Song of My Returning

Don’t get me wrong. He’s a nice guy. He’s immature, wishy-washy, and hopelessly idealistic, but he’s a nice guy. Also, he’s an okay cook. All in all, he’s a pretty good roommate, although I kinda wish he’d give up that crush he’s got on me. Yeah, don’t tell him I said that, he probably doesn’t think I know. Hell, I knew it from the first time I locked eyes with the guy. I wish I could just tell him that it’s not gonna happen, that the two of us would just end up hating each other in the end… but I’m pretty sure that would drive his little artistic brain into some fit of Shakespeare love/suicide craziness. I’m really not wanting to look for another roommate, especially one that seems to work, so him leaping off a building or something would totally screw my plans. You know how artists are.

And believe me, I know how artists are. I’m a talent scout: people send me their resumes and headshots and all the self-masturbatory claims of how good they were in their high school version of “Grease.” 99% of the time, I toss their stuff in the garbage can. I don’t know if it’s something in the water, or the way these kids are being raised, or some kind of genetic mutation, but damn are there some stupid kids out there today. I call it the “American Idol” effect, although if I had my way I’d probably just call them all American Assholes. I’m not exactly an old broad, but when I was their age not everyone thought they were the next Meryl Streep or Madonna or… shit, now I am dating myself. Fuck.

Well, at least dating myself might be better than the jack-offs I usually wind up with. I swear, I’m like flypaper for idiots. Sure, they’re nice and attractive and the first few dates go well, but then… then it’s the little things. He picks his nose when he thinks you’re not looking. He isn’t the first one to reach for the dinner check. He doesn’t introduce you to his friends. He tries to hide his farts in the couch cushions. You get the idea. And yet… I just keep hoping that this one will be better, that this one really will be what I want from a man. I want someone strong, someone who will challenge me as much as I challenge him, love me as tough as I love him. Do I really have to sacrifice balls to get a guy I can talk to for more than a month? If Ashley is any indication, I’d say so.

He’s from Ratfuck, Indiana, or Ohio, or something like that. One of those completely unremarkable states… but definitely Ratfuck. Came out here to make his living as an artist, went to one of these hoity-toity art schools, and now (BIG SURPRISE) he’s flat broke and doodling placemat mascots for the local Choke ‘n’ Puke to make the rent. I try to find him all the work I can, but I can barely get enough decent people represented to keep me in the black. It’s shitty all around, but Ash says he doesn’t wanna have to go back home and bunk with Mom and Pop again, and I respect him for that. He’s got some balls… but they’re little ones. I guess that’s why I haven’t thrown him out onto the street yet, because frankly… he’s a little fuckin’ weird.

Take, for example, the first day we both had off. That didn’t happen often, as we’re usually working around the clock on schedules that require us to see both the ass-crack of dawn and the two PM taint. Either way, he got his stuff done, and I had most of my clients rehearsing for the day, so we figured we’d finally try to get to know each other outside of saying “hey” to and from the bathroom as we had for the first month or so. I’ve lived in the area my whole life, Hoboken, so walking around town for a hot dog or a tamale is no big thing, but remember… Ashley is weird. He raved about Anrturo’s Dog Cart like it was fuckin’ filet mignon, and if Arturo had understood any English he probably would have wondered what that kid’s problem was. I walked him down to the through Pelham Park, showed him City Island and the marina. This dumbass goes nuts, talking about how he’s never actually seen a real marina on the ocean. I wanted to tell him that Hicksville was a few miles south, if he was interested, but the damn mental patient jumped on board one of the nearest boats and started singing Billy Joel’s The Downeaster Alexa at the top of his fuckin’ lungs while playing air accordion.

AIR ACCORDION. Who the fuck does that?!

Anyway, the guy who, you know, owns the ship comes storming out and threatens to pound Ashley’s skinny ass into the dock. I had to tell him he was a mental retard to get the guy to go easy on him, and Ash spent the next twenty minutes having to walk around the dock yelling “ICE CREAM! ICE CREAM!” and looking for his helmet. I swear, do people not act like, y’know, PEOPLE out in Ratfuck? Can you just jump on someone’s John Deere… planter thing and start singing John fucking Denver? Christ, I hope he never invites me home for a holiday… but he will, because head-over-fucking-heels for me. There are days, real shitty days, when I wish I could say the same… but as fuckin’ weird as he is, I’d rather have him around and giving me the puppy-dog eyes than fucking the whole thing up.

I mean, he is the best roommate I’ve ever had. It’s nice.

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