It’s the new year and what better way to start a blog than reflecting on the past and how it’s so much better now. Of course, this is distant past but it came up over the holidays, talking about those endearing and wacky roommates we used to have. They were memorable, their antics irritating or unusual and in the end we escaped or moved on.
When I think back I had a few rather unique individuals as roomies. Thank god there never was a mold to make another one. When I first moved to Vancouver, I moved in with a friend. She and her guy went to Greece for the summer and the landlord decided to evict us while she was away. I fought it but eventually we moved, and then she moved in with her boyfriend and I inherited a mutual friend. The friend was okay mostly but had a few issues. One day when I found she had recorded over a tape I had of a band I took back my tape and then came home a week later to find the tape pulled out of the cassette. She claimed it had got stuck but I think a tamper tantrum had caused the true unraveling. Mostly she was okay.
Along the way, she moved into her own apartment and I took the one next door when I couldn’t afford the other place on my own. This was fine until this friend decided to move out of Vancouver and because she was going to do that midmonth she wanted to stay at my place for the two weeks once she gave up her place. Well, two weeks became three became four, became three months. I was far too nice in those days and didn’t say anything, just became more passively aggressive. She began to know that she had overstayed her welcome and eventually left giving me a very nice jewelery box as an apology.
At one point I moved into a house that had four male friends. They were moving out and other friends were moving in. I moved in a month before everyone else so in fact should have had more say you’d think, or maybe even equal say. A couple moved in and another guy. We were all friends but the single guy was always out looking for a mother/sex kitten girlfriend or playing war games with his armies made of lead. Most of us were unemployed at the same time. The couple had three cats. We also had next to no counter space in the kitchen. They wouldn’t wash their dishes, even putting them on the floor, and the clothes usually clean mounded in their bedroom to the ceiling. I lost clothes while living there because I think they got eaten by that cloth leviathan.
But that wasn’t the worst. The no cleaning thing, in a humid and warm city like Vancouver, with three cats meant that there were fleas. Guess who’s allergic to flea bites? I would scratch my legs so bad at night while sleeping that they would bleed. I had to get something from my doctor to stop the itching while I slept. You’d think that might have been the worst of it, but it wasn’t.
The male of the couple started screwing the thermostat shut so it couldn’t be adjusted. No discussion, no communal decision, just the master on high making his decry. I’d have to sneak upstairs, take out the screw and turn up the heat in the winter. One day I was looking for my electric beaters to bake something. When asking the wife she said, ask D, he was doing something with some of the dishes. When I asked D for them, he had packed a bunch of dishes away and put them in the attic. “Are you sure they’re yours?” Yes I’m sure. He gave me a suspicious sidelong look but returned my utensils. D liked to keep every plastic bag. Now I do too but I use mine. These just accrued like Scrooge McDuck’s gold hoard.
The piece de resistance was the cat litter. Thankfully they did change the litter box, bagging up the stinky, used litter and piling it by the back door or on the back porch. When garbage day came along, I went to take the bags to the garbage. “No,” said D, “I’m saving them.” Bewildered, I asked what for? “Oh to reuse, to fill holes in the back yard.” Well, I just blinked and thought WTF? He didn’t garden, didn’t do anything in the yard, and any supposed holes would have stayed toxic waste zones where nothing ever grew. I had to sneak the offending kitty piles out in the dark of night.
He was the weirdest hoarder. All these lovely things built till I wanted to kill D, and I think he wanted to kill me too. So I finally moved, out…on my own…blissfully on my own. I did have a few roommates after that, but mostly I chose to live with my own idiosyncrasies and not anyone else’s.