Roommates, Part I

In total, I have had twenty roommates in the five years I’ve lived in New York. Dames, dudes, crossdressers, puppeteers. Some I have loved, but most I have feared or loathed, more than Madonna loathes hydrangeas (P.S. Whatabitch).


My first two months in the city, I sublet a room in a three bedroom apartment downtown. It was in a super cool neighborhood, but being new here and having no friends, I was unaware of the awesomeness (Sunburnt Cow, Esperanto, 7B, Thompkins Sq. Park, etc.) that surrounded me. All I remember was taking the cab from Kennedy Airport to the Lower East Side in the pouring rain and arriving to see the streets lined with garbage and teeming with rats. Teeming.

After lugging my suitcases (obviously weighing in at a million pounds each) up six flights of stairs, with the help of one my roommates, who was a friend from college, all I wanted to do was fling myself onto my bed (airmattress) and sleep. After closing my little princess eyes to the world, I was sure things would look brighter in the morning.

Some six or seven hours later, I awake to shrill screaming and bass booming as College Friend and Shreiking Harpy(a.k.a. Crazy Roommate #1) are having an epic battle in the kitchen right next to my door. College Friend was (kind of unfairly) evicting Shreiking Harpy so that his friend could take over her room. It was not going well.

Shreiking Harpy spent every morning for the first week I was there throwing an epic temper tantrum. She felt she shouldn’t have to pay utilities, or maintain any sort of cleanliness. She felt she could take or leave any furniture she chose. She felt the world was against her and that there would never be sunshine or trust in her life again. She must have been exhausted by the end of it. I know I was. I have never been so relieved as when she finally moved out. I was sure my roommate problems were over. If only I’d known, they were just beginning.


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