In the Mirror I Am

by cunningstuff

How I feel when offered a drink, “Hey look I won’t touch it, but it sure looks good.” Stare, stare, stare….

Does it matter that I have decided to become better? I am  in a bit of a moral argument here, there is one side, then there is the other, as most moral arguments go, it is simple and easy, but a moral one where I am looking at myself through judgmental eyes. Simply enough, I could use a roommate. I am poor, and I need to do a lot of things to get to Oz. Being poor is not just disabling in america, it is pretty much devastating, everything must be put on a three times too slow schedule. Everything you want to do for fun has to be left completely alone, and fun must be found in normal everyday life. If you are tied to a crappy job to stay just poor and not become impoverished, this also makes for difficult times. You get money, you want to get stuff you need, and you want to get stuff done for the future, but then you go to the store and everything costs twice as much as it did five years ago, and you are back to having nothing for the future.  These are the reasons I want a roomie, so I can not get ahead, but actually just be able to break even and not have to worry about whether or not I want underwear this year. I had a friend ask me, actually, if I was looking for one, because he had a friend who was in need of shelter, and staying in hotel rooms. I met the person, and though we were not close, I did know him, and had never seen him fly off the handle or be too weird, in general, the perfect roommate.

Perfect roomies need a few characteristics, outside of which, nothing much matters. One, they need to be able to pay bills. Since this is an all bills paid apartment, they need to just be able to pay rent. At 300 US a month, done, pretty much even if they have a job at Mickey D’s. Two, respect your fellow roomie, and leave us alone. I didn’t take on a roomie to be friends, I took them on to save money and share a tiny space. Friends are nice, but please, do your own thing so I have space. Three, don’t lie or be obtuse, awkward moments will happen, but it is just two humans trying to live in a system trying to doom them, there are enough lies without extra BS on the home front. I thought my roommate was the perfect one, as he pretty much fit these categories.

I made things as easy as possible, saying ok, I paid rent, so, to make it cheap for you and easy on me, help me out at the end of the month and clean up the place, and we can have a tiny, but nice and clean space to live in. I am a bit messy on my own, but if others are involved I become very self-conscious of all my mess, and am very neat. I am also spartan and simple, so it is easy for me to stay neat, even for long periods of time, as soon as everything has a once over. Well, that should have been my first clue, he didn’t do anything for the first two days. I thought, maybe he just needs to communicate with me, and sure enough, he did the second day, but again, nothing got done. The third day, he finally flipped the mattress I had given him, but still, I should have known. But this is all hindsight, let me get to the meat of the matter.

My landlord approached me and said, nope, no go, dude is drunk on the street in the middle of the night. I had to think about what the middle of the night is, because I am up all the time at night, until I get to Oz, so once I got a time frame, I went to the roomie and said, “Welp, landlord says you gotta go, you were drunk and he won’t stand for it.”

Protests, but I have no monetary or legal power to fight my landlord, so I said to him, “Ok go fight for it, and see what he says.”

Time starts ticking, and he just sorta sits around and stares for an hour. Finally he tries and is like he is not there. I am not happy at this point, because five minutes before I came in and he was there, his car blocked in by a moving tenant, and now I am thinking, well, maybe landlord saved me some hassle.

I swallow my instinct though, because I hate to judge, so I approach landlord and fight a bit for the guy, to see what the real reasons are. The maintenance man is the one who found him I found out, and he was so drunk he would not move from the sidewalk. Now I am thinking well, damn, this is not a good show for the third day he lives with you. I shake hands with landlord, and say goodbye, just in time to see roomie coming up, finally to speak with the landlord. I bust a move out, and go to work early, because not only is the landlord kicking him out of my house, but the electricity is off for hours as well, so I could not speak with my wonderful woman. Suck ass monday, and I haven’t even gone to work yet.

Well here is the moral dilemma I have. I am an ex-drunk, with honors, mate. I can drink almost anyone under the table, at high altitude, and then walk on home like nothing ever happened. I know what altitude does to skinny people who drink a lot, and it really screws them up. I think he was just having a good time when the altitude set in and caught him off guard. I however, do not care, and it concerns me a little. My argument for not caring is this is not the time to be getting drunk, it is the time to be on the wagon and getting shit done. My argument for caring says he was just in a bad position at a bad time, or a bad position in a good time, actually, but bad position no less. He even came by and apologized, and said he felt he had let me down.

I have given him one week of my time, and he has to go, and it will not be all nice, it will be over and permanent. I will not offer further shelter or council, and I will be done, so I have made my decision.  I know everyone will support me, I know that people will say you did the right thing, even the ex-roomie will not harbor ill will for me, as his apology shows. He is not a bad sort, and I still must look in my mirror and know how I feel. Sad, wistful, and missing my youth, but determined to not undermine myself.

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