I think this was the point where I should have seen the storm clouds gathering. Not with this baffling girl herself, who, in lieu of a clearly defined proposal for salvaging the first floor kept returning to a series of talking points that included “bohemia”, “The Chelsea”, “Life Cafe”, and “Rent” (the co-opted Broadway abomination, not the thing you cough up for your landord monthly, if you’re lucky.) I know they were talking points because at one point I got a glimpse of a small notebook where each of these things were carefully written down in a list.
No, i should have seen the clouds begin to form because it was a housemate, one who had not even inhabited the first floor, who’d brought the young woman around in a tenuous and hazy bid to own it. I’m not sure why this was brought up to the household and not the landlord though, exactly–were they hoping to convince us to go in on it with them? Were they hoping, if they convinced us it was somehow still part and parcel of our collective experience, that they’d get some free labor out of it? Was the fact that, vacate or no, some of us still had our names on legal documents for the Loft Board as residing on that floor, therby making us a key or an obstacle? I have no idea, but I do know that this is the most succinct final word on “Rent” you will ever see: