yeah, a 'rir bit ronery.


i'm an only child, so growing up, i had things my way all the time. i had my room just the way i wanted it. all my books and toys were organized. whenever my cousin rich bitch came over, he would make a mess of things, and once, i even called him out on it. i told him, "every time you come over, my room gets messy!" he didn't have anything to say about that. i think he just visited less after that.

i didn't have a roommate until college. i was going to be roommates with some random dude, but the thought of that freaked me out, so i requested to be roommates with someone i went to elementary and high school with, tony meatballs. i didn't talk to tony meatballs in high school at all, but it didn't matter. he was a familiar face, and i just knew that he'd be a better roommate than some random ass dude.

tony meatballs would sometimes get drunk and come home in the middle of the night puking. i didn't mind that. i found it funny because i wasn't the one puking. he'd procrastinate a lot, too, so sometimes he'd be up until 4 in the morning typing a stupid paper. that was something i wouldn't stand for. i told him that if he was gonna pull that shit, he should go down to the basement and type his papers. he did as i asked, but that didn't stop him from waking my ass up at 5 a.m. to ask me how to print.

it was fun having a roommate. he'd tell me all about his girl troubles, and he'd look out for me. see, our neighbor, geoff, would make a lot of asian jokes, and they didn't really bother me because i knew geoff was a good guy. but tony meatballs took me aside one day, and he asked me if geoff's jokes bothered me at all. it meant a lot to me that he asked that.

toward the end of sophomore year, i was kind of over having a roommate. i was a real dick about it. i had a girlfriend, and i didn't really care about anything else. see, tony meatballs was a soccer player, and he had his dirty laundry scattered all over the floor. once, he did laundry and he didn't even bother putting his clothes away. being a passive-aggressive weirdo, i actually folded his clothes and put them away for him. he walked in on me doing this, and he said, "what are you doing?" i glared at him, and i said, "putting away your clothes." he left the room after that.

we didn't talk for a few weeks, and i decided i wanted my own place. i didn't tell him what my living plans were for junior year. i entered the school lottery to get a studio in the murphy apartments, and i remember waiting in line in campion ballroom to hear my name called. i remember tony was sitting down with his soccer buddies, and he just looked at me. it was an expressionless look, but it made my heart sink, like i had let him down in some way. i barely saw him on campus those next two years.

after college, i moved in with my girlfriend, and that was pretty much a disaster.

during my second year of americorps, i got another roommate, glenn. glenn was a tall blonde kid with a cleft lip. he listened to classical music and jim o'rourke and nina nastasia, had leftist politics, played the trombone, smoked a lot of dope, and knew how to fix cars. i was hardly ever home, since i worked at starbucks and slept at my girlfriend's place, so i was never much of a roommate to him. the house was always cold, and our fridge was always empty, so there was never much of a reason to stick around. we ate a lot of gardenburgers and stir-fry potato/onion/cheese concoctions. when we didn't have to be roommates anymore, i was pretty happy about that.

after americorps, i lived at home, did nothing, and i felt like the world had left me behind.

when i moved back to seattle, i got my own place. i didn't bother getting a couch or anything for the first six months. i didn't see the point. my new apartment was just a shelter, not a home. i still see it that way. still, it was pretty sick having my own place, at least for a little while. i could shit with the door open, nap whenever i wanted, listen to music and watch porn at any hour, play my guitar and sing songs and not annoy anybody and not have anybody annoy me. i could fart like a champ, walk around naked, talk to myself and say funny things out loud to entertain myself. it was fun. for a while.

it gets scary, though, this business of living alone. there are moments, sometimes when i wake up from a nap, and i am very aware of my body, very aware that one day, i am going to die. it's very easy to go a full weekend without talking to anybody. i think about how my parents are aging, how they won't be around forever, and why the hell am i living so far away from them? i talk to my mom on the phone, and she can annoy me, and sometimes, i'll be really abrupt with her. i tell my cousin that sometimes i feel like i'm in the movie moon, or else living in the hatch in lost. i'm an introvert, probably have social anxiety disorder, am not good at making friends, lack confidence, don't know what to do with my life. now is not the fucking time to be living alone.

i thought that there was something wrong with me, but there isn't. there are now more people in america living alone than ever before. i checked out this book from the library, the lonely american: drifting apart in the 21st century, and it's the most important book i've read in a long time. it talks about how the concept of loneliness is stigmatized in our society, and how just admitting you're lonely is a faux pas. more people are more comfortable admitting they're depressed than admitting they're lonely.

i think about what this all means. how, rather than trying to get along with my roommates, i just walked away from all of it. i got my own apartment because it was more convenient. when my girlfriend and i moved in together, and it didn't work, i easily gave up on us. i thought: well, there goes any chance of us ever getting married. the bottom line is, it's easier to be alone than to have to work on relationships. cutting people out is pretty standard, and more and more, it's becoming the norm for people to just admit, "well, we've lost touch. that's just a part of getting older."

the book also says that men who live alone tend to be lonelier than women. people who live alone are less likely to socialize, less likely to ever have roommates again. the book pretty much called me out on my shit. so now i'm rsvping to every facebook event i get invited to, calling/texting/emailing people more and, if i can help it, i'm never going to live on my own again.

similar to working in an office, human beings just weren't meant for this shit.

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