What is it that makes us want to surrender our personal space to someone else? Sometimes it is as simple as a relationship where closeness takes priority. Other times it is required to share in the responsibility of making ends meet. And sometimes it is the fear of being alone that prompts us to seek out the company of others. It is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Every pro and con should be weighed and despite our best efforts, rarely do new roommates work out as we had hoped.
Heather was in the process of moving out of our apartment and a chain of events led to Randy moving in. I really don’t remember if I was looking for a new roommate or if his needing a place to stay was enough for me to take pity on him and extend the invite. The two of us had been working together for months as repo men, shared a lot of the same interests and always got along well. That should have been enough but as much as I thought I knew Randy, there was much that remained a mystery. After he moved in, I found out more about him than I ever wanted to know.
The first problem we faced was his feet, more specifically the odor surrounding them. He had never removed his shoes while we were travelling together and the first time the smell of a sweaty gym locker permeated the apartment, I knew that something had to be done. Randy was good about keeping his feet clean but there was no hope for his shoes. He washed them repeatedly and after that failed, set them outside in the apartment breezeway. We thought we had found a solution to the problem until one of our neighbors tracked down the smell and came knocking at our door asking that the shoes be removed.
Then there was his unusual collection of porn. I enjoy adult entertainment but some things that happen in the bedroom should stay locked away in there. I was at my computer desk when I noticed that the printer was out of paper. As I reached for the ream, a loose stack of printed pages fell onto the floor. Being the days before porn was so portable, I thought it was just a collection of attractive women that Randy had found on the internet and decided to print out for later use but upon closer inspection, I discovered that every single one of them had a penis. I had heard of hermaphrodites but just like felching, scatting, snowballing or necrophilia, there are some words that should come with a warning label before Googling. This was one of those moments where I knew that nothing good could possibly come from my asking Randy about his collection and the and the pages were put back where I found them.
Foot odor and chicks with dicks aside, Randy really wasn’t that bad as a roommate. He was a quiet guy, cleaned up after himself and always had his half of the rent ready at the first of the month. It was a welcomed change after surviving a few ex-girlfriends and one ex-wife.