(written in 2004, shortly after moving in with my then-girlfriend.  The “roommates” bear little to no resemblance to the actual kids. Hahaha)

I wasn’t looking for a new place to live.  I don’t even think that she mentioned that she was looking for a roommate, but somehow, I ended up living with Jennifer.  She was the first person that I met from the house and the reason that I moved into it.

We met outside of work, relegated to the proverbial doghouse because of our mutual nicotine addiction.  The occasional chance meeting over a cigarette became a two-cigarette break, then a three-cigarette break, then no longer chance.

It was easy conversation, and in discussing a variety of subjects, we found out that we both loved to cook, and eat, good food, watch old movies, and listen to female crooners.  She seemed like an ideal housemate and I assumed that she would surround herself with others like her, so I found myself very unprepared for the three demons that awaited me after the move.

Perhaps it was my fault for not getting to know them better before moving in, but by the time I realized my mistake…As I said before, there are three of them, and depending on the day, they take turns at being the most annoying.  So, in no particular order, here are brief descriptions of my three housemates.

The first one is usually the easiest to take as she generally shuns all human contact that is not the lead singer of the Cure, and hides in her room wearing black and contemplating the world, our purpose for being here, and how to afford that black trenchcoat she simply had to have.   The only time she does emerge from her Gothic cocoon, is when she finds someone approaching the figurative moat around her bedroom, and feels the need to repel the “attacker” by screaming “Get out here, whore!” at the top of her sob-strengthened lungs.

I think that at some point in her life, she must have misheard the saying, “The world is your oyster!” as either, “The world is your butler!” or possibly, “The world is your garbage pail!” for either of those would explain her general inability to transfer any of her trash to the trash can, or her laundry someplace other than wherever it landed on the floor.  I would mind less if the food left behind the computer and the towels left to get moldy on the floor weren’t mine.

The second one seemed so normal and nice at first, that I have decided that not only am I a lousy judge of character, I am dangerously unable to detect people who probably belong either in anger management therapy, or at a palace with a staff of 50 to tend to their every whim.

At least her food theft was generally limited to the good ice cream I used to buy for myself.  Luckily she didn’t drink, or the good booze would have met a similar untimely death as the Godiva Belgian Chocolate in the freezer.  Blessed as she was with the metabolism of a crack-addicted hummingbird, she was able to consume entire pints daily without ever gaining an ounce, which I believe was part of the reason she was frequently on the receiving end of the delightful screams of “WHORE!” from Roomie #1.

Her greater offense, and I am sure in her mind, her greatest asset, was her willingness to raise the dead with a stroke-inducing yodel, which she would deliver whenever she felt that she wasn’t the center of attention.  Attempts to silence her were met with rookie lawyer attempts at justifying her insensitivity to others’ need for sleep.

Luckily, the first two only put my sanity at risk, and not the security deposit.  The third one jeopardized my chances for having it returned.  Originally, I thought that it would the first roommate shaking the house off the water-damaged foundation with her surprisingly powerful door-slamming that would keep me and my deposit from ever being reunited.  As with so many other things about this house, I was wrong.

It turned out that the third one would be worse.  He was a skateboarder, with dreams of sponsorship, and no visible means of support, save some odd jobs he used to do, like washing cars for $10.   I wondered how many cars he would have to wash to save the money he would need to repair the holes he put around the house when his latest trick would send the skateboard through the plaster.  I think my favorite part would be when he would ask to be paid for cleaning the messes that he had created in rooms like the shared bathroom, or the living room.

I am not sure why I didn’t move out when I found his skidmarked tidy yellowies and brownies in my desk drawer, but I remember distinctly wanting to as I took them to the trash with a pair of tongs that followed them into the can.  As messy as the first roommate was, the third made her transgressions seem minor in comparison.  I honestly believe that he expended more effort in hiding his leftover food and dirty clothes than if he had done what he was supposed to with them.

While they were “charming” on their own, they were exponentially aggravating when fate would place them, and luckless me, at the same place at the same time.  Then they would argue either in pairs, or on special days as a threesome.  This tended to happen more late at night, but since I was the only one who had to wake up for work, it didn’t seem to bother them much.  Invariably it would end with a flurry of swearing, culminating in a thunderous door slam that almost drowned out the Goth chick’s, “WHORE!”

If you were expecting a happy ending, where I find a rent-controlled apartment of my own, and regain access to my own food and clothing, I am sorry to disappoint you.  I am still living with three Mess-keteers.  I probably would have moved out, but I am dating Jennifer, and most days her three kids are really wonderful and really charming and really funny, to the point where I can almost overlook the underwear shoved inbetween the couch cushions, although I still struggle with the missing Godiva ice cream.



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