"I heard that the Residence Director intentionally didn't move anyone else into your dorm."
That's my neighbor, highly informative.
"What? Where'd you hear that?"
That's me, highly clueless.
"What? You didn't know?"
Same neighbor, highly amused.
"No, I didn't KNOW! What are you talking about? Where'd you hear that? Is that true?"
Same me, highly curious.
"He told your roommate that today. She told me. He said he just decided that he wasn't even going to test it."
Still my neighbor, apparently knowing it all.
"I knew it! I KNEW it! I KNEW IT I KNEW IT I KNEW IT!"
Still me, saying I knew it but really not knowing it.
I did kind of know it though. James my RD had been a witness to countless Roommate-Rumbles throughout the first semester, all which somehow made it seem like whatever the dilemma was was all MY fault and that I'M the bad guy and I'M the reason 5 girls have ran out of this place, never to be seen again. Which explains the next thing I heard from my neighbor:
"He said your place is cursed."
"Like, a curse?"
"Like, there's a curse on it?"
"Like, you cursed it."
"I cursed it?"
"You cursed it."
"I cursed it?"
"You cursed it."
"Well that's just ridiculous."
"You're the only one left of the original 4, which makes you the---"
"Well, I was gonna say "survivor" but that works, too."
"THIS IS ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS."
Let's look back, shall we? Let's look back at What Went Wrong: Room 324 Style. Then we can decide whose fault it was that girls with a serious lack of stability and people-skills were thrown into my life at random.
Janet was a hard-core Jesus-lover who assumed I was a Satanist because I dressed in black. (I do not know this for sure, but I'm pretty sure I'm right based on the fact that every week she insisted that every roommate attend church with her. Every roommate except me. Call yourself a good Christian, do ya? Well I got some news for you, you poser. "Be good to thy neighbor" does NOT mean, "But you can be shitty with the people you actually live with.")
Did she move out because I broke her lamp?
No. Everyone falls from time to time and that time I happened to fall into her lamp.
Did she move out because I refused to pick up the broken glass that appeared after I broke her lamp?
No. I did not remember ever breaking her lamp in the first place and therefore I saw no point in cleaning it up. However, I did end up cleaning it up after being informed that I really was the one who broke it, which made me regret screaming, "YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT" at her the day before.
Did she move out because I added a fifth resident to our dorm without informing her?
No. I did not know she was highly allergic to cats and a kitten is not a cat anyway and therefore I am innocent and she is guilty.
Did she move out because I stopped calling her "Janet" and started calling her "MOTHER?"
No. A mother is a highly respected figure in our culture and she could have taken it as a compliment. Also, she had decided to wake me up in the middle of my nap to "have an emergency roommate meeting," which really meant her bitch at me about cleaning up that damn lamp. I was in the middle of recovery while I was sleeping, and had not completed such recovery when she awoke me, which meant me being a very angry person without being able to control it. Screaming and yelling and name-calling ("mother" on its own as well as "mother" with many words after it) and me challenging her religious morals were all involved, but this cannot be why she moved out because I later calmly explained that I would not lash out like that unless she interrupts my recovery again. She agreed that she would not.
Did Cleo move out because I ate her ice cream?
No. Cleo did not move out because I ate her ice cream because once she discovered that I had treated myself for being such a delightful roommate to her, she bought a lock-box, filled it with ice cream, and stuck it in the freezer. Not only that, she bought a transparent lock-box just to cruelly taunt the hell out of me. I would have preferred her putting her thumb on her nose and wiggling her fingers at me while saying "Nanny nanny boo boo," but Cleo would never do such a thing, because Cleo had an "anxiety problem," also known as 24/7 BITCH MODE.
Did Cleo move out because I made her cry?
No. Did I physically reach into her eyeballs and extract water vapor? Did I spray her with mace? Did I spit into her pupils just to make it look like she was crying? No. All I did was have a conversation with her in front of our Residence Director and she started crying, which of course made ME look like the bitch, when really I had just as much of a reason to cry as she did, but I have a little thing called DIGNITY. I also don't cave when people cry, it only makes me madder. Did I know she was going to cry even harder when I told her that her crying was pathetic and to quit the act? Do I sound like a mean person right now? Well guess what.
THE BITCH GAVE AWAY MY KITTEN WHILE I WAS IN CLASS SO I NEVER GOT TO SAY GOODBYE AND SHE DIDN'T EVEN TELL ME SHE WAS GIVING MY KITTEN AWAY AND THE WAY I FOUND OUT WAS COMING BACK TO MY DORM AND CALLING "KITTY? KITTY?" AND DISCOVERING THAT SHE WAS GONE. I WAS VERY ATTACHED TO THAT KITTEN AND TO THIS DAY I MISS HER AND CLEO CAN CRY HERSELF TO DEATH FOR ALL I CARE I WANT MY KITTEN BACK YOU BAWLING BITCH.
Kate was awesome. Kate was my best friend. Kate was the other pea in that pod of ours, but she, too, moved out. That's as sappy as I get, and I'm still not straying from my point of NOT MY FAULT.
I chose the pseudonym "Danielle" because it's close to the name "Danny" as in "Danny DeVito" as in the girl looked like The Penguin from Batman Returns. Which is rude and irrelevant but at this point I really don't care. She was the first "newbie" we got, the first chance James the RD gave Room 324 to relieve itself of its bad reputation. But Room 324 is a lot like Joan Jett; it doesn't give a damn about its bad reputation. Danielle was gone after only a couple weeks.
Why she left, I do not know.
Was it because she always felt watched?
Look, maybe she always felt watched, but that was entirely her own fault. Hear me out. Outside my front door is where everyone used to sit. "Everyone" as in me, my roommate, and our 4 neighbors, as well as a couple people who lived below us, and a couple people from across campus. That's quite a lot of people - quite a lot of people loitering in the only convenient place Danielle could go out to smoke. But instead of joining the border of the circle we had created, making an ever bigger but less round kind of shape, Danielle found it easier to push through our circular ruins, subconsciously inspired by Jorge Luis Borges, and stand in the very middle. Themiddle. THE MIDDLE. Are you listening? Are you comprehending this? Are you picturing this? A circle of people with one penguin-clone standing in the very middle, smoking, and not saying a word to any of us. I do not know what she was trying to accomplish with this tactic, but if it was everyone having nowhere to look except at the different angles of her body (depending on where each of us was seated and which direction she was facing), then she accomplished it.
Ah...Mariah. I hardly even knew her, and yet I don't even know where to begin.
Did she move out because I got her weed confiscated?
Okay, let me explain myself: 1) I did not know "you could put your weed in thereeeee" and 2) IT WAS A COMPLETE ACCIDENT. I had come back to Chattanooga from a weekend at home, only to realize I had left my key at my house 2 hours away. So. I had to get an office worker to come open my door. So. The office worker was an uptight-prude who "noticed a smell" when she walked into my dorm, then noticed that the smell "smelled like smoke" then after telling me 47 times that smoking was NOT allowed in the dorms, and after me telling her 48 times that OBVIOUSLY IT WASN'T ME SINCE I WAS GONE ALL WEEKEND HELLOOOOO DIMWIT YOU HAD TO LET ME IN, REMEMBER?, she then noticed "a smoking device?!" on the table in our living room, and then informed me that she had to confiscate it. After picking it up like it was a hot skillet that weighed 2 tons, she then asked me to come with her.
"Because I'm confiscating it."
"Right...so why do I have to confiscate with you?"
"Because you have to sign for it."
"But it's not mine."
"There's no smoking allowed in here."
"Yes, thank you, I know."
"And you have to sign for this smoking device."
"But it's not mine."
"I'm sorry, you're going to have to come with me. You will get it returned at the end of the semester after it's been inspected."
So after signing for that damn thing and after hearing her completely blow me off every time I told her it WASN'T MINE ("You'll get it returned later. You'll get it back. You do not need to worry. You'll get your smoking device at the end of the semester. You're not allowed to have this. I don't believe you when you say it's not yours. I'm going to automatically decide you're lying even though I don't even know you. I'm a C-word that rhymes with 'blunt.' "), I left. I left that office and that dimwit and that sheet with my signature on it claiming it to be mine because she forced me to do so. And then I return to my dorm only to find a frantic Mariah and her frantic friend.
"Where's our weed?! Where's our weed?!"
"Uh...I don't know where your weed it. Sorry."
"It was on the table! It was just right here on the table when we left!"
"Woah well I'm glad it's NOT because an office worker was just in here."
"Did she take it?! Damnit did she take our weed?"
"No, she just took the "smoking device" that was on the table."
"Our weed is in there!"
"There's two or three rolled-up joints in the bottom of it!"
"Ha...ha...okay just go down and sign for it because I just signed my name for that shit."
"I can't! I could get kicked out of school!"
"Then have your friend do it."
"Sorry, man, I'm on probation. I can't get in trouble with my probation officer, man."
I wanted to SCREAM. I just signed for possession of an illegal drug of a roommate I never talked to and a girl I'd never even met. And they wouldn't go sign their own fucking names for their own fucking pot. But, freaking out would not have convinced them otherwise. And so, I bullshitted.
"Oh, well I told her that it wasn't mine, and she said that once whoever's it was came down and claimed it, they'd give it back."
"Cool, man. That means we can still get high."
"Yeah, so you should go do that. Right now."
"Yeah uh the office is closing in like 10 minutes."
"Yeah and they're "inspecting" it tomorrow if no one claims it tonight."
Hello, I'm a bullshitter!
"Okay then I'll go get it now!"
"Okay! Good luck!"
"Uh I mean...you go girl!"
Whether or not they got it back I'll never know. I locked myself in my room and only opened the door the six times Mariah's friend knocked on my door, standing there in her bra, asking me to come drink vodka with her, "just us two," WHATEVER THE HELL THAT MEANS.
The next week Mariah was gone. I knew she was gone because her mini-fridge was nowhere in sight and because someone had gone through my bedroom, spilled all of my drinks onto my desk, and stolen 6 of my cigarettes. What is it with people? First my kitten then my cigarettes? I don't understand why stealing mail is such a big deal. If you ask me, kittens and cigarette theft should be 600 years in jail, tops. (No, that was not a typo. I did not mean sixty, I meant six-hundred, and I still mean it. Quit wondering about it or I'll change my mind to six thousand.)
And now, it is only me and my badass roommate, who had some bad previous-roommate-experiences of her own. And this situation, I don't consider luck. Or a fluke. Or good fortune. Or some example of serendipity. It's good karma is what it fucking is. Because an entire bedroom all to ourselves, fully-dressed guests, a lock-box-free freezer and actually enjoying the company of the people you live with is exactly what the both of us deserve. Next step: reliving the kitten days.