Help! My Roommate's Stuck in the 1920's

Above: an artists re-enactment of the situation in Mr. Carolway's letter.

KERSHAW HALL – Grinnellian Nicholas Carolway 21’ reached out to our editors in late August asking for advice with his first-year woes. Despite Nicholas no longer attending Grinnell College, we found his concerns hardly unique, and wish to share our completely realistic and helpful advice. We have altered the names and locations and attached Mr. Carolway’s original letter which reads as follows:

Dear beloved B&S editors,

I would like to inquire as to your opinion towards how to deal with a roommate who is a colossal weirdo. I should explain, because I’m sounding like a total jerk right now. His name is James Gastby, and I have no idea what I put on my roommate survey thing that got me paired up with him. He insists we call the room the “West Egg,” like, why though? We’re on East Campus at least call it the East Egg please you’re so weird. I’ve only known the guy for a couple weeks but I don’t think I’ve seen him wear anything besides a suit, even to sleep. We’ve gone through almost an entire case of non-alcoholic cognac, and I think he’s starting to stock up on luxury polo shirts that he never plans on wearing.

He’s always up at really stupid times, I’m talking like 3 AM, just looking out the window. It really sucks too since those recycling things outside have those blinking green lights. I’m starting to have trouble sleeping. If I didn’t know better I’d say he’s staring at the trash can. He might be into green lights I don’t know, no judgements, just don’t stand creepily by the window while I’m trying to sleep.

I always hear him listening to Kanye West really loudly. Honestly I’m good with Ye but the weird thing is that it’s always the same 20-second loop. Whenever I walk in the room I always find him holding a martini glass at arm’s length, which I don’t understand because it’s impossible to drink from that distance. But he doesn’t say anything. He just kind of smirks and raises his eyebrows. His forehead creases are intense. I’m actually kind of concerned about it. More seriously, I think he might think there’s someone inside the recycling bin. I know he gets mad when people put anything in there.

There’s an FM worker named Tim who empties the recycling bin every day and I think James doesn’t like him. In fact, I think he’s almost jealous of him. Tim doesn’t take very good care of the recycling bins. I’m not worried about James doing something to Tim because I’ve never seen James outside of our room. I don’t think he leaves. I’m not sure when he uses the bathroom.

Anyways, I wanted to ask you guys how to approach James. I tried small talk, I asked where he was from, any good high school stories, and nothing. He changed the subject to rich person stuff, croquet or something, I don’t remember, but he called it an “old sport,” which was weird. I try to avoid my room as much as possible just to be away from the guy. He keeps hosting parties in our room without telling me and the two or three times I’ve actually been able to make it into my own dorm he’s not even talking to people, just staring out the window. I’m worried he’s going to steal the trash can or something even worse. What gives?

The B&S has not yet responded to this letter but might get around to it next week.