On the last day we lived together Kristina, my first roommate ever, and I came to the most important conclusion of our lives. We hustled and bustled around the common room of our flat, there is no more apt term for describing the kind of dorm room we had lived in for the last nine months, cleaning the microwave and wiping coffee grounds out of the silverware drawer trying keep the number of fines we would receive at a reasonable number. Like your average college sophomores neither Kristina nor I actually owned any real cleaning supplies. I provided a can of Scrubbing Bubbles nine months earlier and we did have some sponges and dish soap but there were no paper towels or rags or even tissues for wiping up messes. Fortunately the school had provided for us several rolls of single-ply toilet paper at the beginning of the year which we still had two of after deciding to spend all of our limited funds on good toilet paper instead. Kristina took one roll into the bedroom and I took the other to the kitchenette and started wiping out drawers. After exactly three futile swipes at the Scrubbing Bubble foam in the drawer I pressed the entire roll onto the foaming mess before chucking it down the hall. Kristina stepped out of the bedroom, having clearly done the same. “Single-ply toilet paper is officially good for nothing,” she swore holding the roll above her head like a torch she planned on using to kill an ogre.
“You’ll get no argument from me.” I gave up on the drawers and started picking any pieces of left-over Styrofoam from the day before when, instead of packing and cleaning like we had planned, we had turned our living room into a snow globe.
That’s what made me and Kristina such a good match as roommates: we had remarkably similar dispositions. We washed the dishes every three weeks whether we needed to or not, usually by spreading out the largest towel we could find onto the kitchen/dining room/we only had two rooms and a bathroom in the flat but they all served at least three purposes table and laying every dish we owned out to dry on it.
We ate incredibly unhealthy food together without judgment except to occasionally pause and mutter, with mouths filled with cookie dough, “We’re fat.” I picked up another brownie after one such occasion and muttered, after tasting it’s wonderfulness a second time, “where have these brownies been all my life?” We had layered them by putting the fudge topping on only half of the batch and putting the other half on top. It seemed like a good idea at the time, we were drooling over Jonny Depp and chocolate together watching Chocolate.
Kristina’s eyes widened at her second brownie. “I don’t know but if I were them I would have been hiding.” That comment later became a conversational staple whenever one of us was looking but not finding something important. “Where are my scissors?” “I don’t know but if I were them I would be hiding.”
Most importantly though we were both quippy and usually angry at everyone else in the world except each other. Most of the time we spent together in the room was spent playing The Jungle Book on our Sega, watching movies, or shouting. Actually shouting occurred during those other two activities as well because Mogli was a saboteur and neither of us was happy about the fact that everyone in every situation falls in love. The rest of the people living on that floor were certain we hated each other. It was understandable, we shouted “too much” and had a painting of ourselves above the television that made it look like we were the most uncomfortable people in the world.
Not all roommate pairings can be so divine. Everyday takes me farther away from that roommate pairing and closer to the day that I will probably have to put a roommate want ad. up on Craigslist and closer to the day that I will probably murder that same Craigslist roommate for using my travel coffee cup or judging me for drinking a mocha the size of my face every day, they probably won’t know that the mocha will have more shots of espresso in it than, I’m pretty sure, is legal in America. Every day I come a little bit closer to accidentally revealing the sad secret that I am difficult to live with.
I am a very difficult person to live with. Everyone should already know that but, just like no one in Gotham seems to be able to figure out that Bruce Wayne is Batman, most people do not realize it. It has become my own secret identity scouring the streets for thugs to shoot dirty looks at for such crimes as talking to me at a bad moment or being around too much of the time. But I will always be able to look back that year I lived with Kristina. If my inability to live with people is Batman then that year is Alfred who knows the secret but for some reason never called the nice men in the white coats to take me to the asylum where I so obviously belong.