Roommate From Hell

In addition to the many life-changing things going on in the lives of freshmen students each term, I happen to find the experience of spending these times housed with a complete and utter stranger to be quite bizarre. It's like any other time in your life. Upon starting a new job, very few employers will ask that you bunk up with the creepy new guy from the Accounting department, just to help each other get through the experience.

The obvious result of this situation is a plethora of horror stories of rooming with people the Philadelphia Zoo would not consider taking in. I can think of no better way to prepare the young minds of our beloved University than to revisit my own horrid past.

You see, I had the great fortune of sharing a small portion of my college experience with a mildly schizophrenic roommate, who every so often showed tendencies of narcissistic rage. No big deal. You may think that this is just an amalgam of every "Roommate From Hell" story every told. You do whatever it takes to forget that an actual human being had to suffer the emotional trauma I'm about to describe to you.

There are so many interesting things about my former roommate, who I guess we'll call Jike Mohnson (to protect the guilty). First off, he loved his beggs and acon. I mean eggs and bacon. The thing is, Mike, I mean Jike, also loved his breakfast foods swimming in garlic powder. The thing about that is that the smell not only lingered in the kitchen for hours, but he would also sweat the smell of garlic for a week. Then again, his propensity for not showering might explain the horrible odor emanating from him at all times. That and rolling in hot, wet garbage twice a day.

He would always talk about me while he was on the phone like I wasn't even there:
"Nah, I can't stand living with him. He just sucks, you know? The dickhead ain't cool. Hold on a sec, I think he might be listening. Hey asshole, mind your own business."
"Are you talking about me?"

He would often answer our common phoneline, "What's up, slut?" Mom was never too pleased with that greeting.

He is the only known person to actually purchase and continue to use the Flowbee Home Hairstyling System.

He liked to parade around the suite at any hour of the day wearing only a pair of Mickey Mouse boxer shorts that were two sizes too small. What made it worse is that when doing his Tao Bo, he wore those boxers. Only those boxers.

I would sometimes come back to the room to find his belongings all over my desk, my laptop turned on and my desk drawers left completely open, as if they had been rooted through by a mentally challenged bear with no working fingers.

One time, I found his prescriptive medicine on my desk. As I read the bottle, I saw that it was for "Chronic lack of intestinal control." He comes back, finds me at my desk with his stuff, snatches the bottle and says, "You know, it's pretty damn rude to go through other people's stuff." "It was on my desk!" I countered. "That doesn't make it yours," he responded, yet somehow managing to sound convincingly accusatory.

He would often shave the cotton off of one end of my Q-tips and sharpen it. Often a day would began for me with blood dripping from my ears - as one would expect it might - having jammed a sharpened stick into my ear and twisting it during an early morning, half-awake state.

Speaking of shaving, I'm not going to mention his weekly attempts at "rocking the hairless look, Chihuahua style." Well, I wasn't planning on mentioning it, but since you asked. The point is, he could have at least used a napkin, broom or wet/dry vac to clean up the mess left behind by his new, aerodynamic look. It was three weeks into the term before I realized that the surface of the bathroom floor was not actually carpeted.

He had a drinking problem. When I say drinking problem, I don't mean that he consumed unnecessary amounts of alcohol. I mean that he would often miss his mouth entirely when trying to drink any beverage. Fortunately for me, his beverage of choice was Jolt Cola. You know, the high caffeine drink that tastes like pure liquid sugar? So, it was tough keeping him in order and it was very rare that he slept, except after his routine 4-5 day Jolt binges.

Speaking of sleep, you know what's creepy? Waking up to find your roommate staring at you. You know what's creepier? Waking to find him wearing only a bathrobe, not at all trying to hide the fact that he was watching you sleep. Since it happened often enough, I can paint a general picture of what the scene looked like, though even my therapist has told me it would be best to repress such memories.

A single streak of pale moonlight shines through the window, revealing just a single eye and a small portion of flesh of an upper cheek. He stands motionless in the dark, except for poking the end of a glistening sewing needle into each of his fingertips until they begin to bleed.

"Uh... hey," I say, my voice quivering as I grasp for consciousness.

"Hey," is his only reply, that one visible eye ever so steady, focused and unblinking.

"So, you been there long?" I ask, feeling a dire need to break the silence.

"No, not that long." What the hell does he consider too long? On second thought, I don't want to know.

Yet with all that we've been through, I like to think we still ended on good terms. I can't be quite sure, though, since I got out of there extremely fast after doing my part to show him how much our time together had meant to me.

On the day of his last final exam (the one he was up until 5 AM studying for) I shut off his alarm about an hour before it was set to go off and waited until he had already slept 45 minutes past the exam start time. I then dumped approximately two gallon-sized buckets filled with his beloved Jolt Cola all over him as he lie pathetically vulnerable and unconscious. Quickly coming into consciousness, he looked at the clock, saw that he didn't have time to clean himself and ran through campus. Did I mention that it was winter term? So he ended up taking what was left of the exam as quite a sticky and (I'm betting) chilly mess. I wonder how he did. Anything short of contracting pneumonia and getting hit by a garbage truck and you can color me disappointed.

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