In the summer of '89, I had just graduated from high school and was now an adult. My stepdad was so fuckin' eager to get me out of the house that (after my mom found an apartment for me), he actually paid for all my living expenses there. It wasn't an easy thing getting adjusted to living on my own. I wasn't very social in high school, so didn't really have any friends to lean on. All I really had was my dad and siblings, my mom and stepdad, and my grandma.
I lived in an efficiency apartment that faced Winona's mighty bluffs and Lake Winona. I was in apartment number 9 (the same number of one of my favorite football players from the early 80's, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tommy Kramer). My bed was a foldout, but I never did (I always just took the cushions off of it in the evening and slept on the couch half of it).
My typical daily routine that summer was to get up around 9am, watch a couple shows on telly (like "Archie Bunker's Place"), take a shower, and then head out to look for a job. I wasn't looking too hard for some reason. *shrugs shoulders* I did go to a lot of movies that summer, including the first R-rated movies I ever went to by myself ("Pet Semetary" and Stallone's "Lock-Up).
My mom expressed to me later that summer that it wasn't her intention for me to move out so abruptly and that she was a tad PO'd that her husband (my stepdad) had accelerated it so much (not to worry, she broke up with him a few years later ...hahahahaahahahahahahaha. He and I did make up a few years later).
This lady from Job Services would call me every few days letting me know about new jobs that were available for fresh meat like me. After several refusals, she asked me what kind of job I was looking for. I didn't know...forest ranger, maybe. Something that would give me time to comtemplate the greatest mystery of all....women (I was still a virgin at this time). I applied for a job with the local newspaper (located just a few blocks from my residence). I heard back from them as summer was coming to a close. It was an overnight job in their "distribution" center. It basically consisted of putting flyers into the newspaper, was about 30 hours a week, and paid about 5.75 an hour!!! Nice!!!
Needless to say, I quickly accepted the job, but was a bit sad that my freeloading days were over (I could now relate to people who enjoyed living on welfare, but found that they couldn't do so forever). I worked with some quite interesting people at the Daily News. There were two red-haired college boys that were twins (I called them the Tartleton twins in a reference to "Gone With the Wind", a movie I had seen for the first time a few months prior). There was this scuzzy old dude named Frank, a vertically-challenged guy named Luke, and a long haired guy that most of us suspected was gay (when the Aerosmith hit, "Dude Looks Like a Lady" was on the work radio one evening, Luke looked at me and then looked at him chanting the song's title. I laughed...a little bit).
Handling all those newspapers turned my fingers drier than Hillary Clinton's most boring speech on health insurance. 18 years later, when putting hand lotion on, I still pay special attention to my fingertips. Probably will til the day I die, well, if I die, that is (subtle Jehovah's Witness nod).
It was always something going in there at 7pm on a Friday and knowing I wasn't getting out until 5 or 6 the next morning. But, shit, I didn't have a social life anyway, so it didn't matter. I started my first college classes at Winona State that fall, Psychology and American History (no, it wasn't a full slate. I wanted to ease my way into matriculation). To give you a better idea of my state of mind at that time, my favorite foods were Totino's Pizza, Nutty Bars, and Hi-C Grape.
It was while I was living in this apartment that I was first introduced to a show that many others would not jump the bandwagon onto until many years later, "Seinfeld". I loved how it wasn't a conventional crap-com. I was also a huge fan of David Letterman's NBC show and laughed the hardest during this time of my life when I was watching his show.
I longed for a relationship, but didn't know how to proceed. The following spring, the newspaper job was starting to get to me, so I looked in earnest for another place to bide my time. It wouldn't be long before I found it...and it would be much worse than the newspaper job ever was.