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Thursday, June 7, 2012

6-07-12 Survival Jobs for Writer-Musicians – Starter Job #117 (Reasons to leave England: One, Two, Three!)


(Well, after doing six weeks of blogging about my crazy big brother Tom -- may be rest in peace, and I’ll be working on finishing a book-length version of that story, with his writings interspersed -- I said I’d return to the original blog’s purpose: my survival jobs through the years.  Along the way, many other interesting things happened. . . like living in NYC, being part of the CBGB music scene, moving to England, visiting Paris, etc.  It’s been QUITE the life -- and it’s not even half over yet!)

. . . As much as I wanted to stay in London, I didn’t really know why I was there other than sheer mulishness and an inability to admit perhaps I was misguided and it was time to move on. . . . but nothing was clicking monetarily, creatively, or romantically.  It was probably time for a change -- albeit an only begrudgingly accepted change, one taken whilst I was being figuratively dragged kicking and screaming.

An air letter came one day to my basement flat at 87 Earl’s Court Road from my Soho, NY apartment’s subletter, Diana (remember, this was in the days before cheap overseas phone calls and emailing).  She was a music scene fringe-hanger, the ex girlfriend of a guitar player I knew from one of the many CBGB’s bands.  Diana made good money being a court stenographer, but she also had an artistic side and wanted to open a little bakery.  She had a kitty cat so I knew she wouldn’t mind my little terror-kitty, Clawdette, who she was kind enough to “foster” while I was gone. 

The letter was dated September 22, the day after my sister, Carrie’s, birthday.  “Lauren,” she wrote, “How are things there?  Hope you’re having a good time.  I heard from my sister in Fresno (California), and she says there’s an opportunity here for me and her to open our own little bake shop and tea room.  So, I’m moving to California!  I’ll be needing to move out of your apartment November 1st, so please let me know what you’d like to do about our sublet arrangement.  Sincerely, Diane   P.S. - As I’ve been feeding your cat these past 16 months, I’d like to take her with me.  Or you can reimburse me for her food. . .”


 (I tell you, that Claw-dette was NO Captain Kitty, nosiree!)

Damn!  Not only was I losing a reliable subletter from a thousand miles away, I was losing my kitty cat!!  What terrible luck.  Well, that Claw-dette never was a very nice cat; she scowled at me from the highest bookshelves in the apartment and batted off all sorts of breakable things with her paw.  This all the while I’d yell at her, “NO!  No, Clawdette, bad kitty, don’t do it!”  I was pretty broke, too, and couldn’t really pay for 18 months worth of kitty food.  So, I had to let that little calico cat go to California.

Around this same time, two other coincidences occurred to me in London: 1. My visa extension was denied, and I was told I’d have to leave the U.K. by October 31, and 2. My Earl’s Court Road landlord had just sold the building and was buying out the tenants.  Although the offer wasn’t good money by a long shot (maybe like $250?), it was something for nothing, basically.  I’d take it.

I mean, I had to move, anyway, return to NY, reclaim my little Soho apartment, see if my former boyfriend still loved me, see if I could still make music and write songs and, well, continue being my creative -- albeit older and wiser -- self.


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