It’s hard working together, even after or especially because Jenny and I have been together for 19 years. We went to college at the same time - she helped me wrap my head around Shakespeare while I installed her thesis (during a blizzard!). We spent 8 months living out of an egg camper hitched to a Jetta, getting out of our Maryland cul-de-sacs and ending up in the armpit of Koreatown with no plans or means. And since then, LA has been the cooperative grad school of our dreams and nightmares.
We pretty much fight every couple of days. Each week still feels like group project is due and we’re just barely going to make it. The problem lies somewhere in us living as one unit to survive but struggling to manage the independence spilling out from both of us all of the time. So each day we try to find that collaborative magic - where our egos step aside, our roles inspire us, and we create something neither of us could have done on our own.
We do succeed at this often, at least as much as we fall back into bad habits or conditioning. Each day we find new tools, and boundaries, to help us help each other. And I haven’t even mentioned what happens when you add a dash of a free spirit like Sarah Bofenkamp to the mix, lord knows that’s another story.
Chris Capizzi is co-owner of A Good Used Book. He lives and works with Jenny and their two dumb cats in Los Angeles.