Blue, blue, 'lectric blue,
That's the color of my room where I will live,
Pale blinds drawn all day,
Nothing to do, nothing to say...
— David Bowie, 'Sound & Vision', 1977

Living in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

At the end of 1985 I was sleeping in Dover, working and going to school in Durham, and hanging out in Newmarket. Of all those places I liked where I lived the least, so if I was going to spend some time holed up at home I wanted to have that home feel like a positive place to be.

Through an acquaintance at UNH I had gone to a couple of parties in nearby Portsmouth earlier that Autumn. Portsmouth, New Hampshire was a quaint, historic old New England seaport sitting by the Piscataqua River across from Kittery, Maine. As a booming seaport from it's founding in 1630 through the late 1800's Portsmouth shared in the wealth that sea trade brought to New England, but as commerce migrated south to the deepwater harbors of Boston and New York, Portsmouth became a relic of it's past glory.

Market Square
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

I had a core of people living there, and after a few parties had met more. I enjoyed myself in Portsmouth and it had a warm and colorful energy that I felt drawn toward, as well as being a large enough town to have an existence outside the pull of UNH. I knew I needed to find a place where I could dig deeply into myself, and I decided that Portsmouth was the best place in my sphere to do that. It was calm, beautiful, within the intellectual orbit of UNH, immersed in the environment of New England, but still connected to the broader world.

I moved from my room in Dover into the second floor of a two-flat on Middle Street in December, 1985, just after Thanksgiving. I felt a new chapter starting in January, but since I was headed back to New Jersey for Christmas I didn't want to start anything new, so I hung out in a brief limbo with friends, enjoying myself. My recent realization had led to my relaxing my previously unrealistic expectations that I had put onto myself, and I found I felt lighter and more able to enjoy where I was. It was a good omen for what lay ahead.