I was suitably hung over the morning after I’d moved in, and since I had tried to block out the worst of the decor in my new room, I’d almost forgotten where I was. That is, of course, until I opened my eyes and all of the colors swirled together into one gigantic mess. Reality came crashing back in, so I got up, smoked a cigarette alone and decided to see if the rest of my floor was so creepy.
I walked in the square shaped hallway all the way around until I got about two doors down from my own, where the door was open. I popped my head in and said hello to the two girls sitting on the floor. They promptly invited me in, where I noticed an ashtray and became overwhelmed with glee.
“Can I SMOKE in here?” I asked them happily.
“Sure,” said the taller of the two. “We don’t smoke, but you can.”
So I scrambled back to my own room to grab my smokes, and when I returned the taller one bummed a smoke from me. We both smoked cheerfully as we talked, unaware of how often we would repeat this ritual for the next ten or so years.
The tall one who had spoken to me first is my friend Pashmina, aka Stimpy, and the person responsible for the Dave-Becky Union, and I shouldn’t need to tell you that we became instant friends. I also shouldn’t need to tell you that I desperately wished that I’d lived with both of them, in surveying their less cloying decor and wishing it were my own.
We chummed around together for the rest of the weekend, Stimpy, Her Roommate and I, and on Sunday night, when we were sitting on Stimpy’s floor smoking yet another cigarette, my roommate, it means butterfly walked back in lugging a huge thing of water bottles.
I rolled my eyes, as we’d already spent quite a bit of time in my room mocking her stupid decorations and my misfortune, got up and went to see her. It appears that even then I was stupid and masochistic.
When I finally rolled back to the room, I greeted her as warmly as I could and she told me that she was making a book for her boyfriend, Dave, who went to SIU. I sat there, rooted to my desk chair while I watched her gather supplies, wondering what kind of book someone would make for a 19-year old dude.
Construction paper, markers, and stickers. A butt-load of stickers.
Stimpy and her roommate came down while this was going on, as I’d begged them to come and rescue me if I didn’t come immediately back. It means butterfly greated them somewhat cooly, but fascinated, we all took a seat to see what the hell she was doing. It was like watching a rhinoceros at the zoo, waiting to see what it would do next.
It means butterfly began to decorate page after page of colorful construction paper with different things that she and her boyfriend had done. No, not like “We had butt sex in the back of your Pinto” but “Remember when you got lost coming to my house?”
I began to wonder just how old her boyfriend REALLY was, because although I was newly single–having just walked in on my boyfriend of two years with an ugly UGLY! friend of mine–I didn’t ever see myself doing something so stupid for a dude. And if I did, I’d imagine that he would run away screaming, rightly so.
She spent a good couple of hours on this book, so we left to go grab coffee and smoke, and when I returned, she was on her computer chatting with her boyfriend. This was before I had an IM program, before I knew what one was, and before I thought that it was a handy way to talk to someone.
At this point, it sounded so stupid. Pick up the fucking phone and call him, I thought.
But there she sat, clacking away on her keyboard and occasionally hooting at stuff that Dave said.
When she saw me there, she took a moment to talk to me about the room and her stuff. Because I was a dude–not really– myself, I didn’t come equipped with a bunch of decorations and other frilly shit. I’d packed some clothes and some booze, hastily mixed in together.
She informed me that I was welcome to use any of her stuff, including her body wax (for waxing, not for sculpting), her lotion, her computer, her clothes, anything I wanted I could use.
But not really.
One day I did happen to borrow her lotion, and didn’t return it to the right spot in her drawer (it was in the teeny drawer, but not precisely where she’d left it–a millimeter or so to the right) and she had a fucking fit. OH! The HUMANITY!
Then she refused to talk to me for a couple of days.
A couple of days later, a friend of mine was over and turned on her television, which caught all of 4 channels (she was too cheap to pay for cable), and apparently my friend didn’t leave it on the right channel when she turned it off. As you can imagine, this was a big.fucking.deal. for no reason whatsoever, it’s not like the channel was secret or something.
But to it means butterfly, this was the end of the fucking world.
Over the next month or so, I realized that she never left the room except for to go to class. And because her classes were earlier than mine, she’d come back as I was waking up to go to class AND NEVER LEAVE. She’d go to the cafeteria to get lunch, and BRING IT BACK. AND THEN TALK WITH HER MOUTH FULL.
I never, ever had the room to myself. Ever.
It may surprise you as I’m pretty open and frank about myself, but I do happen to like a small bit of alone time each day to be, well, alone. It’s not like she sat and talked to me while I was there or anything, but she did talk to her computer. Oh yes, yes she did. Her boyfriend would IM her and she would sit and coo at THE COMPUTER.
I wanted to die.
I had brought some posters with me from home; a Pink Floyd one, a Janis Joplin one, and I had thus far been too lazy to put them up. It just seemed like too much work. So one day, it means butterfly asked me if she could put the posters up for me, and because laziness always wins out when it comes to me, I agreed.
When I returned, I nearly swallowed my tongue. Now my side of the room was also covered in colorful plastic tablecloths, and my posters were all hung at deliberately tilted angles. And one of her stupid posterboards was now dangling from my corner of the room.
Shit, I said to myself as I thanked her. Now I’m NEVER going to get laid! It looks like Crayola came and barfed in my room.