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Ceci n'est pas une "dating blog."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Someone to Come Home To

I know many people who consider living alone in their own apartment one of the ultimate perks of adulthood. I don't disagree that solo habitation has its definite perks--nobody's shit to deal with but your own, the luxury of using the shower whenever you want, no interlopers disturbing your daily and evening rhythms. Indeed, I am well acquainted with these delights having lived in a cramped, albeit elegant-for-a-bachelorette pad several years ago. It was in Adams Morgan, right before Adams Morgan became the neighborhood of choice for GW frat boys to get into drunken brawls in at 2 in the morning. When Adams Morgan still had a bit of hipster cred to its name.

My apartment was 575 square feet. It consisted of a long narrow kitchen, a main room, a walk-in closet and a small bath. It had high ceilings and hardwood floors. As a pack rat, it was crammed with possessions I had amassed since childhood. When clean, which it seldom was, it was inviting and cozy. When messy, as was usually the case, it was a disorganized wreck of clothing, piles of books, scattered papers, dishes that had yet to be washed and put away.* But it was my space and I liked it well enough. Until I realized I couldn't really afford to live there, and living alone provided me with too much isolation from other people. The time came to save some money and be less of a hermit. I moved into a group house.

Group house living has its drawbacks, but one of my favorite aspects of it is coming home at night and talking about my day with my roommate, K. K and I have had our ups and downs over the past year-and-a-half we've lived together. Our relationship has embodied a number of forms--innocently flirtatious, mildly scandalous, tormented, tentatively platonic, sexually tense, angry, solidly platonic, sibling-like, and having run through all these phases, simply comfortable and good. I think it's because we've been so many things to one another, and that we've always managed to push through each phase with some healthy, if not always comfortable communication, that we've been able to arrive at this point. Walking through the front door at the end of the day and flopping down on the couch with him to watch TV is one of my favorite moments of my day.**

Last night I was in a mood. I felt restless, unsatisfied with life, bored with my job. My blood sugar was low and I was hungry. K asked me about my day and I went off on some diatribe about cubicles and time sheets and boys and managers and winter. It just flew out of my mouth in a jumbled cacophony of nonsense. He offered insights, some of which were helpful. I asked about his day. He bitched about his slacker students, his need for a break, imitating several of his kids in a hilarious falsetto.

We didn't talk about anything important, but the fact that we could was important in and of itself. I eventually made myself dinner and sat with him to eat it while he forced me to watch some god-awful 80's martial arts film. We traded sarcastic quips about the lack of plot, idiotic fight choreography, blatant symbolism, bad writing. And then he handed me the remote and left to wash dishes and grade papers. Our exchange last night didn't resolve any of my discontents, but having a like-minded spirit to empathize with for a bit definitely helped smooth down a little. Some single women have cats. I have K.

*One weekend, I went to New York with a girlfriend and returned to discover that my boyfriend at the time had cleaned the apartment top-to-bottom. One of the best presents I have ever received.

**It also helps that he's not bad to look at.


Blogger Lickety Split said...

Sometimes just having someone else there to absorb our cacophony so that it doesn't echo back at us is reward enough.

I can tell you now HP that I have been married 10 years minus two weeks...when the wife and kids (the married version of roommates) are gone...the house is painfully quiet. It's almost on the verge of uncomfortable. You are correct, however, in that I don't have to fight over the remote, the shower or the last Klondike bar.

Strikingly well written my dear. Clap clap clap.

3:59 AM  
Blogger Zandria said...

That's a pretty good endorsement for having a roommate, that's for sure. At least you got lucky! There are probably just as many (if not more) examples of BAD roommate situations, which is unfortunate. Glad that yours is nice (and good-looking). :)

3:44 PM  

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