A crowded apartment

San Francisco is kinda filthy. Kinda depressing.

There's trash blowing everywhere, graffiti and cockroaches on the buses, and rudeness is the city's official habit. 

Today's no worse than any other day here, but by comparison, a week in Seattle felt like a small town. And I've never felt so alone in this big city. 

Usually alone is a good thing, but for the past eight days everyone in Seattle wanted to see me, or so it seemed, and some of them I wanted to see, too. Now there's nobody again. No friends, no family, no beautiful woman happy to hold my hand. Alone is usually my preference, but it might take a few dawns and dusks to get accustomed to the solitude again.

And if the general ugliness of Frisco and the loneliness in me isn't enough to get me down, there's the smell. Due to the hecticness of coming home and my own exhaustion and laziness, I didn't shower yesterday, and there's a slight, sweet whiff of Sarah-Katherine on my windbreaker, maybe on me.

♦ ♦ ♦

Pike had a job when I left, and lost it while I was gone. He was supposed to be 'on-call' for his first few shifts, but when they called he was drowsy from a night of drugs, told them he couldn't work that morning, and they haven't called since.

He sounded surprised when he said they hadn't called again, but of course they haven't called again. They'll never call again. Any job involves a certain amount of ass-smooching, and you can resist it and you ought to, but you can't blow off your first shift at an entry-level shit job. Nothing could be more basic. Even Pike had to know that.

So he's unemployed again, and the rent will be a monthly cliffhanger forever. That's annoying enough, but it gets worse. When I wanted to be alone, there was a crowd.

His girlfriend Terry is back. I could hear her carrying boxes and thumping them down, waking me at 7:00 or so this morning, and now she's sneezing seven times in a row in the next room, saying she's confused about whatever Pike said, and her clothes and junk are piled high in the kitchen. When I went out there and gave her an unenthused hello, she told me she'd had "roommate problems, and I just can't live with those girls." I'll bet she didn't have 'roommate problems' so much as those girls had Terry problems.

So she's back here with Pike, and by default, with me, and I'm nearly out of patience.

Pike is a decent guy for a bakehead, but I don't want to always wonder when or whether he'll have the rent together, and I'm sick of the sight and sound of Terry — her screeching voice, her clumsy sentences, endless confusion, stinky perfume, the sound of them fucking, and also I agree with Richard Dreyfuss, I don't like the panties drying on the rod.

To survive in this city, I need to be able to shut the door and have space and sanity without someone I can't stand saying stupid things loudly all morning midday and night. Pike and the rent is a mid-level problem, but Terry is the most annoying human I know. And 12-year-old me might find this unbelievable, but it's not even sexy to come out of my room to go pee and see them fucking on the couch.

Leaning on my doorjamb, the three of us talked for a few minutes, and I asked her, and she said, "I'm not sure how long I'll be staying here — a few weeks, maybe."

A few weeks, my ass. She's already been here for months, and she'll be here as long as Pike is here. It's time to register with Roommates Unlimited — not Terry, me — and see about getting into a better situation.

From Pathetic Life #12
Wednesday, May 24, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.


  1. Goooood Morning Doug!

    So I learned something in class yesterday and I was like OMG I cannot wait to tell Doug! Blew my mind! So, I was told:

    “Addiction comes from the Latin phrase Addictus which means “to assign”. Back in Roman times if you couldn’t pay a debt to someone you were assigned to that person until you can pay off the debt. So essentially slavery. It was up to the person you owed the debt to as to when your debt was paid. Maybe a week, maybe 6 months and then again maybe a lifetime. You also had to change your name and introduce yourself as like John Wayne Addictus to Lenard Nemoy or if it was a titled residence John Wayne Addictus to the house of Lenard Nemoy. Interestingly enough this is also how gladiators were born. Addictus Maximus.

    I haven’t studied much Greek or Roman history. I don’t know why, but it never really interested me. However this little nugget was interesting. That one word literally is like addiction. Like it sucks and you’re a slave to whatever poison your addicted to for x amount of time, but if you can come out the other side you’re a glorious gladiator.

    Anyways, I raise this sugar free jello to you and a new chapter. Hopefully your days are Karen free and you see at least one thing that makes you giggle.

    1. You're always a fountainhead of interesting factoids. So an addition is basically an indentured servitude to heroin or cocaine, or breakfast at the diner in my case. I do appreciate the eddication.

      Did you know Leonard Nimoy liked large women? He had a whole second career taking erotic and/or nudes of big beautiful babes. Hey, don't report me to HR, I'm just saying.

      Sugar-free jello, hooray! Did I nudge you toward that? It's my go-to, for minimal calories when I have a hankering for something sweet, but it still scratches that belly itch.


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