Having a roommate is much like the first few months of having a small puppy. When you first get him, you love him. It’s so cute, the puppy and your roommate, with that disheveled hair and their eerie tendencies. A puppy might like scratching its rear end on your Xbox remote control and your roommate might like doing the same thing. Or maybe even only vacuuming half the room—his half. It’s all too cute in the beginning. But eventually shit hits the fan… or the carpet, inside your shoe, on your pillow, in the case of the puppy. And your roommate will eventually shit, metaphysically as a human being.
My roommate has this trademark way of saying goodnight. He cordially and almost furtively goes around the room rearranging his belongings and slipping into a pair of pajama pants. He might slip his toothbrush and paste in his pocket and slip out of the room for a few moments, I really don’t know. But eventually, he’ll begin hovering around the light switch to the room. If I’m by myself I sometimes hardly even notice, but it becomes glaring when there are four, five, nay ten friends all frolicking in collegiate bliss in my room. Soon, without saying a word, he’ll hit the light switch and the room will plunge into darkness.
“And that’s when he put his D in her…” everyone always stops their conversations mid syllable. They look at me, almost questioningly, what is that white boy doing? He’ll make that perilous journey from one side of the room to the other, where his little ladder will carry him to his lofted bed. I have a recurrent dream where I saw off one of the legs of his loft with my teeth until it finally collapses and he face-plants down onto our steely floor. Maybe one day…
Anyway, it is 9:15 P.M. Let me repeat, it is niiiiiine fifteeeeeen. The Miami Heat are playing the Atlanta Hawks in a game of epic playoff proportions. My inner gut tells me that if the Heat don’t win this game, we will be swept yet again. There are ten minutes left to play in the THIRD quarter when all of a sudden the lights to my room go from sunrise to moonlight and I am clad in darkness. My roommate utters something about being sorry and that he knows I wanted to watch the game, something that maybe sounded like I should turn off the television. My fists clench, I shatter the remote control under my grip.
He climbs onto his bed.
“Uh hey Will, can you lower that a bit?”
I exhale. My nose is stuffy. It only gets me angrier. I stand up on a chair and look onto his bed until he turns around. He looks at me. I look into his eyes.
“You can fuck yourself,” I tell him. His mouth opens, gaping. His bottom lip begins quivering and soon he mutates into an ugly tearfully sodden child. I punch him in the spleen.
That’s what I wish happened. But I’m a sucker for courtesy so I tone down the volume from the max 50 that it was on to a more bearable 48. Five minutes pass. Dwyane Wade drives to the rim on four defenders and scores. I let a loud whooooop of joy.
“Hey Will, do you think you can keep it down a bit?”
My jaws clench. I grab my peanut butter knife but I think twice. If I kill him now I would have to remove his body and I might miss the start of the fourth quarter.
“Sure thing bud,” I respond. I meant: “Any last words biyatch?”
A friend opens the door to my room. He asks me why I’m watching the game in the dark. I point up to where my roommate is now on his third sleep cycle and sleep-muttering something about unicorns penetrating his asshole. My friend snickers and noob chops him. I feel like battle-axe chopping him.
D-Wade hits a miraculous three point shot which my friend and I can only silently celebrate in delight. I would have been cartwheeling if I could see the rest of my room.