June 1, 2007, Lisa and I have just unlocked my apartment for the very first time. We'd speculated intensely already as to whether the previous tenants would have been able to get all of their belongings and miscellaneous junk out of the apartment in time. The night in April when we'd come to view the apartment, neither of us missed the stack of newspapers piled as high as my head behind the kitchen door.
We take an investigatory go through new space opening and closing drawers, peeking into closets. I looked inside the medicine cabinet hopefully. We both secretly want to find something really nasty so we'll have a good story to tell later. We found the nasty, when we started to clean. Lisa cleaned the the stovetop with a screwdriver, scraping and peeling the grease off in thin curls, or forcing it off in chunks, her hair literally getting stuck to the range hood as she worked. And yes, to this day, and probably forever, we love telling the story of The Cleaning of the Kitchen. Especially Lisa, who lived the horror, while I painted.
But for now, we don't find much in terms of abandoned objects. The single object left behind turns out to be a tiny paper crane suspended from a thread in the bedroom window. We take this to be a good omen and I still have the crane. Then, someone, probably Lisa peers into the freezer and here is the discovery we've been hoping for.
I have to paraphrase, as I can't remember exactly who spoke the words, but I can guarantee it went like this:
– What the hell? This bag is full of fish!!
– Umm, what the FUCK?!
Yes, a bag full of fish. In fact, a bag full of other bags of fish. Two bags of pollock and a bag of sardines, to be exact.
I do remember, clearly, the next part. It was Lisa saying, "HOW ri-DIC-u-lous! They managed to get all of that garbage out of here and they leave a bag … OF FISH?!" I wish I could describe in even a half adequate way, how Lisa moves her hands when she speaks and her laugh and the way her curls float around her head, punctuating her words as expressively as any hand gesture. "I mean … REALLY!"
I forgot to throw it out. I am awesome.