Four and a Half Years

At about 1 a.m. this morning, I locked the door on my apartment at Kellogg Cove for the last time. 

I moved in to that complex in April 2003.  When I did, I was met by an exceptionally sharp leasing consultant, a quiet community, and a great location near the 54th Street ramps to US-131 — perfect for managing my “Grand Rapids” stuff while cutting my then-daily commute to Kalamazoo.

I remember the early days there, when I wrapped up my undergrad work and began grad study.  I remember the ever-shifting furniture combinations, the late nights online, the joy of cable television, and the freedom of being alone.  Apartment #206 saw me gain, and eventually resign, an editorship; lose 110 lbs.; buy a new car; dip my toes back in the dating pool; lose a family member; find a new sense of purpose.

Over time, the early peacefulness of Kellogg Cove declined.  Our leasing consultant left and was replaced by a woman driven to get the complex to 100 percent occupancy, demographic fitness be damned.  Many a sleepless night were spent in frustration — silent, and not-so-silent — at the ever-shifting loudness eminating from #306 at all hours of the night.  The sense of community declined, too.  You could feel it not just in the complex, but in the local area, which suffered as the stabilizing forces of the middle class moved out after the M-6 “South Beltline” project opened a few years ago.  In fact, the last two years have left me quite unhappy with my accommodations.

Yet despite my frustrations, my last tour through the empty shell of what had been my home for the last 4.5 years did fill me with a bit of melancholy. 

As I walked out to put my keys and parking passes in the receiving slot at the leasing office, I visited my mailbox one more time.  Fill with junk mail, as usual.

I left it there.

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