Tuesday, January 09, 2007

An Odoriferous Week

Yesterday all of midtown smelled like gas (the suspect, as usual, is Jersey). Today the elevator in my office smells like Play-Doh. I feel like the guy from "Perfume."

Anyway, I'm realizing that I've been remiss in talking about my crazy roommate on this blog. It'll be hard to catch everyone up, but let's start by saying that he's an OCD-level neatnik. He requested that after I take a shower I splash a cup of water down the tub to wash away any hair or "dead skin cells" that I might have left behind. We bleach the toilet every week, and I'm supposed to use a serving tray when eating food in my room.
There's another side to his craziness, what I've started to call Awkwardness Extreme (A.E.). It's hard to relay; our exchanges usually don't carry the punchiness of the "dead skin cells" comment. But last night there were a couple that I think will translate well to the page.

I get home at about 11:30pm, and he walks in literally 2 or 3 minutes later. In the transcription, CR stands for "Crazy Roommate" and "Me" stands for me.
Me: Hi.
CR: Hi. How are you?
Me: Good. How are you?
CR: Good. How are you?
Me: Uh, you just asked me that.
Now, this is a reasonable mistake. I've done it before. You get on a roll and just don't know when to stop. So I smile as I tell him that he just asked me that, in effect saying, "You just said something silly, and I recognize and embrace your silliness - let's laugh together." I'm giving him a way out. But his A.E. doesn't allow him to take it. He continues.
CR: I know. How are you?
Me: Uh, still good.
I'm still kind of smiling at this point, but the corners of my mouth have begun to drop. Then he just repeats the phrase over and over: "How are YOU? How ARE you? How are you, how are you, how are you?" By this point, I'm no longer smiling. I pour myself some water from the Brita filter and go to my room.

Our doors are next to each other, and if I'm not listening to music or changing I like to leave it open a crack. It's the socialite in me, I guess. I happened to be standing by my open door when he comes into his room. He pauses and turns to me.
CR: Have you ever been in a choral group?
Me: No. Have you?
I assume, naturally enough, that he has, because a) he's crazy and b) why else would he ask me? It's definitely possible that he's got some other peripheral connection to choral groups, or watched one perform recently, or is planning to go to a show, and that this, indeed, is the reason he's asking me. But no.
CR: No, I haven't.
(A pause.)
Me: Uh, so why the question?
CR: No reason.
Me: No reason? None at all?
CR: Just curious.
Me: Just sheer, random curiosity?
CR: Yep.
So either he's honest, and this rand-o question popped into his mind for no Godforsaken reason at all, or he's planning on taking me to an a cappella show for Valentine's Day. I'm so excited.

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