Grin & Bear It
I don’t know why I hated houses so much. Maybe they reminded me of the house I never had, the house I didn’t grow up in. I never met my dad, and mom kicked the bucket when I was three. My grandparents, her folks, took us in. My brother was barely born, an infant. We were raised at Grin & Bear It, a nudist community near San Jacinto, outside of Palm Springs. I know what yer thinking- all those tits and bush. And hairy backs, dangling balls. But I was a kid. I didn’t see people that way.
I’m in San Francisco now, staying in the Mission. Got a friend with a Ford F-150 who lets me sleep in the back. Today we worked on a new house, one of those massive McMansions near Mt. Diablo. I guess its ironic. I build houses, make custom furniture. All these jobs that have to do with homes. And I don’t live in one.
I mean, what’s in a house, anyway? We build these huge shells, eventually filled by people who are rarely home. Instead, they take extended vacations to places like Costa Rica or Fiji, heliski on back bowls of Whistler, scuba in Aruba. I don’t get it!
And don’t get me started on the whole “ownership” aspect. In my book it’s over-rated. My friend Trent with the truck says it’s the American Dream embedded, (micro-chipped was his word) into our culture. I say it’s the American misnomer.
My brother asks me, “But don’t you miss living somewhere, like a neighborhood? With neighbors and all?”
I say, “Are you crazy?” Most folks I know hate their neighbors. I work with this dude from New York, lived in one of those high-risers, hundreds of residents crammed into a building. Ten years. Never knew a single one.
Recently I got a P.O. Box so Gran and Gramps won’t worry. They send postcards from Grin & Bear It about once a week. Usually get some resident to scribble some sweet message” “How’s it hanging?” or “Free to be, you and me.” That sort of stuff.
And I got things covered- my membership at the health club on Market Street provides health and cleanliness benefits.
Plus, I don’t have to answer to anyone. Works for me.