Blog: Farewell, Old Friend
(originally written 7/30/09)
One thing about life that is set in stone: rarely do things stay just the way they are for the length of time that we would prefer.
Parents often say they wish their little ones could stay "that age" forever, for example.
Unfortunately, another stone-set aspect of life is that tomorrow is 100% unpredictable. About the only thing any one of us can guarantee WILL NOT occur on July 31, 2009: Albert Pujols will NOT be traded, even if world peace depends on it (thanks, Damon Bruce.)
Before you non-hardball fans scatter, this is not a baseball blog. This blog will address a place that, innocuous and prosaic as it appears on its surface, played a major role in restoring my sanity over the past six years.
205 Cosky Drive in Marina, CA.
The home of my partner-in-crime Chicken.
Chicken moved into this place in 2003, under unusual circumstances.
Disliking his roommates, he, I, two other guys and his dad orchestrated a getaway that, if executed properly, would extract Chicken from his unpleasant living situation with his co-habitants none the wiser until after the fact.
You know what they say about the best laid plans.
Anyway, I had no way of knowing at the time that as I helped move my boy into this two-story apartment on the western edge of this small beach town, that it would become my go-to place when a nagging girlfriend, feuding family, bad baseball game or lost job had my spirits lower than Rex Grossman's QB rating.
Prior to Cosky, whenever I needed to get away, I'd venture up to the apartment of two other buds in Sacramento—sometimes staying for days at a time. But when those buds went their separate ways in early 2003, Skillz was without a sanctuary...for all of six months, it turned out!
Chicken and I (plus various other friends who made the voyage) enjoyed a collection of great times down there—most involving liquor and BBQ. Countless Tiger Woods PGA Tour tournaments pitted friends against one another so many times at Cosky Drive, I cannot count. Hence my using the term “countless”.
My infamous "Turn a Pair" video was shot in that living room.
The "Bildlife Sanctuary" Wheel of Fortune puzzle was viewed there.
I spilled a whole bottle of beer all over Chicken's keyboard there.
The drive to Cosky itself leaves lasting memories. To arrive, you exit Highway 1 south at Del Monte Blvd and go left. Go right, and you end up driving directly into a farm. The cement road literally turns into pasture without warning. If you park there, you will have a bovine valet.
Even if you turn properly things are interesting—after sundown, Del Monte Blvd. looks less like a road and more like an avenue into outerspace. Given its elevated stature, on one of Marina's notoriously foggy nights it could double as a ramp to Neptune.
After about a mile, the apartment stands directly on the southwest corner of Cosky and Del Monte, surrounded by grass that I could never bring myself to cut across thanks to my old junior high P.E. teacher—he was so adamant about punishing students who walked on the campus grass that, 15 years later, I am STILL afraid to do so for fear of push-ups or lap-running.
There was the fridge with the door that opened the wrong way, fooling me at least once during every trip I made down there. The carport so tight, I had to wait for Chicken to pull the car out before I could climb in. The ongoing search for one corner of Chicken's bedroom floor, customarily hidden from view by a pile of clothing.
And of course, the hoop courts—the closest ones to the apartment we could find featured placemat-sized backboards, crops growing out of the free-throw line, and nets made not of nylon, or even chain-link; try brass.
Chilling at 205 Cosky may not have been luxurious, but that don't mean it wasn't special. Because it always was, each and every 65-minute voyage.
Then without warning, it was taken away from both me and Chicken.
It was July 10, 2009. The night of Giants pitcher Jon Sanchez' no-hitter.
Chicken's dad, and roommate, suddenly passed away inside that very sanctuary.
And Chicken was the one to find him.
Needless to say, my boy had about as little desire to continue living there as a fish would in a beehive. He promptly made arrangements to desert 205 Cosky for good.
A tribute to Chicken's papa is a whole other blog in and of itself—he was a great guy who deserves more than to be footnoted in THIS one—so for now I will offer tribute to a the plain, cold, two-story structure with little light and no cable hookup that more than once, kept my feet on the ground and prevented me from going postal against society.
When I visited Cosky, I was often depressed, confused, angry and plain DONE.
But whenever I left, I left refreshed and ready to face life's many curveballs.
I hope your new tenants are as good to you as you were to me.
And that they can get that stain off the patio from my '06 hot charcoal spill.
I'll miss you.