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Living with Your Friends

Photo of the house by Josh Helzerman.

    Living with people can be very fun or very frustrating. Sometimes It all only depends who you match up with. Some people can be horrible, for example my mom had a friend whose roommate she was matched up with in college had burned her clothes. For me, I chose who I got to live with in a duplex in Seattle when I moved out. I have four housemates, and there’s a family on the other half of the house below us. My roommates’ obsessions follow patterns. To keep their names out of this, I’ll call them God, Coke, Jim, and Dean. The people who live downstairs I’ll call the Log family and their dog, Smog. God has a computer desk set up in the living room against the wall with three really nice monitors because he edits photos for money. God is mostly quiet and doesn’t really like most people. He’s home all the time because often times he works from home, so when he makes food he sees most of the messes that are left by other people and it can really irk him. Though we all do an average amount of cleaning on our off-days, he’s around the house most of the time and therefore probably does it more often than any of us. He also is a big design freak and does a lot of the remodeling and choosing the colors of certain furniture to match up with other furniture. So most of the things in the living room were set up by him, though not all owned. We all like God, he’s a cool guy, but in my opinion he complains too much. God is also moving to Portland at the end of the lease. I’ll miss him because he can be chill, and makes some good jokes, but I think I’ll also be a little relieved.

"God” photo by Josh Helzerman

"Coke” photo by Josh Helzerman

    Next we have my housemate Coke. Coke is very easy going and is just a good fun guy who doesn’t make a mess and doesn’t take up too much space anyways. Coke runs things. He charges a $10 fee for being the signer of the lease, making the payments, and communicating with the Log family. Coke gets along really well with God. He has a lot of interesting insights about our sort-of “family” for lack of a better word. He told me once when I first moved in that, “yeah, I mean at first it was pretty fun living here at first but after a while you’ll notice that everybody just kind of starts treating each other like furniture.” Coke has shared with me that he sort-of discreetly hates everyone and really wants to move to a different state to get away from it all. Everyone knows this, but he’s never outright told them and he’s pretty good at getting along with everyone for the time being. He’s moving to Thailand next month though and I’ll probably miss him the most out of everyone. Sometimes Coke’s friend, we’ll call Guy, comes over. Guy and me barely get along. Guy thinks I’m too laid back and doesn’t trust me with simple tasks and I think that Guy’s annoying because sometimes he’ll just barge into my room uninvited while I’m watching tv or something and be like, “what’s up Brian?” and sit down in my computer chair, also uninvited. Something I’m dreading is that when Coke moves to Thailand in November, Guy is going to replace him as a housemate. We’ll see how that goes.

    So that’s God, Coke (and his friend Guy), now it’s time for Jim. Jim is my roommate and I honestly love him to death. Jim is a super cool guy and we’ve been friends for years, but mostly we’d just chat online. Now that we’re roommates we chill on the porch a lot and watch a lot of movies and tv together. Everyone in the house also thinks Jim is a super cool guy, which is a good thing. I think when there’s tension between me and anyone else in the living room and Jim walks in he knows what to say to just make everyone laugh and relieve the tension. Though his spot in the room is a huge mess and he doesn’t clean after himself regularly. If you were to look at my sink and his sink (we live in the master bedroom with it’s own bathroom and two sinks,) my sink is usually well scrubbed and shiny while his has toothpaste everywhere and spots. He also keeps all his food around the room, in the bathtub, and mostly under his futon which I think is kind of gross but whatever. It’s usually just snack bags and canned food anyway. Although he does have sort-of an excuse for at least a portion of his stuff being everywhere, and that is that we don’t have a lot of fridge space for him, even with our extra two mini fridges. But I’m hoping when everyone else moves out he’ll claim some fridge space and maybe start paving a way to little cleaner living.

“Jim” photo by Josh Helzerman

    Lastly is Dean. Dean is a really nice guy who unfortunately talks a lot and it really bothers Jim. Dean is definitely an alcoholic and when he’s drunk at night he’ll never stop talking. Although, Dean can be easygoing as well and when he is it’s nice. He takes up a lot of space, not physically, but by that I just mean he usually dominates every conversation, which bothers Guy and Jim. In fact, Guy actually isn’t Dean’s friend anymore because of this I guess. That’s about all though. Dean is a pretty simple guy who doesn’t get bothered by anything.

"Dean” photo by Josh Helzerman

    Then there’s the Log Family downstairs who make no sense. I usually hear them through the walls screaming at each other most days with some cuss words thrown around. Their dog, Smog, is also pretty horrible to live above. Whenever any of us goes downstairs to try to do our laundry Smog starts barking super loud from the other side of the laundry room door and it’s really annoying.

    The reason I say they make no sense is because they do a lot of things, like breaking their own rules that they’ve set up for us and there have been a couple conversations and arguments with them where they’ve said something strange, and I would inquire about it and they’d instantly change topics or go around my question. I don’t want to bring any of the crappier situations up, but there was one where my brother accidentally opened a package that belonged to the father of the Log family, so he gave it back with a sorry note explaining everything, and a few hours later he basically received a death threat text from the guy. It wasn’t really that scary, it was more just really confusing and weird.

    Most days I just watch movies or play video games until someone comes home and then we talk during the movie or make jokes about the game or something. Every once in awhile someone will get mad about something but it always gets resolved. Everyone’s moving out in November except for me and Jim. Deans moving out, God got an actual salary job in Portland, and Coke is going to Thailand to be an English teacher. Jim and I will be here to sign the new lease but we’re probably going to live with Coke’s friend, Guy, and his close friend who wants to move in. We still need to find at least one or two other people though for the 3rd room. Hopefully everyone will all get along in the new lease.

Me - photo by Josh Helzerman

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