Monday, July 28, 2008

The Stacy History of Roommates

Since I attended U.C. Davis in 1988, I've had a plethora of roommates over the years.

Most were frightfully annoying and probably led to my eventual disgust with the human race as a whole.

On Thursday I will be speaking with a friend of a friend who is a mortgage broker to thumb through my finances and see where I stand in the pantheon of possible homeowners.

So I believe now is a good time to exorcise of Past Roommate Demons:

*** Gabriel - First Year @ U.C. Davis Roommate ***

Gerb (as I referred to him) was one of my best friends in high school. His family were hippies. And not just the, "Oh, we saw a show on Discovery and thought it would be cool to be a throwback yuppie hippie."

Real hippies.

They "communed" in a rented house in Stockton and from what I could gather from numerous visits, none of them had a real job. They all existed on the federally funded welfare system.

I only understand now why my Dad couldn't stand them. But he never forbid me from spending time with them. That's what good fathers excel in: allowing you to learn on your own.

Gerb was actually a good first year roommate, except every time I came home late from work or from studying, he had a different girl in his room. He was the Lothario of M Building.

It didn't really bother me too much because I was drunk most of my freshman year. Probably because I wasn't having as much naked time as him.

After I started my radio career, we lost touch.

Friends wash onto the shore of your life and only plant their feet if they're meant to stay.

*** Heinrich - Sophomore Year @ U.C. Davis Roommate ***

He was the kind of guy that everybody liked because he had a good sense of humor and was most agreeable with everyone. He lived down the hall my first year and we became good friends.

That second year of Davis will one day become a novel about finding your place in a community and committing terrible acts of mockery. We were known as M-3 simply because we lived on the third floor of M Building in the Tercero area of the dorms.

Water balloons, late night panty raids, moving hated frat boys furniture and basically doing what nineteen year olds with twelve year old minds would do.

It was one of the best years of my life.

Heinrich eventually married a blonde princess and moved back to Germany for a time.

We also lost touch, but not for lack of trying. Distance sometimes ruins friendships too.

*** Freddie - Junior Year @ CSULB Roommate ***

When you fill out the housing form for campus living, they never fully read your application.

Near the bottom they ask you to list the three most important traits in a roommate.

Naturally, I put sense of humor.

The guy they sent me was quite a piece of work.

Oh sure, he had a sense of humor, but it was a total Laurel and Hardy mismatch from the beginning.

Freddie's family had just won the lottery so he had no problem spending the duckets.

And most days, he loved to spend it on pot.

One memorable night he and his druggie friends went to El Pollo Loco and came back to "study." Freddie must have received a bad batch of what they refer to as food, because he spent the entire night running to the bathroom to vomit.

For two days my room smelled like they had basted El Pollo Loco in vomit.

To this day I can't eat there.

*** Red - Halfway Thru Junior Year @ CSULB Roommate ***

Halfway through junior year Freddie and I both realized we weren't good roommates and parted amicably. Red (that's not his real name but for the life of me I can't remember it...I just remember he always wore red) was the laziest person I've ever met. He started with twelve units, then nine, onward to six and then eventually dropped all his classes and took the rest of the year off.

I was so glad when the school year ended.

My next roommate was one for the ages.

*** Ted - Senior Year @ CSULB Roommate ***

Fate has an interesting way of placing you in just the right spot in time to meet people that will share the remainder of your life.

I met Ted in my doorway on one of the first days of school Junior year. He was dressed in typical Ted garb: baggy shorts, t-shirt and baseball cap on backwards. He also like to wear his hair really long.

When I first met him, my inner voice screamed, "Hippie."

And we all know how I feel about hippies (see "Gerb" above)

Through the course of the year we became friends and before the year ended, we both chose roommates for the following year.

I chose a guy who I worked with at PizzaMania who continually bugged me until I agreed to be his roommate (yes, I was much less outspoken in those days...thank goodness that Stacy no longer exists.) Ted chose Red (they were both Italian and had a lot in common)

Over the summer both myself and Ted get a call from our prospective roommates: we're dropping out of school.

Someone was looking out for me that summer.

Once I learned Annoying Dude wasn't coming back, I immediately called Ted. At first, he sounded unsure, but I guess he figured someone from his suite was better than stranger.

We had untold fun that year. Along with sophomore year, this one of the best year's of my life.

College is a buffer between living with your parents and the real world. It's a fantasy of sorts, filled with late night card games and makeout sessions that last for hours.

If it weren't for the damn classes, it would have been eternal bliss.

The year was 1990. Eighteen years later, I visit he and his lovely wife and adorable son in the South Bay.

A year too early and I would have been too drunk for Ted to befriend. A year later, and I wouldn't have been in the dorms.

Most of life is about timing and when it's good, it's memorable.

*** Stacey - Post-College Santa Monica Roommate ***

I really loved Stacey. We were friends first, sharing a terrific love of film and Star Trek.

This is where you should listen to your instinct, that gut feeling that tells you not to take that next step.

Things went horribly wrong not long after we moved in together.

I blame myself because my health was starting to deteriorate and I was about a year away from losing my first kidney.

I'm an asshole when I'm not feeling well.

She was an assistant director for about five years in L.A. Last I discovered, she was teaching art classes in the same area.

The internet has allowed privacy to be wiped on by the feet of curiosity, so I could call her if I really wanted.

What is it doctors say about opening old wounds?

*** Martha - First Year in Radio in Santa Rosa ***

She was a widow who was left this gigantic empty house so she decided to rent out the rooms. It was a bargain at $350 a month and wasn't too far from work.

The only problem was she rented the room next door to this eighteen year old nympho.

I have to give her credit, whomever she was with she was really quiet. I guess she didn't want to disturb Martha and be discovered by the old school thinking of Martha.

I discovered years later that she had a terrible case of herpes and everyone in the community knew her dirty little bumpy secret.

In case you're wondering, no, I never did.

*** Samantha & Luna - Rincon Valley Roommates ***

I've learned something over the years: never room with someone you're attracted to unless they're your girlfriend.

Sam had the longest, most luscious legs and my imagination longed to have them wrapped around me. As time went on, I found myself becoming jealous when she would have men come over.

Luna was the black labrador that I enjoyed taking to the dog park from time to time.

They were both great roommates and I ended up living there for nearly three years.

Yes, I regret not telling her how I felt. Regrets dance through the memory of our life, visiting us from time to time to raise the question, "What if?"

*** The Rehab Nest - Montgomery Village Area of Santa Rosa ***

I thought it would be a good idea to move into a house where no drugs or alcohol were allowed and people were trying to stay clean.

Bbbbbbiiiiiiggggggggg mistake.

The first roommate was this sloppy, doughy guy who liked to treat his bedroom like a porn set. This guy had no standards and every type of disgusting, disease infested woman visited that house nearly every day.

We learned later he was also snorting cocaine, so he was evicted pretty quickly.

The woman who replaced him fell off the wagon two weeks later and the cops had to be called.

You're right, bad move. But the rent was cheap so I did get something out of the deal.

*** Mike the Pizza & Pot Ingester - Montecito Area of Santa Rosa ***

My lease was just days away from expiring so moving here was a panic move. This guy was nearly three hundred pounds. He smoked pot daily and devoured nothing but pizza and whole milk. He was employed by a window washer and drove his boss' 1967 VW van.

He eventually asked me to move out because I wouldn't accept his drug habit. One week he couldn't afford any more pot so he became really irritable and left me curse laden notes about a fucktard I was.

The grammar and misspellings were highly entertaining.

The only thing he was really good for was on-air material. I moved out a short time later.

*** Kat the Ultra Khristian - Sonoma Avenue in Santa Rosa ***

Kat was a nice enough young woman and we were the same age so she was easy to relate to. She had an incredible little body but I wasn't really attracted to her face, so everything remained amicable. She had this aging cat that always swiped at me and spewed the kind of crap that could take down a small empire.

I lasted a year there until I arrived at my present roommate situation.

*** Clinically Obese Woman & Know It All Nineteen - Present Day Roommates ***

My day is such that I never see my roommates. Ten hours a day at work, three hours a day at Dialysis leaves me little time to enjoy my home.

Which is probably for the best.

My frustration with the human race diminished because this house sits proudly on the side of a mountain in Bennett Valley. The view from my bedroom is pristine with the rolling hills of Annadel State Park and statuesque redwoods blocking the neighbors from view.

For $575 a month, I have a good size room with spacious closets and enough windows to keep the space comfortable most days.

The woman who owns this house is my age and her two main pursuits are watching as much as television as humanly possible and producing meals that have never witnessed a fruit or vegetable.

What frustrates me the most is that when she shuffles through the house atop the hardwood floors, the whole house shakes.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

"Wha the fu...who the hel... Is that an earthquake? Is there a rhino in the house? Should I run for cover?"

On Saturdays I leave for Dialysis about five or five-thirty. When I return later around nine-thirty, she's still there, cackling away at mindless shows while stuffing her gullet.

I guess it bothers me because here I am fighting for every ounce of health possible and her is this woman just throwing hers away.

And you and I will be paying for it in about ten years.

When my roommate mentioned that a nineteen year old was moving in, alarm bells rang through my skull. I imagined what I was like at nineteen and thought I wouldn't get an ounce of good night's sleep.

To his credit, most night he's quiet. But don't start a conversation with him.

You remember nineteen and how you believed you had the entire world figured out and it was yours for the taking. That's him.

But that's not the worst part.

It's the pockets of body odor that invades my sense of smell that drives me bonkers.

I opened the fridge the other day to get a water bottle and a huge cloud of stank enveloped my senses.

How do you get body odor in the fridge? On my food? In the crisper?

That's astounding.

So on Thursday I venture to a friend of a friend who is a mortgage expert to take an abacus through my finances to see where I stand on the possibility of the First Ever Stacy Home.

My lease is up on December 1st.

Wish me clean air and quiet floors until then.