The other flatmates

Often I've told you how and why I hate my flatmate Dean, but you must be as weary of reading about him as I'm weary of writing about him. No stories of Dean today (though there's a whopper in the hopper).

Dean's not the only flatmate who gets on my nerves, so let me tell you about the other three. They're all annoying.

• Robert is my favorite flatmate, because unlike Dean, he lets me walk away from a conversation. When we're both in the kitchen, it's a coincidence, not a planned lecture.

Also, Robert is vulnerable in ways I understand. He's told me about mental and emotional issues he's been through, and some heartbreak. When he got COVID it gave him leaky poops, same as it did for me. I saw the drips on the bathroom floor.

Plus he's old and fat, so we have that in common, too.

But even Robert is a pain sometimes. He's a Christian and a gaming enthusiast, and (not always, not even often, but) sometimes when we're talking about bacon or baseball or Star Trek or anything bearable for conversation, he'll go on a Jesus or World of Warcraft tangent. Bo-ring.

Every spring whether it needs it or not, Robert mops the kitchen floor, with way too much ammonia. The stink of the ammonia comes under the door from the kitchen into my room, and every year it fools me into thinking my cat needs fresh litter immediately. 

And he often sits in the kitchen with Dean for hours, encouraging him to ramble on and on about cooking at the restaurant, or about football or movies. As if Dean needs encouragement to ramble.

• 'L' is just a fuckwad.

His life is built around marijuana, which he smokes only on the porch. You can't enter or leave the house without walking through the porch, and about 1/3 of the time there he is, and I hate that.

He's paranoid as Nixon. He yelled at Robert once for bringing in his mail, and asked Robert, "Are you a spy? A federal agent?" 

I once asked Robert about some tiny plastic fixtures on the kitchen wall, and 'L' — who hadn't even been there — hurried in from the porch to tell me that the fixtures are leftovers from mini-cameras he'd mounted on the wall some years back, to watch the kitchen and see who was stealing his maple syrup. So if anyone's a spy, it's 'L'.

And of course, the crazed outbursts. He raged at me over nothing a while back, and I've seen him rage at the others. He yelled at the house once, for ten minutes, about how hot it was on a 95° summer day.

His latest rage was over his cat, who's always had free roaming rights all over the house and the yard. Until a week ago, when 'L' yelled that we're not supposed to let his cat in or out of the house. 'L' wants us to body-block the door, so the cat can't run past when any of us are coming or going.

And screw that, says me. You want me to keep your cat from darting through the door? That would take time and effort, and for that you'd have to pay me.

And about that cat of his — when 'L' scoops out his cat's litter, he puts the catpoop into a plastic bag and leaves the bag on the front porch. "It's a long walk to the dumpster," he said once when I mentioned it, back months ago before we stopped talking to each other. Sometimes 4-5 little plastic bags of catpoop accumulate, waiting for 'L' to take them to the dumpster.

• The other flatmate I hate is me, of course. I never share much of myself with the others, but I can't keep me from me. This guy is insufferable, and I know that better than anyone.



  1. "The other flatmate I hate is me, of course. I never share much of myself with the others, but I can't keep me from me. This guy is insufferable, and I know that better than anyone."

    Yeah? Well, I've been the King, rather Court Jester, of self-deprecation, and I've met you (check the archives) and you ain't so bad dude. (Just get that SS$ and make my day!!!)

    1. I do self-deprecation for laughs, but I'm also acutely aware of my many thousand shortcomings.

      Social Security... sigh. I'd sure love a monthly check coming in, but rules, the proofs and verifications... It's stupid, sure, but I'm not doing it, not Medicare nor Medicaid not any of the other insults available, until it becomes literally a matter of life and death.

  2. Contrary to the pretty lies we like to say here in the US, “There’s help if you need it/you matter/don’t be afraid to get help” There are no meaningful resources to help those not attached to meaningful capital, and seeking help will almost certainly leave you with more problems than you started with.

    And if you’re a man, you’ll *also* be ridiculed for it.

    We made a society that works against itself to the point that we eagerly send the biggest losers out to die of exposure under a freeway, of course screaming “time out please I give up I need help” isn’t going to end well for you.

    I wish at the very least we could be honest with ourselves and cut out the patronizing, cutesy lies that we say to absolve ourselves of the guilt of our society’s cruelty.

    1. I agree with all of this, every word, unless it's meant to imply that I need it. If America suddenly decided to give a damn about people instead of selling bombs and bombers, I'd see a dentist first.


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