the roommate

My roommate has interrupted the writing of this post three times already and I’ve only been writing for ten minutes. Every time he interrupts, I start a new post because the old one stops making any sense.

He’s not an overly chatty person so I like to spend time with his thoughts when he wants to share them, but today I’ve felt like I have a hangover, and he seems more effusive about life than normal, than possible, than reasonable. Is this how I sound to everyone around me normally?

Also, what’s the cure for a hangover when you haven’t consumed any alcohol?

This is the sort of question I would normally give to my roommate because he is good with puzzles, like me, but is far more grounded. I’m not going to do that right now, because I can’t risk a whole conversation or another trashed post. It’s only 7pm but it looks like midnight, and I want to wrap my head in bags of ice and step away from the light. It doesn’t need screenlight.

My head already has three trapeze artists practicing their flips in it. My head already has a marching band, playing their way through a field of something I’m allergic to. My head already set my teeth to aching– probably told them a sad story or a ghost story. Teeth are vulnerable things, it’s why the fae folk buy them back.

Yesterday was Diwali and I spent it surrounded by love, and luxury, and quiet joys. If the day was a sign of how the year will go, it will be a blessed one.

Of course, that’s what I thought last year when the day was full of extra time, falling from my pockets like wild strawberries that were more plentiful than I was spacious. The boyf bought me a watch last year, and included a note about how I would have time for everything.

It was the theme of the day, and this year, I’ve had more empty time, more extra time, than I’ve ever had in my entire life. I didn’t expect it to come with the price tag of a world-wide quarantine, or mandatory surgery bed rest, but here it is. Minutes and ticks, seconds and tocks, more ready for the harvest than I am ready for the hold.

The roommate is really wonderful about my superstitions. On the morning of Diwali, he learned how to braid a paranda into my hair. He already knows how to pleat a saree and I have learned to stand patiently as he clucks at me like a desi grandmother, telling me the saree would hold without pins if I just stood right.

Image is a stock shop photo showing a gold and yellow paranda (collected ribbons and threads) braided into a braid.

The image of it is even more fun when you know how the roommate looks. He is bearded and white, with a full sleeve of tattoos on both arms, and a bit of a Clint Eastwood squint. He drives a growling red Jeep and looks like exactly the sort of person you’d expect to leap out of it.

The Roommate (Image shows guy drinking a beer and holding a phone. It is an excellent photo because Ra took it. You would maybe not suspect the guy in the photo is adept at pleating sarees and decorating tiny cakes made for tiny robots.)

I love introducing him to people as the person who helped me make hundreds of paper flowers to give away. The one who hand-painted a gnome and then photoshopped him into a reality that I could paste into many adventures.

When I decorated the gnome home for the holiday, he carefully found a way to make the light work. Light is an important part of Diwali. He knows that now because I’ve lived here many years, and we participate in each other’s shenanigans.

Back in August, one of his tiny house robots had a birthday and we celebrated that.

And of course some of you will remember when we wrote a book together, and started a line of Long Beach t-shirts. When we first met, I told him about how Dave used to set the clocks forward for me on bad days to give a fresh start whenever I wanted one. The roommate told me about his mom who passed away years before, and how she used to cover up his math problems so he only had to deal with one at a time.

It is our loss of these extraordinarily loving people in our lives that drew us together, but I’d like to think it was the lives of those extraordinarily loving people that guide us in our tiny acts of creativity and celebration.

We are two people who have learned how to celebrate everything, how to celebrate anyway, how to pick up a life that has been completely crumbled, and, you know…

get to work.

Get to work rebuilding joy.

And now that you’ve met another character in my day to day life, I’m going to go find him and see if he knows how to fix this headache.

I hope the cure involves cookies.

Day 15 of 30

Upside-down Pepper over the words "NanoPoblano2020 -"

25 thoughts on “the roommate

  1. “Also, what’s the cure for a hangover when you haven’t consumed any alcohol?”

    Hot cocoa, I think.

    I’m glad you had a nice Diwali. The tiny robots are adorable. I hope you get cookies, even if they’re not part of a cure.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Cocoa is one of those delicious treats that I completely forget exist until it’s mentioned. I’m adding it to my shopping list for future medicines. 🙂 I think you’d love the robots! They don’t really do anything but poke around and hit things, including my tiny cake that they attacked 😂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love so many people born on the 27th of August, I know quite a few of them 😉 I hope your head feels better and that cookies were involved in your cure. Hugs and healing energy coming your way. Your roommate seems like an amazing person, you are both lucky to have each other ❤


  3. Touching post… to live life anyway. Family member passed last week. Very hard right now. Hard to look up but I must be hopeful that better times will come… bless you and your roommate! Sounds so fun😁

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a beautiful post! May I say I’m in love with your writing. 🙂

    Oh, and the mention of Diwali came as a surprise. I guess I haven’t been here long – I somehow didn’t imagine you being Indian!


  5. I get nonalcoholic hangovers too. It’s probably called sleep deprivation in my case, but they feel exactly like a hangover and a not-so-friendly reminder of why I don’t consume alcohol anymore.

    Your descriptions of people in your life are my favorite writings of yours. I love all of your writing, but how you see others is really beautiful to read.


  6. Cookies, absolutely! I need to take lessons about pleating from the roommate as I certainly don’t stand right when trying to drape myself in my robot sari (which I haven’t done in some time … I don’t have the correct shirt for it, or anywhere to wear it after all. That’s a lot of work to wear … for work at home :-/


  7. Oh I hate that when I’m interrupted when writing especially but he sounds like he more than makes up with it and I’m sur he’ll have a cure for your HA. lovely Diwali shared with your beautiful pics of Diwali making it meaningful and special. May the light of love be with you as you wrtite your next beautiful post! ❤️✨✨✨❤️ Cindy


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