Plaisir


Scott (Part Two)
December 14, 2008, 2:36 PM
Filed under: Chatty Kathys, Prehistoric Homosexuals, Roommates

When my mom and my sister left me after everything was finally moved in, I took in a breath of fresh air in what would be my new home.  I joyfully hopped over to the dining room table, where I found a note, written in almost perfect Helvetica, that said: “Welcome home!”-how cordial!-“Make yourself as comfortable as possible while Huberto is staying here.  I’m sure he’ll be out soon.  Any questions, feel free to call! Ok!”

‘Wait, I have a question,’ I thought to myself, ‘Who in Hades is Huberto?’  I went over to look in my new room, only to find that there was articles of clothing strewn about, a suitcase completely open, and a whole bunch of old man stench.  While I was angry about this, there wasn’t much I could do, and seeing as I had rehearsal in twenty minutes, I didn’t have time to do anything anyway.  So I begged Doug to come pick me up and told myself to deal with it whenever I got back.

I got home from rehearsal around 9:30, and the first thing I see when I open the door is, what I assume, a Huberto.  He resembled an oversized Gremlin, which frightened me when I realized he was drinking a glass of water.  His accent was thick, like a cream-based soup, and his smile was so crooked you could have shot pennies clear through the gaps in his teeth.  I was certainly overcritical of him when first meeting, and I had every right to be.  The man was an intruder in my house.  I didn’t know him, and because of him, I had to camp on the couch for the night.

For the rest of the week, I came home after rehearsal, only to find this Huberto character maxin’ and relaxin’ all up on the couch.  I continued to ask Scott as to when I could actually move in to the room, and he told me that Huberto would be gone A.S.A.P. “I’m sorry about this…I’ll make sure and give you a refund for some of the rent money because of this-ok!”  That made me feel a little better, but when Huberto began to disappear mysteriously even though his stuff was still there, I began to worry that this would quickly turn into my permanent, dysfunctional living situation.  Scott, me, and the estranged Mexican immigrant Huberto who wouldn’t go away.

I remember one of the first nights I moved in, I had decided to take a shower.  It was around 10:30, and Huberto had already gone to bed, considering it was noches and all.  Scott informed me that he was almost always home around 11:30, so when I got out of the shower, I had left all of my clean pajamas sitting outside the door.  Wearing only my bikini-cut underwear (just for you ladies), I creeped out of the door, hoping and praying that Scott would still be making his way back.  Unfortunately, he was the first thing I saw.  Fourteen seconds and an awkward greeting later, I was completely clothed and completely mortified.  I had never expected him to see me practically naked, especially within the first week of my living there.  A few weeks later, I found a Crisco tub-sized container of lubricant in one of the bathroom cupboards, and after that, I vowed to make sure that I never showed too much skin ever again.

Unfortunately, I also discovered that Huberto wasn’t just a house guest, but a house boy as well, if you will.  As much as the thought of them comparing bojangles disgusted me, I was relieved that I at least wasn’t the first cut of meat being primed in the apartment.  But the Three’s Company act was getting very old very fast, so luckily Huberto packed his bags and flew back past the border before I tore all of my hair out.

During my most recent show, the relationship between Scott and I was strictly professional, which was good, seeing as befriending a creepy old gay wasn’t on my list of things to do.  We would communicate mostly via email and little notes that he had left me which, albeit annoying, I found were somewhat effective at the time.  I was too busy to be dealing with him anyway, I figured, and so far, everything had been okay.

One night when Scott came home from work, I was still awake, making myself something to eat.  He began to vent about work, even though I never asked him how his day was.  What would have been a ten minute conversation quickly turned into a forty five minute conversation.  During most of it, I was tuned out and thinking only about how I wanted to go to bed.

“…They make me do so much work there, it would make your eyes pop.  I mean, seriously, just because I’m good at my job doesn’t mean they can just take advantage of that, you know?”

I yawned.

“But it’s better than my old job.  Much better people.  Where I used to work, there was just too many black people.  Seriously, it was incredibly ghetto there, and that’s just not my scene.  I eventually had to put in my two weeks because I just couldn’t stand the way they talked anymore.”

‘The way they talked anymore?’ I thought, ‘What the hell does that mean?’  It was then that I started to question whether or not Scott was a Quaker.  Between the dislike of black people, the frugality of his ways, and the fact that voting was quote “against his religion” made me seriously believe that his ancestors landed on Plymouth and ransacked all of the Indian land.  On the plus side, his great-great-great-great-great grandparents probably invented Thanksgiving.

One of my good friends, I found out, lived next door, so every couple of days, we would have a cigarette outside before I went to bed.  I relayed the story above to her once, and it left her stunned and slightly amused.

“He really said that?  Who says stuff like that anymore?  For real…”  I nodded.  There were fundamental differences between Scott and I, yes, but how comfortable could I feel living with a bigot?

Later, that same week, I informed Scott that I would be grocery shopping that weekend.  Apparently, this was unacceptable, and he became huffy.  “Why are you going grocery shopping?”  I figured it would be moot to inform him that humans need proper nutrition in order to live, and that Deerfield yogurt raisins really didn’t count as food to me.  “I mean, I have a lot of food here…and you’re welcome to it, didn’t I mention that?  I don’t want the food to go to waste.  And I know how expensive food can be…”  I cut him off, “Well, okay, I’ll do a small shop, just a few things then, right?”  He smiled, “That’s fine.  I’ll make some room in the fridge.  Oh, and by the way, you should try that kilbasa.  Not to toot my own horn, but it’s positively to die for!”  

It was alright.

I bought only a few things that weekend, like I promised, but even with what I bought, he had so much food that it was a task to fit all of my food in any of the cupboards.  I ended up having to put some of the canned food in my closet in my room, which wasn’t really all that big of a deal.  As the days went by, I ate my newly bought food, but I also heeded his counsel and ate some of his too.  I admit, I was ruthless with the Swiss cheese, but other than that, I tried to contain myself, because I knew that I wasn’t the one who payed for it, and even though I was given permission, it just felt slightly wrong.

On Friday, I got an email from him that was unexpected, malicious, and downright strange.  

“Morn.

Keep dishes clean-ok!

Also, don’t forget to lock door when leaving.  Intruders are unwanted in my home.”

Two things: 1. The definition of intruder is someone who is unwanted, correct?  I guess I should have remembered redundancy was his forte.  And 2. MY home?  ‘I pay half the rent here, you dinosaur!’ I thought to myself.  But there was more:

“I understand that you are not purchasing your own groceries and only eating my food.  Are you really that busy that you can’t go to the store?  Or is it just laziness?  I don’t feel like being taken advantage of, so if this is a problem, let me know.”

I was, for lack of a better word, flabbergasted.  He threw a diva fit when I told him I was going to go food shopping.  So I did exactly what he wanted.  I ate his food.  I told him all of this, and the response I got was so dramatic, even Perez Hilton would have been like, “Okay bitch, relax.”

“Well, would you rather us talk about this like civilized men, or how about I just start looking for a new roommate?”

I figured that once the cocaine he was clearly snorting wore off, so would his crazy power trip.  The funniest thing about reading these emails was that Scott, in person, resembled a rejected Build-a-Bear.  A rejected Build-a-Bear with no soul and a thirst for young gay blood.  I told we needed to talk, and he suggested we had a “meeting” later that weekend.  I sarcastically told him I’d pencil him in, but being the anal retentive fool he was, he said he’d do the same.

The meeting was creepily similar to the ones I have at work.  There was notepads, adjusting of pant legs, pencil tapping, and, at least on my part, grogginess.  He had made a list of all of the things that he wanted to address to me.  Here are some of my favorite highlights:

Number 3: “Now, I know we all brush our teeth, but after you’re done, make sure and wipe down the mirror.”  How patronizing!

Number 7: “If you eat my chocolate, I will kill you, your family, and anyone that makes you happy.”  Luckily, I don’t eat dark chocolate.

Number 11: “I wouldn’t sing in the shower after 11:30”  Really?  I would.

Number 14: “I can’t really hear your flute, since I’m deaf in one ear.”  Why the hell is this important?  My Saturday is dwindling away!

On and on this went, and we barely even discussed the food situation.  All he said about it was, “Look, I don’t care what you eat.”  ‘Wow, that’s vague,’ I thought to myself, ‘And strange, since you seem to care about everything else I ever do.’  When the meeting was over, we pushed in our chairs, shook hands, and continued on with our lives.  At least, for the time being.

Scott quickly became a hindrance on my happiness and my social life.  I couldn’t bring friends over, since he lived in a museum and as curator, was too afraid to let anyone in that might tarnish the art work from Big Lots that retails for about $19.99 plus tax.  I couldn’t bring over guys because the next day he would suddenly act as if we were best friends and wanted to hear all about it: “Tell me everything!  Leave out no details…seriously, I’m not squeamish or grossed out by sexual things, you can tell me.”  When greeted with this, I would just shrug and say it was fun.  He didn’t appreciate this lack of openess, so he just pursed his lips and went to his room to masturbate, I assume.

A few weeks later, I couldn’t take it anymore.  He sent me an email that was so disrespectful and mean-spirited, I began to look for a new place.  Fortunately, I found the perfect house with two amazing girls (where I’m currently living), and I informed him two weeks before hand that I was planning on moving.  I was way too nice in the email, apologizing profusely and saying that it was a lot of fun living there.  What I got back was short and bitchy, fitting for his personality I suppose.

“Please fix any damages before vacating apartment-ok.  Move all belongings out of apartment.  Other than that, nothing-ok”  

Well thanks, Scott.  I had no idea how moving worked.  Thank you for clarifying.

I’ve officially been out of Scott’s oddly sexual and parental clutches for two weeks now, and I couldn’t be happier.  The two months I spent with Scott made me realize that some people are just not meant to have roommates, and Scott was definitely one of them.  Everything had to be by his rules at all times, and if he changed them on you, you were supposed to infer and adapt, like a good little boy.  “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”  Michael did warn me, and, like everyone who gives me advice I don’t follow, he was right.  So this may sound like common sense, but do yourself a favor.  Stay away from OCD gay gentlemen who have bipolar tendencies and can openly talk about their hemorrhoids for a good twenty minutes-ok!



Scott (Part One)
November 26, 2008, 4:02 PM
Filed under: Chatty Kathys, Prehistoric Homosexuals, Roommates

During my one-month stint at Chateau Rancid Meat (Courtyard Condominiums), I began to compile a list in my head of all the things I wanted in my next roommate.  Once again, I wasn’t very particular, and in all honesty, the list was almost entirely a reaction to Jack’s style of living.  It was as follows:

1. Be coherent when speaking.

2. Clean up own messes

**Bonus would be cleaning up mine as well.

3. A lover, not a fighter.

That’s about as far as I got before I started on my newly-bought block of Swiss from the Metro Market.  Bearing all of this in mind, I set off to find a roommate who could satisfy all three of my basic needs.  The search, like all roommate-related searches, began on Craigslist.  Most of the selections were too pricey, or the description sounded off.  Some might have terrible grammar, which made me wonder if they spoke in fragments too, making those options unthinkable, really.  Then there were the ones that said, “We’re freakishly, almost PAINFULLY clean!  U B 2!!!”  This person was doubly offensive, because they implied that I would not only have to scrub floors until my fingernails peeled off, but also I would have to endure morning notes consisted of broken English: “Could u not eat ne more pckld herring?  Thnx!!!!!!” 

Probably my favorite one was a relatively cheap condominium on Brady, and by cheap, I mean cheap for Brady street.  The pictures were stunning, and as I read over the basic information, it was starting to sound better and better.  I reached the point in the ad where the person talks about what they are looking for in a roommate.  This man, or woman I suppose, but I doubt it, actually said:

“Looking for someone clean, responsible, can pay bills on time, and HETEROSEXUAL.”

I wasn’t offended that he was specifically looking for a roommate that he could talk about vaginas with over a cold one, but I was more offended that he lumped heterosexual in with a list that would, in the social norm, consider someone a good roommate.  To me, it’s like saying good is “vacuums, never late on rent, and sleeps with women”, and bad is “messy, waiting to get evicted, and sleeps with men.”  Granted, I’ve been accused and convicted of all above crimes, but that doesn’t mean you get to stereotype the rest of us.  Why not just stick to the nice stereotypes?  What happened to “gay men make great stylists!” or “I bet you twenty bucks I can find a queen carrying a schnauzer around in a handbag.”  Both harmless and politically incorrect, these are stereotypes that are fun for the whole family.

I did retaliate in a simple but powerful manner.  Responding to the email, all I did was post a link to an online housing information website, that included a housing discrimination clause.  It worked; I checked back a day later and the word HETEROSEXUAL was lower-cased.

I was getting ready to call it quits when I clicked on an ad that actually interested me.  While he missed a few capitalization of words, I figured that could easily be ignored in face-to-face conversation.  The strangest thing about this ad was that every declaration was followed by the words, “Okay?”  I had mixed feelings about this.  On one hand, it made me feel not just safe, but like I was part of the decision making process too, and I wasn’t even living there yet: “Yeah…yeah…okay!”  On the contrary, I felt like this was patronizing as well, like he was saying: “This is how it is, okay?”  For the right place at the right price, I could be, quite happily, stepped upon, so this didn’t really phase me.  I sent him an email and asked if I could see the place.  Saturday worked for the both of us, so we set the appointment to meet.

Here’s the thing.  I don’t do what some people call “apartment shopping” or “apartment hunting.”  No, I look at one place, ONE place, and usually only once.  If I don’t like it, I convince myself to so that I don’t have to waste more time looking for something else.  In fact, I would take apartments that most of my friends would definitely turn away.  “Sorry C.J., but the rat traps in the kitchen, the sulfuric acid pond in the backyard…and the blowup doll named Margaret dressed in a boa sitting on the couch watching Ace Ventura?  I don’t know about that…”  What they didn’t know was that Margaret, allegedly, payed rent there, and also made a rather good decoy if someone were to break in, but I doubt telling them this would have mattered.  My friends were overly-choosy in my eyes.  Why DID a roommate have to be a human?  Why couldn’t it be a sexual, inanimate object that’s been freakishly humanized by being baptized on the date of her purchase?  I suppose I’m just too forward thinking for some.

I subconsciously knew that I would move in there before I got there, no matter how small the room was or scary the roommate was.  On my way there, I began to think of my list, and then quickly added another one to it, just as the bus was passing Whole Foods.

4. Let me eat their cheese.

Armed with this new rule, I figured that maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t be dragged into another place I’d be unhappy with.  And even if I was, at least there would be brie.

The apartment complex was a stony gray color in a typical East side neighborhood.  The black rusted gating around some of the windows gave it both an antique and a prison-like feel.  The shape resembled a large loaf of marble rye, freshly baked, just sitting on the corner of Webster street.

The man named Scott let me inside.  To describe Scott’s looks is almost like describing Scott’s personality.  Almost.  He had salt-and-pepper hair due to his age, but it was soft and oddly childish, the haircut resembling a Evangelical choir boy’s.  His glasses gave him the silhouette of a stylish dung beetle and magnified his eyeballs to the size of Sno-Cones served by carnies souped up on speed.  He dressed his age and then some: a pea-green plaid button-up (buttoned to the top), freshly pressed slacks raised conspicuouslyabove the waist (with a little sock showing), a skinny brown belt, and brown oxfords.  Looking at all of this and taking it all in, I was starting to think that he would be a refined intellectual with grace and wonderful insight.  As soon as he opened his mouth and began his emphatic, incredibly homosexual gestures, I began to imagine Fred Rogers as opposed to Fred Astaire.

The first thing I noticed about Scott was how much hot air he could blow up your ass.  To Scott, talking was like street luging: you don’t stop until you run out of pavement, and to him, there wasn’t a grassy knoll in sight.  The most uncomfortable part of this was that his conversational skills rivaled a Rhesus monkey’s, so transitions were either incredibly awkward or just non-existent.  I would begin to discuss the electric bill or security deposit, and he’d start talking about his family.  

“My niece, god bless the poor little soul, do you have ANY idea what she did the other day?!”

I hadn’t a clue.

“Well, here’s the thing…she’s always been bad with money, which is why I always say to her ‘Darlin, why don’t you let Uncle Scott take care of your money?’  Because I mean, before she started living on her own, she was well-to-do, we were all well-to-do really, even me…well, NOW I live in this apartment because my parents don’t really speak to me any more.  You see we’re very religious, so when I came out, you know what they did with my inheritance?  Just took right out from under me!  Can you believe it!?  I mean, that money WAS rightfully mine!  But you know, it taught me a valuable lesson.  It taught me how to be frugal, you know?  And not like…not STINGY, no, no, no, no, NO….NEVER stingy!  I’m just smart about what I buy!  You have to be these days, of course.  I mean, with the job market the way it is and the economy and everything…I say why not buy Deerfieldbrand food?  It tastes the same to me, even if it’s got all of those other preservatives in it.  It saves me money, which like I said, is REALLY key in this day and age.  I don’t know about what the next president plans to do about it…I can only imagine.  Oh, I don’t vote myself, of course…against my religion.  I don’t even really watch anything about politics!  But you know, I can’t help but wonder which of the two will end up winning.  It seems like politics are suddenly all the rage…just like in the 60’s, when I was your age!  You know, you’re actually close in age to my niece…she’s really stupid with money.  Did I mention that?  Well, anyway, she actually got ANOTHER credit card the other day!  I just wanted shout at her so badly!  I wanted to say ‘What were you THINKING!?’  You know, because I’m really good with money…I save a lot, scrimp, I guess you could call it.  But I am certainly not stingy.  You have to be smart these days…with the stock market and everything…”

I had nodded so much during this speech that I thought my neck was going to snap off.  For an hour this continued.  His stories ranged from mild, (“There’s nothing better than a freshly baked ginger snap!”) to wild, (“Did you know my best friend burned down his own mansion and lost ALL of his assets?!  I kid you not!”) to the downright strange, (“Sleep with whoever you want, I say.  That’s my motto.”)  I began to think of Scott as almost like a caricature or a Looney Tunes character.  When all my questions were half-answered and all of his stories finally hung out to dry, I told him I’d think about it and went on my way, knowing that while he was almost painfully strange, I was still planning on living here.

On the bus ride home, I called my mom and told her about him.  The skepticism in her voice was as thick as glue, and so was the disappointment.  “You’re just moving in?  Just like that?  But he’s…well he’s gay right?”  I took slight offense to this, but I did see her point, and she wasn’t the only one who brought it up.  Doug was just as wary: “Well, what exactly does a forty-five year old man want with a nineteen year old in his house?”  I told both of them not to worry, and that I would take care of that issue, and relay to him that this goose was not made for cookin’.

On the move in date, I got whatever my mom didn’t leave on the curb from the last place and hauled up the stairs.  Scott wasn’t home, but a nice little welcome letter was set for me on the table.  Unfortunately, his “friend” (quotations are sexual in this case) Huberto had not yet left the apartment yet, and since he was staying in the other bedroom at that time, I would be sleeping on the couch, at least for one night.  Stressed and in a rush, I unpacked whatever I could, and made my way to rehearsal.  Scott seemed to be trying to make me feel comfortable, but with all the notes and all the promises of refunds on rent for being put out of my own room just made me feel like a burden.  And I never did see a dime back from that first check.  Hmph, frugal indeed.

Prior to my move, the most real conversation I had about this situation was with my supervisor, Michael.  We were both doing a show together, and before rehearsal had started, we were outside having the usual cigarette break.  I started to tell him about my moving process and began to explain Scott, not leaving any of the quirky details out, but trying as best as I could to accentuate the positives.  When I was done, Michael frowned, “So, are you sure you’re paying with money?” he joked.  I laughed, and said I was nearly positive, which was the honest truth.  My response was followed by a short silence.  He squinted, flicked his cigarette, and took a different tact, “It sounds sketchy to me.  I mean, a forty five year old man living with a nineteen year old?  He’s alone and you’re both gay?  C’mon, you’re not stupid.  You know what that’s about.”  While it was a nice compliment to say I wasn’t stupid, I wasn’t all to sure he was correct.  Here I was with three people telling me, not outright of course, but implying that this move wasn’t in my best interests unless I wanted the world’s most long-winded sugar daddy, and I hadn’t wavered once about the move.  I’m stubborn by nature, but this time it was much more than that.  It was about convenience and money.  I was getting into a financial hole quickly and needed a cheaper place, so I told him it was all I could find on such short notice. 

He just shrugged and said, “Well, do what you want, just don’t say I didn’t warn you.”