Viral Roommate

What happens to the truth when a writer gets a hold of it? It mutates into story, sometimes a plot, sometimes a character, sometimes an opportunity to revisit & get revenge. The Roommate springs from another of the Go Viral prompts – this one, you guessed, about a bad roommate experience.

metalshelves empty shelves

I don’t think I’ve heard many good roomie stories. I’ve had a few roommates, none recently, but I can remember & this piece pulls together some of those recollections into a sort of list poem. I’ve also added a few details from other’s stories of unfortunate shared accommodation experiences. Perhaps ‘shared accommodation’ would be a better phrase as ‘roommate’ is an euphemism for live-in lover.

dresser cold storage

I did have a dish washing resentment against a guy I shared with back on the east coast but I never when as far as to hide my clean dishes. But I would move his dirty ones to one side if they collected for more than two days & just wash mine. He felt I was being petty & frankly I didn’t give a shit. He never went to Calgary. I was the one to leave, for Toronto. I did have a nasty nick-name for him though, too nasty to repeat here, that I would use behind his back.

clothes clothes snow banked

Other details were picked up from stories I’ve heard. Drunken New year’s Eve sex is something that never happened to me, sadly. In those days I would pass out before the that cork could be popped.

I did visit this guy a few years ago when I was on the east coast. He’s doing well.  There were dirty dishes in his sink.


May 26 – attending – King John – 2 pm – Stratford


June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont

sunset08 Loyalist sunset

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada


The Roommate

I guess it didn’t help

that I referred to him as Damien

when I was talking to others

it always got an understanding laugh though

while making him

a little easier to take

just a little though

I’m not sure what riled me the most

his shoes left in front of the door

so the door never opened properly

when I was getting in

he thought it was amusing

I was irritated by anything he did

said I was oversensitive

to what he considered ordinary behaviour

like his dishes left to wash

when he could get around to it

when I started to wash

just the dishes I used

as his piled up and up

he started to use mine

so I hid mine in my dresser

well hid is the wrong word

but he thought I was hiding them

to get even with him for some reason

and when I told him

I like to have a clean dish

he just laughed

at my up tightness and inflexibility

he’d never rinse the bathroom sink

after shaving

his pubic hair would

cling to the shower curtain

his nail clippings

would be in a tidy pile

on the kitchen table

there was never any milk left

even his friends

would roll their eyes

when they saw how he lived

they’d ask me

how could I put with him

as if I was sleeping with him

and that his cock was worth all this

which it wasn’t

because I only had sex with him twice

once the week he moved in

he wanted to get that out of the way

then a drunken new year’s eve

he stayed a year and a month

he got a job in Calgary

left with a week’s notice

packed a suitcase

asked me to ship the rest of his stuff to him

but when I didn’t hear anything

after five months

I tossed everything he left behind

starting with those dirty dishes

SAM_1119 take your sad painting and get out of here


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