November 6th, 2008

I walked from the bus stop at the circle K gas station with a backpack of groceries I had just bought at Smiths. I was just warm enough in my wool trench coat and the big faux-fur trimmed hood blocked the wind just enough from turning my left cheek pink. The right one went numb. Stepping into the house I saw him right where I had left him four hours ago, watching basketball. I huffed with my 30 pounds of books and groceries into the kitchen, and seeing that the clock read 10:57PM, my heart plunged. I exclaimed and moaned and groaned, and seeing that my room mate did not ask me what was wrong I began to explain anyway.

"It's just that I have been working in a field doing manual labor at 7:30AM, classes and work back to back ever since except for 1hr 30min free of which 70% was spent on the bus walking between bus stations to get where I wanted to go, and I want my car back but am holding off on the repairs so that I can afford to live. And now after getting my groceries and seeing that it is 11 at night- 11 at night! I just don't know how I can continue doing this. I don't think I'm going to be able to manage."

He was silently typing on his lap top with commercials playing quietly, he raised one eyebrow slightly and the corner of his lip formed a partial smile at the screen, he was purposefully ignoring me and had not a word of encouragement or care or interest.

I am a very happy person and it is rare that things get me down on an emotional level. But when I'm dealing with stuff, I really need comfort and support instead of the cold shoulder.

Most everyone who knows me can imagine what I did next. I craved hot tea. Unable to find my tea pot in the kitchen, I resigned myself to a can of my Fresca soda, and upon finding the rest of my cans of soda gone I decided I would just heat the hot water in my favorite mug using the microwave. Unable to find my favorite mug I peered anxiously at the kitchen sink for a full 60 seconds.

Startled out of my mini-coma by a change of tv station I looked up to see what was being brought into the house next. Ah yes, the familiar characters of South Park, a show I've never liked but tried to appreciate, swearing at me and belligerenly assaulting my mind.

I resumed a desperate search for my teapot. Down here? Up there? Behind this?

"HA HA HA HA HA HA HA" he laughed so loud that I stayed bent over as if the world was going to crash down on me.

I hate South Park. I hate basketball. I had failed to convince my roommate to let me watch 20 minutes of uninterrupted TV to watch who the leader of the free world was going to be. Instead I was miserably pressing the refresh button again and again on, watching people bounce an orange ball back and forth trying to get the ball into a metal hoop with rope netting. 32 seconds left he said. Two commercial breaks. Seven seconds. Ten seconds. I said last time he said seven seconds. He shot me a bad look and in so many words told me to shut up.

"Do you know if Tim moved my things?"


"My tea pot, all my mugs, my plates, my cups, everything. They are gone."

"If someone moved it, must have been Tim"


"HA HA HA HA HA" Someone on South Park had said something more valuable. I finally found my things in a separate cupboard that we never use on the other side of the refrigerator. By that time I didn't want to have any hot tea anymore. By that time I just wanted to get away. I go to my room to get away from things here, especially when basketball is on, mostly shrill swears and booming yells chase me up the stairs.

It is just bad timing for people to be moving my things without talking to me first. This is not the time for people to be touching and moving and changing anything of mine. It bothers me. There are very few things I have dominion over, and with so much out of hand in my life right now it is just nice to be able to come home and make myself some tea without worrying that people have been taking my drinks without asking or moving all my stuff into new special hiding places for no good reason.

Whether it's at home, in my dorm, or right here on Slow Bob Street, I eventually get the urge to move. And then I do.

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Content by Laura Gabriele