I used to live at Table Mesa and Broadway across the street from the King Soopers that somebody shot up on March 22.
I don’t live in Boulder any longer. I don’t even live in the U.S.A. I don’t even remember the names of the four undergraduate idiots that shared the house with me. I’ve moved around a lot, to different cities, other houses and even a continent.
I never even liked that house at Table Mesa and Broadway, but so much of my life started there.
In 2003, I became a journalism grad student at CU. I quickly learned that my NYU undergrad degree didn’t compare to the other students’ hard work. My jerk roommates picked the rooms first, so I ended up memorizing First Amendment Laws and Associated Press Style in my tiny closet of a room.
Quickly, I found a saving grace: Time Warp Comics. I’m still friendly with the owner today. My whole plan of journalism school was to learn writing and move back to NYC to take the comic book world by storm. That hasn’t happened yet…
However, I did start writing while living across the street from the King Soopers. I started interning at the Colorado Daily in January 2004 and worked my way up to a reporter, then an editor and finally retired — but came back to be a columnist from time to time.
At the Daily, I learned the craft, but also met some of my nearest and dearest friends that I keep in touch with to this day. The Daily team taught me how to write, edit, babysit, make coffee and talk about last night’s bar story without too many gory details. Each month I’d send my grandma a manila envelope full of snippets of my stories and she’d tell me I was the best writer on the planet. That’s addicting.
Also, I learned how addicting cocaine was. Not for me, but for one of my roomies. He had two of Boulder’s dealers on speed dial and would ask his filthy rich parents for money constantly. Every other day he’d say, “Mom, Casey watched Pay-Per-View movies — I need $500.”
The coke dealers and I saw each other so much that we actually became friends and would even hang out at Pearl Street bars. One night we saw a barfight and I muttered, “I could totally kick that guy’s ass.” One dealer looked at me and said, “Yo. My roommate works at Catacombs. Do you want to see if I can get you a job?”
So I started my first bouncing job, which would later evolve into me working at the now-defunct Foundry.
But when I realized I hadn’t been in a real fight in ages, I decided I needed to learn how to fight and started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Boulder — or Easton Jiu-Jitsu as it’s now called. BJJ changed my life, friends and goals. I still practice.
Eventually, our house threw a party and I ended up with my first real girlfriend. I learned I needed more than dashing good looks to keep a woman. Her feelings required me to listen and understand, something I wasn’t really good at back then.
My life didn’t start or stop in 2003 when I moved to Table Mesa and Broadway. I used to walk to that King Soopers in shorts and flip-flops during sun, rain or snow. I always remember every worker being kind in there, especially on Saturday’s game days — even though I didn’t really know what that meant.
Now, I’ve lived in eight states and currently reside across the world in South Korea. When people ask me where I’m from — even if I don’t know where all the cool bars or good restaurants are on the Hill and Pearl Street — I still proudly say, “I’m from Boulder.”
Let’s end this murder in our city.