Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

The quarter.

Sunday marked the closure of the twenty-fifth year of my life. I celebrated with a low-key evening at my girlfriend’s place, conversing with friends and watching Conan O’Brien do an absolutely brilliant job hosting the Emmys. I took yesterday off to “recover,” although I didn’t get drunk or any other such thing requiring recovery. It was a day off, though, and I don’t have to justify it to anybody.

This past weekend also began the final chapter in the saga of my former roommate. To summarize events once and for all:

My former roommate Sharlie lived with us for a year, during which she was moody, antisocial, slobbish, and generally unpleasant to cohabitate with. She bought junk from yard sales that she claimed she would resell, but she never did, leaving it to stack up and gather dust. Between all of that and the fact that she missed paying rent in July [1], prompting our normally saint-patient landlord to send us a polite note mentioning that a quarter of our rent was missing, we asked her to please leave by September 1st.

At the beginning of August, she gathered up a truckload and a half of odds, ends, and her cat, off for parts unknown. She left us a note saying she’d be back in one or two weeks with a truck for the rest of it–furniture, jewelry boxes, and piles of clothing. Today marks nearly six weeks since that note, which was the last time any of us heard from her at all. For a week or so, I began to think she was dead; I was about a day away from going to the police station and filing a missing persons report. The cell number she gave us was registered to her mother, who never called us back. Her best friend called us asking where she was.

It was a strange accident that led us to discover she was working in Urbana…one of my other roommates [2] was speaking to her former boss in Urbana, and, since the boss had also formerly employed Sharlie, Ken asked if by chance he’d seen her recently. Yes, replied boss. She’s been working for me for a few weeks.

What a strange relief it is to be able to go back to disliking someone with unmixed fervor. When the possibility existed that she was missing or dead, I felt guilty about how ticked I was at her. Knowing that she was alive, but just didn’t care about all of her stuff [3], allowed me to resume homogenized displeasure.

We gave her until last Sunday to merely contact us about picking up her stuff, presuming that if she did this much, we would give her an extra week to rent a truck and come get it. Sunday night came and went, and we had no phone call. As such, in a page from the Big Manual of We Mean Business, I have begun sorting her property into piles of Thing I Want (CDs, books, poster frames), Things Saleable (phonographs, etcetera), Things Donateable (twelve garbage bags filled with vintage clothing) and Things Disposable (papers and miscellany). While I feel uncomfortable and a bit ghoulish scavenging her CD collection–coming away with three Primus albums, three Underworld albums, and a host of other neat albums–the fact of the matter is that we have too much of her junk, and if she doesn’t care enough about it to retrieve it, or even plead with us not to get rid of it, then she has made a decision to leave it to the wolves. Howl, I say.

We’re changing the locks as soon as possible, to boot. Hopefully the sales of her unwanted CDs, books, and vinyl will help cover this.

Held auditions on Saturday for a staged reading of a play I’ve been having a bear of a time revising. The last person to audition got to her call late, which normally goes against you, except that she was late because she was on a train that hit somebody on a Red Line stop [4]. Despite her shakiness (she saw the victim), she had a hell of a great audition, and was cast in one of the other two readings.

My thoughts have slowly disjointed in the writing of this entry. I may have had something to mention about American imperialism, but it’s not there anymore. Ah well, on to the footnotes.

[1] After we asked her to leave for not paying rent on time, we were additionally vindicated in our resolve by the fact that the check she eventually sent up to our landlord ended up bouncing. Vindicated, but it meant we had to cover her rent for her, which sucked. We had already agreed to cover August for her, just to get her out as soon as possible, but the extra rent put a strain on my finances that I’m still correcting now. Suffice to say my $2000 floor resolution from January is now firmly broken. Having to replace the exhaust system on my Honda Accord [5] didn’t help, either.

[2] Ken used to date Sharlie. In hindsight, this was a recipe for disaster on several levels. In foresight, too, but my other roommate and I didn’t speak up about it.

[3] Part of the reason I thought she might be dead was due to the types of things she left behind. It wasn’t just clothing and furniture, we’re talking about expensive electronics, unused checkbooks, a drivers’ license, love letters, stuffed animals, baby photos, cameras…we could open a pawn shop based just on what she left us. I have never seen a worse packrat than this woman.

[4] This was completely unrelated–and also relatively underreported–to the weekend incident in which a police officer on a drug sting was hit by a train and killed.

[5] I’m starting to think I can hit 200,000 miles in this thing, but am wary of testing the hypothesis.

Current music: MP3 list, U2, “All I Want Is You”

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This entry was posted on September 24, 2002 by in Life, Plays, Theatre, Writing.
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