Couch #6 – Nico

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Couch #6 – Nico – June 5th, 2010

I first must apologize for the delay in updating my blog.  I’ll talk more about it later, but I had a bit of a stomach illness and was also sort of out of town and so time and energy was at a premium/mimimum.  I’m back now and will be doing my best to keep up with this everyday.

Couch #6 belongs to Nico.  The couch is relatively new. The prior couch was shredded into pieces by his dog when his dog was around 6 months old and left alone for about 4 – 5 hours. There wasn’t anything to salvage.  He found this couch online.  He went to go see it at a “showroom” in Culver City but was led to a Public Storage space instead.  He looked at some fabric samples, a frame, and a catalog and was told to pick what he wanted.  They were cheap.  He has passed out on it a couple of times watching TV.   The dog is Border  Collie and Rhodesian Ridgeback mix and is now 2 years old.  Nico is in a relationship and lives in a subterranean condo in the style of Laverne and Shirley in West Hollywood, California.  There is no Lenny and Squiggy, however.  Nico is a digital supervisor for a visual effects company.   He used to drink a lot for fun, but now is trying to do things that are less destructive.   He likes sculpting on the computer and art.   Nico was born in Belgium and moved to the United States when he was about 10 years old.  He didn’t know a lick of English when he moved here.  We met at Monday Night Movies at the Burgundy Room.  Nico would bring one of his favorite movies as the bartender, Lauren didn’t want to be tasked with picking the movie.  Nico would show up at 8:30pm with VHS in hand.  On one of these nights, almost exactly 10 years ago, we were introduced by our now mutual friend, Rick O.  One Nico’s current favorite albums is “Brothers” by the Black Keys, but he always enjoys Nick Cave’s “Sugar Sugar”.  One of his favorite movies is “Vampire’s Kiss” with Nicolas Cage, and his favorite food, by far, is Sushi.  He is a night owl.

So on Saturday, June 5th, I picked up my charger for my laptop and headed to West Hollywood for next couch.  My host for the night was running some errands and as I had not had checked my email all day, I wanted to get online and get caught up.  So I made my way to Starbucks.  Specifically, I headed over to the Starbucks at the old Sunset Plaza, currently called 8000 Sunset Strip or something like that.  I discovered that this Starbucks is primarily an outdoor cafe.  There were 2 tables inside and as I needed to recharge, I grab a seat at one of the tables and went to work.  I was quickly able to get into the zone and get some things done.   I had two hours free parking there and the coffee is less than $2, so I decided that I could stay an extra hour, ’til 6pm, if I needed.  But around 5pm I received a call from my host, Nico.  He would be home soon and was hungry and wondered if I could meet him before too long.  Right before he called, I had decided that even though I was around the corner from his place, I wanted to check my mail at my old place in Hollywood.  I told Nico the plan and that I would meet him in an hour.  I efficiently made the run to Hollywood along with a stop at 7-11 for a Lotto ticket and a stop at Rite Aid for some supplies including some Listerine pocket paks and a plastic travel soap dish.   Now I should interrupt here to tell you that Nico’s place was not the destination I was expecting to be at when I woke up that morning.  You see, Nico and his girlfriend have an occasional “game night” at her place and while that had been originally scheduled a couple of weeks earlier, it had been postponed until the night of my couch stay.  As game night took place at the girlfriend’s house, Nico would be spending the night there,  and I was to do the photos and interview there as well.  Who the subject would be was to be determined and changed a few as I tried to convince both his girlfriend and her tenant/friend to join in the project.  Since I would be in their homes, it made more sense, but  as I’ve discovered, some people have privacy concerns and no matter how much they may say that they support what I am doing, they are not going to join in.  This is something that I understand and don’t fight, and as I have had plenty of couches to choose from, I have not had to fight for places to stay.  So,  Nico would be my host for the evening, but it would be at his girlfriend’s place, right?  Wrong.  That morning, I had received a text informing me that the girlfriend was sick, game night was cancelled, and as originally planned, I would be sleeping on his couch, at his place,  in West Hollywood.  Therefore, after running my errands I arrived at this place with my stuff.

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