Friday was a big deal back in the day. Not so much when I was teaching — teaching college and university writing is a 7 day/week job — but when I was living the clerical life as a paralegal at a large Denver law firm, the very one started by Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch’ grandfather. The name was Gorsuch, Kirgis, Campbell, Walker and Grover. Try saying that very fast on the phone with marbles in your mouth.
Friday could mean a dash across the street to a restaurant known as The Broker for all you can eat peel and eat shrimp with my friend Eve, who was a young attorney, her husband, an accountant and his accountant buddies. It involved lots of shrimp, lots of booze and lots of laughing. Then I walked home to my efficiency apartment on Humboldt Street. It was in one of those faux Spanish buildings built in the 70s with lots of faux wrought iron and faux plaster in the hallways, so over-the-top it looked like bat guano.
One Friday afternoon walking home from work, I noticed an apartment building I had always liked had a for rent sign in the window. I went in, talked to the manager, got the apartment. It was more money and more space (it was a one bedroom!) than my efficiency and I had no furniture, but I loved it. My house in Monte Vista is very similar. Still faux Spanish (what is this, a theme?) but less faux, if that makes sense. The building (The Dalton) has a lot of history and is now owned by a company. If you Google “The Dalton, Denver”, you can see my actual apartment. Fancified and so on for these modern times, but…
In that apartment I made a lot of art — paintings and linoleum cuts. I wrote stories, too. I had dinner guests and held a couple of parties, but usually Friday nights were MINE. I loved living there. It felt like a haven of “Martha” in the vast sea of people making money and getting married. I wasn’t doing either. I chronicled one of those Friday nights with my Kodak 35 mm. By the time I was doing linoleum cuts (inspired by those done by Picasso I saw at the National Gallery in DC when I went for the second part of the Foreign Service Test [which I failed]) I had taken apart my bed, rolled up the futon and set it against the wall. Someone had given me a daybed and I converted my bedroom into a studio because I needed the space to lay out the prints to dry.
Says something about priorities, I guess.