About four years ago, when I was still married and my little girl was only a year old, the three of us took a drive to Boston to visit some old friends from grad school. Well, it wasn’t Boston proper, mind you, but Somerville, MA, about 15 minutes outside of the city. And when I say friends from grad school, that’s somewhat misleading, as well. See, I did my grad work at Emerson, a liberal arts school located right on the Common. During my two-year stint at Emerson, I lived in a three-story house (split into apartments) in Somerville (34 Belknap Street, for those of you familiar with the area). I spent my first year living on the second floor with two roommates, Tara (a girl I used to work with in Chicago) and Brian (a guy I’d never met who knew Tara from college). Neither of them went to Emerson, but I needed roommates and why the hell not, right? Strangely, it wasn’t Brian or Tara who I returned to visit four years ago; rather, it was one of my upstairs neighbors, Sonya, her now husband, Jonathan, and my pals (and also married folk) Debbi and Hiram.
After a six-hour drive to the Boston area with a baby in the backseat, it goes without saying that I was more than ready to dive into a shit-ton of booze. Fortunately we got in after dark, so the girl was off to bed lickety split. Immediately we got into some beer, wine and a bottle of Haitian rum Jonathan picked up in his native country. Now, I’m not sure whose idea it was, but someone thought it appropriate to throw a movie on after several belts. And if you’re going to serve me that much booze, put on a movie, and offer me a plush sofa on which to watch it, night-night ain’t far behind. I can’t for the life of me tell you what the hell we watched (or tried to watch) that night. All I know is that it didn’t stand a chance against my powers of wiped out-edness.
Is it me, or does it look like I’m smiling a bit? Funny or creepy? Both?
“Now, if you look to your right, you’ll see the Wandering Jew in his natural habitat.”
As long as we’re on the topic of Boston, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention the slew of idiot/crazy roommates that plagued me during my time there. In my two years in Somerville, I lived on both the second and third floors of the same building. Over that span I had five different roommates, beginning with:
- Tara — Sweet, midwestern blonde; physical therapy student; vegetarian; airhead; completely dependent upon our upstairs roommate, Rick, who catered to her every whim; co-worker of mine at The Barking Crab; moved out and left me with a horrible roommate, Zoe.
Brian — Spoiled fuck from Colorado; former classmate of Tara’s; grad school student majoring in entrepreneurship; arrogant as hell, yet generous; part-time pilot; tragically killed after crashing his plane into the side of a mountain en route to visit his fiancee. (Terrible, I know.)
Zoe — Tara’s replacement; socially retarded; constantly giggling after her own comments, as she was completely uncomfortable in her own skin; smelled.
- Rick — Grad school business major; former webmaster for the New England Patriots; chatterbox; constant smoker; part-time drunk; occasional bartender; chatterbox (again); arrogant, yet generous; slave to Tara; slave to the Fantasy genre and related nerdfests; chatterbox (he talked all the fucking time!); nice guy.
Sarah — Emerson grad student; (bad) writer; ridiculously annoying voice (all monotone and mumbly); dressed as though she was hot (she wasn’t); passive-aggressive; spineless.
When I moved out I was living with Rick and Sarah. I tried for months to find someone to replace me on the lease, but to no avail. At the last minute, and because I despised both my roommates and my landlord, I found some sloth of a guy who was looking for a place to live. I quickly found the appropriate paperwork at the local realtor, had him fill it out, and essentially approved him as my replacement without consulting the roommates or landlord. (This was literally the day before I left Boston for good, mind you.) The next morning I received a call from my replacement, asking me if I could sign for his rental truck as he must have packed his license and wallet in one of the boxes. Because I was on my way out of town and, well, simply didn’t want to, I refused and wished him luck.
About two weeks later I got a call from Rick, who informed me that not only was the landlord pissed, but the reason the new roommate couldn’t “find” his license was because, well, he didn’t have one. Turns out he’d been arrested and had his license suspended. What’s more, Rick explained that Sarah was afraid of him, as I believe he had been arrested for stalking. When the landlords finally managed to get ahold of me in my new Philadelphia digs, they weren’t too pleased. Not only had I added someone to the lease without their permission, but I also left my 1985 Jeep Cherokee in the driveway of my house. Why? Well, the damn thing wouldn’t start and, frankly, I just didn’t give a fuck. The landlords never managed to get rid of the replacement roommate or collect another dime from me. (Hmm, is it any wonder I’ve had so much bad shit happen to me in the last few years?)
Just a picture of my favorite eatery/watering hole in Davis Square (Somerville). They used to have “all-you-can-eat-meat” for Saturday lunch. Delicious/Disgusting.
If there’s one thing I hope you take away from this tale, it’s this: don’t piss me off. I’m an asshole. Just ask Sarah, whose car door handles I pissed all over after coming home drunk from the bar. Enjoy my urine, Skank.
This is exactly what I’ll do to you, only with less daylight, better aim and fewer grey pubes.
That’s it for this installment of Tales of the Wandering Jew. Beware: your couch (and car) could be next!
Until next time, have at it, you vultures!