The Wanderlust Misfit

Don't Run From Anything, Run Towards Everything

Dueling Roommates

I went out for some drinks with a friend from work last night, went back to her house where she promptly passed out and so I ended up smoking a joint by myself while her gay friend smoked a hookah. He was nice enough to give me a lift back home and I wound up having him drop me off at DP Dough, where I had terminated my employment the week before. My roommate Chris had called me to tell me he didn’t have a key on him and he was already at DP Dough so I told him I’d meet him there. Plus I wanted free food. I get there and he’s in the back sitting on a make-table all red-eyed and flustered, feet crossed and rocking back and forth as if overcoming the shock of some trauma.

Turns out some kids at the show he’d been at were giving him a tough time. They didn’t think Chris was ‘punk’ enough and he didn’t think they were ‘punk’ enough and he had apparently become indignant when they shrugged him off and turned down his attempts to make friends. Back at the apartment he was venting. He had begged our co-worker to come inside and talk with him. I tried to distance myself but I felt bad I figured I should do my part to console and advise. So I stayed in the living room with Chris and our coworker.

He keeps going on about how these kids weren’t punk enough and they had dismissed him as not being punk solely because of his age. Chris is going on 27 and is already completely bald. He lamented and complained that the kids there (they were only 18 or 19) refused to accept him as a punk. It was pretty pathetic hearing him complain about this, and as his eyes teared up and he got all flustered and frustrated again he continued his story, explaining how he challenged these kids to a fight, and how they blew him off and called him an idiot. A big thing with Chris is that he often gets the idea that people look down on him and has the habit of taking inane gestures and comments as condescending, then gets all flustered that someone is belittling him and he starts getting angry and lashes out. (I’ve only seen this once in the five months that I’ve known him, but he’s explained other instances with annoying frequency)

I take it he has an inferiority complex.

Chris continues with his litany of perceived injustices committed in just over two hours by two complete strangers, reiterates how they were pussies and weren’t punk because they wouldn’t fight him and instead collectively denigrated him to make him look an asshole in front of everyone else, bitched how the punk scene had been diluted and how he was the only true punk left, and made sure we knew that he could’ve ‘smashed their faces in’ if only they had had the balls to fight him. Chris was drunk and he doesn’t drink often, so perhaps it went to his head. But the rest of the night he was just a pain in the ass.

I said goodnight, the other co-worker left soon after, and as I was lying in bed watching TV I begin to hear Eminem emanating something awful from the living room. I shrug it off. Then Chris starts to sing and that’s when things got obnoxious. I heard our roommate Greg open his door, walk into the living, and ask Chris to please be quiet and turn the music down, we have very thin walls. Chris says okay, the music goes down, Greg goes back to bed, and not a minute later I hear Eminem’s voice getting louder and then comes Chris’s voice, just as loud as before. I call Chris from my bed and tell him he has to turn the music down, it’s still really loud and Greg’s going to get pissed. Chris says okay, I hang up, and the music stays the same.

I get out of bed.

‘Hey, man,’ I say, sounding groggy and squinting in the light. ‘Can you turn the music down? It’s loud in there. I can still hear it perfectly.’

‘Nah man, it’s cool. That’s not going to happen.’

‘What do you mean, dude? Turn the music down.’

‘No D-ude. I’m not going to. I’m sick of you assholes walking all over me and taking advantage of me.’ He’s currently sitting on the floor in front of his laptop, his legs tucked under him in an awkward way that only people with really effeminate legs can do, and he’s rocking back and forth. The laptop is plugged into the speaker system we have set up, and this is the position Chris remains in for most of his waking hours when he’s not delivering fast-food as a 27 year old bald man. Sitting in front of his laptop is the only thing he does.

‘What the hell is that supposed to mean? Just turn the fucking music down dude. Or put the freaking headphones on!’

‘Yeah man, that’s not happening.’

I reach for the cord that connects the laptop to the speakers and he gets up and blocks me. ‘Turn the music down dude. I’m not dealing with this shit now. Turn it down and don’t make me come back out here.’ I walk away and he’s bitching about something. It’s five in morning. Whatever.

I hear him singing again and the music hasn’t gone down. It’s now been ten minutes and I stood behind my door for two of those minutes, hoping he would turn off the frigging music because I really didn’t want this confrontation at five in the morning with a drunk nihilist who thinks every person he encounters is out to commit him injustices of the severest order.

As walk down the hallway and past Greg’s room, I can hear Greg, ‘Oh, god, damnit.’ He knows he’s going to have to break this up.

‘What the fuck dude! Why can’t you just turn the music down?!’

‘Because I don’t want to! I fucking live here too and these are my hours, so just deal with it!’

‘No. Turn the fucking music off.’

‘Fuck you man. You’re the one who always wants to blast music to piss off the neighbors. You’re the one always trying to fuck with the neighbors. You even pissed on their stairs when you were drunk! I bet you don’t even remember that, huh!’ We have neighbors above us who blast music on the weekends. Chris sleeps in our living room and keeps nocturnal hours, so that when the neighbors upstairs blast music (which is very annoying) he can never sleep and he gets revenge by blasting his own music. I admit taking part in this, but he’s the one that gets all pissed off over it and plots revenge.

Chris keeps going on about how he pays more rent than I, which is completely false, and how he always does all of my dishes and has to clean up after me and how he’s always doing things for me and what the hell have I ever done for him?

‘Are you fucking serious dude! I do my dishes! And how the fuck that mean you can’t turn the music down! Did you forget that I drove you and your girlfriend to the show tonight? Or that I’m the one that found you a place to crash!’ I had convinced Greg to let Chris crash in the living room and now I was regretting it. Greg was the only one on the lease.

Chris stands up and starts walking towards me trying to look big and I see clearly what’s coming. To avoid a trade of fists I shove him as hard as I can, really lunge forward and push through him with my weight. Chris goes flying backwards, stumbles over the shoddy ottoman and lands on the floor looking very surprised and indignant. He tries getting up, flustered and angry and red-faced and he stumbles so I push him again and he falls back down. This continues for the next two or three minutes, the two of us shouting and every time Chris gets up I shove him. Greg finally comes out looking very annoyed about all of this and by this point I’ve clear thrown Chris around the room, back and forth and left and right, over the coffee table, into the couch, onto his laptop. (I have to claim here, truthfully, that I’ve never been any good at fighting or arguing and have always shied away from confrontation, even when it meant walking away with my tail between my legs.) Greg gets in the middle of us and I back off because this all all quite pathetic and I feel bad (somehow) for the sorry bastard. He comes at me some more and I toss him away and Greg splits us up again. More shouting and pushing and Greg trying to keep us apart. I’ve retreated into the hallway because I just want to go to bed. I’m tired. Then Chris headbutts me. I see his pale ugly bald freckled head coming at me and I lean backwards and he just skims my nose. It didn’t even knock my glasses off.

Getting hit in the face or the head is the only thing that truly enrages me, gets me seeing blood. I charge at Chris and get right in his face and throw him straight to the ground. I can see his eyes get wide, realizing how simple it would be for me to hail and unholy shower of solid fists at his face. Instead, I just grab him by the throat and break him down emotionally.

‘Are fucking kidding me man! You don’t do fucking shit with your life! You sit around smoking pot all day and don’t do fucking shit! You are literally fucking worthless to everybody! you low-life fucking 27 year old delivery driver! You sleep on a piece of furniture that can’t even be considered a couch! You have no fucking aspirations or a fucking clue about anything and then you lash out like this!? On the only person who’s been able to put up with you!? You’ve lived here for half your life and you still have no fucking friends here!’ I stepped back and crawled backwards and sat up, stunned. ‘And you know what? The only reason I ever hung out with you was because I thought you’d have some cool friends, at the very least. I didn’t give a shit about you and now I definitely don’t. The only reason I hung out with you was to meet other people. Then I was going to ditch you. But you weren’t even good for that. Fuck you man.’

‘Yeah? Well fuck you man, fuck you. Go fucking hitchhiking and see what I care.’

Which reminds me to mention that I’m leaving tomorrow!!! WOOOO!!

To wrap it up, Chris told Greg he’d turn down the music because he respects Greg, he actually respects Greg (he made sure Greg understood this point). The music was unheard the rest of the morning and eventually I got to sleep, but not after Chris came to my door begging for me to open up because he was really sorry and he wanted me to know how much he loved me. He came in the first time and it was entirely pathetic, him crawling back to apologize and to tell me how we’re ‘brothers’ and all that deluded crap. Finally I got him to leave, because I ended up having to plead him to leave and let me go to sleep. Five minutes he was back knocking on my door, pleading that I open up and talk to him. I pretend I’m asleep. He bang the door once and walks away, muttering under his breath how I’m the asshole. ‘Fuck him,’ I hear him say. Then he pulls the same stunt with Greg.

The kid had issues with his father growing up that’s he’s told me all about, imaging that we’re much closer than I ever said or acted. His dad used to demean him and call him an idiot (Chris did drop out of highschool), and knock him around, acting tough although his dad is really rather short and bi-polar. Anyway, this kid Chris will hijack a conversation so he can make sure everyone knows he has a grasp of the topic and know how to use big words.

Well, buddy, you’ve burned another bridge. Should’ve made sure you were off of it before you lit it.

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