It seemed rather silly, all of this. It wasn’t like I was looking for this or anything. My company’s scheduled to shift locations in July, so I still had about 6 months to sort things out. And knowing me, I was going to milk every second of it that I could.
I wasn’t looking really, because there was no prodding motive. No inciting incident. Things at home were good. At least, they were comfortable. The parents were fine; Dad was just like an older roommate with whom I’d share stories, drinks and laughs, and Mom was, you know, Mom. I mean, she made sure I was taken care of. I ate well. I had a four-dish meal almost every night. She practically had the fattened calf slaughtered every night and anointed me with a robe and sandals. I pretty much lived like the prodigal son, minus the ho’s and pig feed.
So, I had no reason to go. It wasn’t even on my life radar.
Then I open my inbox one day, like any other normal day, and I receive a message through Facebook from an old friend/co-worker:
wanna be my roommate? :D”
It was so random I didn’t know what to make of it. I hadn’t talked to this guy in months. This was a joke right? I knew I needed a haircut, but I wasn’t so sure about a roommate. It’s probably a joke anyway, I thought, so I brushed it off at first.
But the idea stuck on me. The more I thought about it, the more appealing it became. Something in me wanted to do it. But I was confused, because it felt good, even right, yet it didn’t make sense logically. I mean, I’d be sharing a room (like college again?!), losing my privacy, paying more rent, and it would make commuting to work a little more inconvenient. It made no sense to those around me.
But somewhere along the way you learn that you can’t always make life decisions based on logic. Logic is important, but it has little to offer on the matters of the heart. This whole thing made sense to my aortic pump. So I messaged him back with interest.
A month later, I find myself in a new situation.
It’s the five of us: Schellenberg from Oakland (my roommate), “Fibes” from Texas, “Gitis,” a local kid who once played high school ball against Baron Davis, and this dude I’ve yet to meet named Daniel who supposedly rides a Harley and cooks like Emeril. And me, the token yellow man, I suppose. This is sounding too eerily like an NBC sitcom.
Going into this, I expected to experience some sort of shock. Like walking around with shoes in the house, which I still don’t get it. I also expected to be without some of the amenities at home, like the extra closet space and such. But I was surprised to find out that they didn’t even have some of the basics. When I went up to get a glass of water, I asked Gitis, “So where do you guys get your water?” He pointed to the sink. (For those concerned, I have been taking my thermos to work and back just to make sure I’m keeping properly hydrated.)
I suppose this is what a bachelor’s pad is like. Missing waste baskets. Overflowing trash cans. Messy tabletops. And I need to play around with four light switches just to turn on the dining room lights. If houses could be trophy wives, this would be the exact polar opposite.
But somehow, through it all, they’ve turned this house into a home. They watch and play sports together. Share meals and stories about school and girls. They have traditions here. Things like Mario Party Thursdays and Walk-Around-Half-Naked Fridays. (Just kidding about the latter, but I’ll probably start that trend in no time.) You can feel that there’s a deep, thriving pulse in this place.
I haven’t had the most sleep the last few nights or privacy or even drinking water for that matter, but I’m having a blast. Because this is challenging and growing me in ways I wouldn’t have known in the peaks of comfort. We are creatures of comfort, and we never needed someone else to teach us how to put life on auto-pilot. It takes a whole other person within us to rise above it.
There are many amazing stories and adventures out there; sometimes, it’s just a matter of us getting out there and looking for them. I’m looking forward to writing this next chapter of my life.
Well, that’s if I survive. Please check in with me this weekend to make sure I haven’t died of dehydration.