Monday, July 30, 2007


is once again due.

Yes, four months have come and gone since the last time I sat down with my landlady and handed over rent for the next four months. I signed a rent agreement for one year, and that was one year ago. I’ll have to do that once again. My fear is that the landlady will want to increase my rent. Anyway, I’ve been a great tenant—the best one she has—so I don’t think it will be difficult to persuade her to keep things as they are (stick to the status quo). Nonetheless, I’m still apprehensive that our next meeting might get a little sticky. I’ll let you know.

I’ve been in a real Rent mood lately. I mean, I’ve been listening to the Rent soundtrack a lot lately, and I’ve had a strong desire to watch the film. Unfortunately, I lent my copy to a friend of mine about a month ago, so I didn’t have it handy. Well, I got it back today, and I’m fresh from watching the movie for the umpteenth time. I watched it like five times the first weekend it came out on DVD last year, and I cannot tell you how many times since then. Rent means many different things to many different people. To be fair, some people despise it. The play is in its 12th year on Broadway. I remember first learning about the show in the spring of 1997 when I was at university. One of my housemates went to New York over spring break, saw the show, bought the soundtrack, and that is all we listened to for weeks after he got back. I saw it for the first time in January 1998 with my friends Travis and Jeff in Orlando at the Bob Car theater. To date, think I’ve seen it on stage four or five times. When I finally saw it on Broadway in 2001, I was beside a woman who was watching the show for the 77th time.

If you know me—or simply read my blog every now and again—you know that friendship is something I really value; I put a lot of effort into my relationships with others. Friendship is one of the major themes of Rent, and that is one of its many appeals to me. A line in one of the songs is, ‘Friendship is thicker than blood.’ One of my friends at university, Keri, used to say something like that all the time. She’s always said that when you were so far from home, your friends truly became your family. That’s true, but it is also true that sometimes, your friends become closer and more important to you than your family even when your family is not so far away. We all need unconditional love from someone, and we do not always find that love and acceptance from our families. Who do you turn to when your family rejects you or turns its back? Those friends.

The no day but today theme of Rent really influenced my life during my 20’s, and I’m still trying to hold on to that idea. Just being who I am compounded with the way I was raised makes me an overly-cautious, neurotic person. I’ve really worked hard to ‘let go’ of so much and enjoy each day, and it has made me a happier person. I’ve not reached the point where I can ‘live each moment as my last’. However, that’s what I aspire to.

Forget regret or life is yours to miss.

Give in to love or live in fear.

These are just some of the messages from Rent that inspire and motivate me. Some days I need more inspiration and motivation than others.

Rent, even though it is a work of fiction, rejuvenates my optimism for finding love in this crazy, crazy world. Hopefully I won’t have to go broke, get strung out on heroin, have AIDS or be beaten on the streets to find it. Strip...maybe.


The 27th Comrade said...

Paying promptly put me in a tight spot: she hikes every other price, these days. If you're not as straight-shooting, she'll just keep things as they are, fearing to poke the sleeping dog. :o)

Darlkom said...

You have no idea how much of a Rent head I am. I have seen the DVD countless times and I own the soundtrack though someone is taking a while getting it back to me. I so feel you on all the themes and I felt the same way the first time I saw it. It definitely ranks up there on my list of favourites.

kelly said...

Banange! Rent! I hate paying rent in the huge chunks living in Ug requires I cannot understand why they can't do the once a month thing?? I understand a chunck the first time, but then after that it should be once a month.

And also on rent, I was personally disapointed with the movie, but love the show live and I love the CD!! If you have the CD, not the movie version but the one before it I would love to burn a copy!

Want to do Friday lunch again somewhere cheap!!? I will text you tomorrow, buy some more airtime!

Timothy said...

@ 27th Comrade: I'm meeting her on Saturday. I'll let you know how it goes.

@ Darlkom: You, a Rent head? You've just moved up in the ranks to one of my favorite people in Kampala.

@ Kelly: I just withdrew a massive chunk from my account, and it really makes me sick in the stomach. I'm meeting the landlady tomorrow.

You know, the first time I watched the movie, I was diappointed with some aspects of it, but then it grew on me. It's not easy to adapt a stage show to the big screen, so I learned to accept some of the changes.

Yes, I have the original soundtrack to the Broadway show.