Posts Tagged ‘roommate’

My roommate doesn’t have a bed yet. It’s been almost three weeks and he sleeps on the floor.

But he did spend at least two days setting up this beauty.

My favorite detail?  Besides… you know… the books…

The box of bourbon’s finest.

Second favorite detail…

Yes, my friends, that IS a Darwin monkey book end helping Joyce’s Ulysses to find its footing.

This is what I wake up to every morning. Sure, I could buy an actual bookshelf. Or I could spend that money on a book of Ryokan’s poetry. I mean c’mon, which would you chose?

And residing over it all, the chairman of the Spaß. One must give reverence.

So what is the Spaß?

In short, it’s our new apartment.

Jeremy came up with the idea that he wanted to name our apartment after a guerilla movement. I thought it a fine idea and started some research.

Spaßguerilla, which apparently means “fun guerilla” was “a grouping within the student protest movement of the 1960s in Germany that agitated for social change, in particular for a more libertarian, less authoritarian, and less materialistic society, using tactics characterized by disrespectful humour and provocative and disruptive actions of a minimally violent nature.”

It is pronounced “Spassguerilla” and if we were to shorten that, we could called it “the spaß” or “the spass” which almost sounds like “the space” and looks like “the spa” but also means “the fun.”

The word “Spassguerilla” itself is interesting. Though the normal German spelling is Spaßguerilla, it was spelled Spassguerilla by Fritz Teufel and this therefore became known as the “teuflische Schreibweise” (a pun meaning either “Teufelian” spelling or “diabolical spelling”; Teufel in German means devil). This spelling is retained by some, including academics (see references). The use of “ss” rather than “ß” implies a short “a” sound, making the word more like Stadtguerilla (urban guerrilla), a term used by Rudi Dutschke.”

So we live in a subversive German potentially demonic urban space spa of fun.

The name stuck real fast.

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I’ve been unpacking all week. A friend made fun of me for having a box labeled, “Books: Contemporary American Literature Box 3 and Export Commodities.”

Here’s another, “Clothes to be revisited box 2.” Still not sure what I was going for with that.

I always tell myself I want things like the perfect toilet brush or silverware without plastic handles. But moving in always seems to require the same mass immigration of stuff. I bought the plastic blue one because it was three dollars cheaper than the metal one.

You’d think packing up everything you own into many small oddly labeled boxes would make you reconsider buying random stuff.

It doesn’t.

Today, I bought a wooden spoon. My roommate bought a lacquer platter with an old map of Cyprus on it.

It’s for the bathroom. We keep our hand soap on it.

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When ever my old landlord would come over, I never knew where to put my hands. You can’t sit down when these things happen and it would happen often. My roommate was never home and would leave empty beer bottles in well arranged pyramids near the kitchen window. The landlord would comment on them, not to say that it was wrong, but almost in a way that would show that he was disappointed he wasn’t invited. I’d have to explain to him that no, it wasn’t a party, it’s just that my roommate has two beers for breakfast each morning.

He was foreign in a way that could have been Eastern European or Latin American depending on what you had him talking about. He liked to talk about girls a lot. This explains the hands dilemma. 

He came over once and asked about a girl he saw me come home with. I explained that it was just a friend and he stole a pair of my shoes from right outside the door on the way out. I saw him do it.

A few weeks later, I had told him that I had gotten some things stolen from the apartment and he almost started crying. He took his hat off and wiped his brow. He said, “These things happen. I once told myself I could live without shoes and then I cut up my feet outside. That was six years ago.”

I saw him once after I had moved out. He told me that the people who are in the apartment now grow dill on the window sill and sometimes give him some. He doesn’t visit them often though, he told me.

I just wish I had more pairs of shoes to pass around.

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I visited Gen in her half asleep Carolina town and as many times as I could flick her ear while she cooked some down home sweet potatoes for me, or woke up to tea already made and house slippers she let me borrow lined up next to the bed, as many times as I half saw her in a fog of semi-consciousness in an early morning getting her shirt on for work as I fell back to sleep, I couldn’t help but to be anxious to get back to New York.  

The night I left, she opened a bottle of wine and we talked until we lost track of time and ran to the car, and she stick shifted us however fast she could to the train station.

We pulled up just as the train 10:55 train was pulling out.

“You ever been to Richmond?” she asked.

“My roommate said it was terrible.”

“With any luck, we won’t be there long,” and she sped off down late night roads, brights on saying You can’t miss this one, right?  

She went 90 for 180 miles in a 1989 Ford Tempo with no rear view mirror racing north parallel to the tracks.  

“It’s got a next stop, right?”

“No idea.”

We got there as the same 10:55 train was pulling in, I jumped out, grabbed my bag from the back, started running.  She grabbed my hand, pulled me over and kissed my cheek, flicked my ear, and told me to get out of here.  

I got on the train and watched her leaning against her car waiting for the train to pull out of the station.

“This girl’s all right,” I said.

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