I came across the house by a funny coincidence. Zelda and I had made plans to meet each other in Reno. She had gotten to town a couple days before I had and had been sleeping in an empty theatre on the university campus at night.
One day, walking down the street, a girl across the street yelled at her 'hey! where're you from?' That night, she found herself sleeping in the livingroom of the Spacement house. The house was equally welcoming of me when I arrived in town. (I admit it was a nice alternative to that antique store roof on Virginia Street, and its snowstorms that struck at night without warning, that had been my home in that town before.)
Josh Arabella who lived there gave us our introduction to Reno - he loved the town, called himself a 'lifer', and said, 'in my opinion, Nevada is two cities, one good one and one bad one.' As he drove us around to Reno's dumpsters he explained the secret to working a housekeeping job in a casino - 'always check under the mattress, that's where you'll find the things that no one will report missing to the police.'
When I came back to town, they were in the process of moving out. 'I've lived in this house five years, but when you think about it, nothing in the house works; the basement floods, the bathroom's moldy, and front door doesn't even shut. It's just time to move on.'
On one of my last visits to the house, I walked up to see Josh #2 unscrewing the brass numbers from the front door. He was laughing, 'everyone else got the house tattoo, but I don't get tattoos, so I'm gonna take the numbers.'
This drawing taped to the kitchen cabinet summed up the house, the entire city, to me; creative beauty on a trashy canvas.
I still pass the house and can not help but laugh a little when I see the dirty outlines of the spot on the front door where the numbers no longer rest.