In the end, comics brought me and Sid together, and we had some wonderful times.

In the end, there is no blame. There is just life.

I bought him dinner & gave him a Galactus T-shirt as a going-away present.


Sid says he can't take the toys, because he has no room in his new apartment. He asks if I can hold on to them for him, and I say ok. I had bought him this really sweet Hellboy doll that's going on my desk for sure.

And I'm finally getting this Pussy Galore doll out of the box.


  1. Anonymous4:56 PM

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  2. Anonymous4:56 PM

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  3. toys are to be played with, not collecting dust in a box!