Location Prospect Heights
Rent $1400 (rent stabilized)
Square feet 1000
Occupants Rodney Allen Trice (furniture designer); John Bermudez (hair/makeup artist, Creative Hair in Park Slope); Joshua Bermudez (sophomore, John Dewey High School)
Sorry I’m so early. I thought I’d go eat on Washington Avenue at Soul Food with the pink awning and porgy bread but it was closing early for the holidays. Every place was. So I killed time in Key Foods browsing through the sardines. A man with pointed Fluevog shoes was getting a box of brown sugar. [John] Rodney isn’t home yet. Joshua and his friends are in his room.
To clarify, the three of you just moved here and one of you is the father. Me.
Why is everybody playing Candyland? So mid-century. [Davette, Joshua’s girlfriend] We’re just bored. [Joshua] Candyland was Rod’s. I’m going to build a table for my DJ equipment out of old lockers at Rod’s studio in DUMBO. I like DJ’ing. It’s more old school. The whole hip-hop thing, is from behind. Here are my comic books, they’re old school, Aquaman.
The enemy says, “YOU STOLE MY TELEPATHIC POWERS, MARAUDER [De Kwan] Rod’s mother’s coming over tonight. [Eminem singing] “Come here, big boy, let’s get acquainted.” [Davette] Dah dah dah.
I’m going in the kitchen to talk to John and his cousin. [John] I have two other kids who live with their grandmother. I got married at 21. It became miserable.
I heard that you met Rodney at the Prospect Park YMCA four and a half years ago. You discussed spoon watches and then—this sounds like a soap opera where they recap what happened. We went out on a couple of dates and it worked out. I started staying with him more. Joshua moved in with us almost a year ago. He said, “Living with you guys would inspire me to do better.” Rodney was touched by that. Joshua’s a sweet talker. Rod and the children have a very good relationship. Joshua’s friend Matthew’s been staying with us, too. We moved here a month ago. This lady, the building manager, I do her hair, she’d been telling me about this building a long time. [Phone rings] [John] “Oh, my god. Oh, my god.”
I’m scared. You sound like it’s September 11. [John] Oh, those clients.
Someone needs highlights in the middle of the night.
I’ve got to go to my godmother’s to pick up some pots. We’re having 22 for Thanksgiving.
[John leaves. The kids leave. I sit alone in the living room staring at the blue light spots from the disco ball thinking about life and what it all means.] Rodney, you’ve arrived! Finally! I was talking to John in the kitchen. He’s such a cook. Did he offer you something to eat?
Just a banana. I just realized that you lived in Park Slope for 12 years. That’s a long time and you just moved here with everybody a month ago. Are you in shock? A little. I wouldn’t have moved except that other place was just two rooms. You knew everyone was in the space, all the time. Then Park Slope—I wouldn’t compare it to surburbia, but you do get that comfort thing of what’s on HBO, let’s order in. That numb brain creeps in. In this neighborhhood, there’s definitely not as much distraction. So we’re all doing our work. I had us all sit down when we moved and I said this was the time to get on with things—Josh and his DJ’ing, me going to my studio more, John wanting to get more into film.
Let’s look at your furniture designs— oh, the Johnny Walker, it’s a real walker with wheels and a tray for the liquor, how funny! And a lamp made out of a hair dryer. The rocking chair has big automobile tires. John said, “He’s very talented.”