Saturday, August 22, 2015

Queens County Revisited: The 1970's (36)

The basement apartment I shared with Barry in the 1970's obtained very little sunlight from its small basement windows, was sparsely furnished, and contained a small bedroom where Barry slept, a small living room-turned bedroom where I put my mattress on the floor and slept, and a small kitchen/dinette where Barry and I, individually, ate. The small kitchen/dinette also functioned as a living room in which Barry would either spend his weekday evenings after work either watching tv shows on his portable tv set or playing Neil Diamond or Elton John vinyl record albums on his portable stereo. In addition, the basement apartment included a small bathroom/shower adjacent to a small closet in which Barry stored a big pile of all the back issues of Playboy magazine that he had purchased during the late 1960's and 1970's.

After I soon realized that Barry was more into spending his weekday evenings and his weekends, when at home, either watching tv shows or listening to pop and "cock rock" 1970's music that I considered to be apolitical, low-consciousness "schlock," rather than being interested in either playing guitar with me or reading books quietly, I pretty much tried to avoid being in the basement apartment on weekday evenings and weekends, when Barry was most likely to be around, as much as possible.

So instead of coming straight home after each 9-to-5 day of wage enslavement ended at 5 p.m., I would usually either eat a dinner out at some cheap fast food place or cheap restaurant, check out some local college campus scene during the evening, or spend the evening browsing in either the New York Public Library's Midtown Manhattan branch or Donnell Library branch or at the main branch of the Queens Public Library in Jamaica, which was located only a few blocks away from my basement apartment in Jamaica--until these libraries closed at 9 p.m.. And on Saturday and Sunday, I would usually leave the apartment in the morning and take the subway into Manhattan; and not return to the basement apartment until the evening.

Thus, since I was using the basement apartment mainly as a place to sleep, there were some weeks that Barry and I only interacted with each other for only a few hours each day most of the time, after the first few weeks of sharing the basement apartment has passed.