12 months ago, I told my parents I was going to take the year off from school. I told them I needed to see the world. The whole thing was a long time coming, the final step in a drawn-out process that I just had to sack up and send. All the clever, pseudo-vagabond bullshit I had running around in my head eventually led me here, to Revelstoke B.C. Now I live greasy with some of the coolest cats I've ever shared a chairlift with, and get paid to write about it. This Is Where We Live is a window onto my world.

Part 1: December 30, 2015. Our House.

We live in a split level, 2-bedroom place in Columbia Gardens, a notoriously grungy apartment complex across the highway from downtown Revelstoke. As of tomorrow, there will be five of us living in the unit. This morning, when I went back to the Gardens to get something I had forgotten, and I knocked on the door because I had also forgotten my keys, the Australian girl who answered was not one of my roommates. Nor was the guy sleeping in my bed. I said sorry for having woken him and he told me it was cool, he had to get up for work, like, now anyway.

Back downstairs I had to step around tracks of gritty water left by somebody's boots. The other day, after finishing an overnight shift shovelling snow in town, a roommate arrived home and took off his snow-covered boots in the entryway and collapsed onto the couch. When I got back from the hill that afternoon, the boots were exactly as they had been, and Callum was still asleep on the couch. A puddle flowed from the boots to the edge of the carpet in the living room, but we were not fazed because errant meltwater is a staple of our household.

This is another time Callum fell asleep

On the counter was a single Smirnoff Ice bottle, empty. Before the holidays, we got $25 back for two weeks worth of cans and bottles. For wall decor, we have a pilsner flag and a pilsner poster and a hockey jersey from the junior team in town. Pilsner cubes appear in the fridge and disappear again overnight, empties scattered around the house. There is a drawer in there (the fridge) dedicated to cheese, and two different 18-packs of eggs and not very many vegetables. Last night Callum asked what happened to the new box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

This is us in the streets

When I got home this evening, I took a photo of the mould on the ceiling in the bathroom, for reference, in case I need to bring it up with the landlord. There's a hole in the door that was there when we got here, and the sound of sliding doors slamming all the way down this section of the Gardens can be heard at any hour of the night; our TV stand is a milk crate and yet, it all feels homey in a strange, grimy way. The mould and the couch-crashers and the baked-on cheese in the oven make it feel like we’re living the life. Tomorrow, when we go skiing again, Callum will pull the Land Cruiser up onto the lawn so we can load it, and one of us will slide the piece of wood into place to lock the door, and then when we get home the gang will come over and maybe we’ll go to the pool. The next day, the process will replicate itself. It really feels like we’re living the life.


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