Places I Have Lived: Hampton Ridge Dr, Rockford, IL

January 1999 – August 1999

The apartment at Hampton Ridge wasn’t really mine. My name wasn’t on the lease, and I never received mail there. I don’t remember if I paid any rent, and if that’s the case, I probably owe the guys money. I stayed in the apartment on and off during the fall semester of my sophomore year at RC, but started staying there full time when my boyfriend and I got back together after Christmas.

We shared a very messy room in the ground floor apartment, clothes and magazines overflowing from the closet and the storage drawers under our waterbed. I was in charge of the newsstand at Barnes & Noble, so I brought home giant stacks of back issues, the covers removed. The guys both worked nights, and I got used to a semi-nocturnal schedule, getting up in the morning only when work (and, less frequently, class) required it. The upstairs neighbors’ kids seemed to never sleep, as someone was always running laps around the apartment or dropping things off their balcony onto our patio – yet we were always the scapegoat for noise complaints.

It’s really kind of amazing to me how little I remember about our life in this apartment. Other than the Thanksgiving dinner that we hosted for my boyfriend’s family, I don’t recall cooking in this apartment. I know that we had a mouse once, and that it died an ignoble death behind a cabinet. There was a pool and a fitness center, but I wasn’t able to use either on my own since I wasn’t technically a resident. We moved out at the end of the summer, shoving many of our possessions into the dumpster immediately behind the building, including the couch that Joe hefted in and then smashed to pieces.

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