I say this because I want to be clear that I am aware that I make choices – choices to get upset, choices to make a stand about stupid shit, choices to let my weird-ass roommate bother me – and that these are choices which lead me down the crazy path.
Which isn’t to say he isn’t hell-a weird.
The other day the caulking in my shower started to fall off. Actually, it wasn’t caulk so much as grout. As in, the same grout he used between the tiles on the shower wall were also used to secure the tiles to the plastic part I stand in with the drain.
Sections of the grout suddenly started to break off and litter the floor of the shower and each day it was as if those pieces mated and reproduced while I was at work. After about a week of this I finally had an opportunity to tell Bob.
Minutes before I knew Chris would be picking me up I walked upstairs, and as I appeared at the top of the stairs he turned his head from his perch on the couch and said “HEY! HI!” with so much excitement I felt a pang of guilt that I wasn’t there to socialize.
And then I felt pity for him for getting that excited.
“The caulking in my shower is coming off,” I said (after returning his greeting politely, though less enthusiastically).
“Huh?” He said as if I’d spoken in a weird language.
“The caulking at the bottom where the tiles meet the shower pan (technical term Chris taught me for the plastic part you stand in),” I said, miming the shape of the pan with my hands for additional clarity.
He looked at me as if the words “Caulking” and “Shower” were not words he’d ever heard in the same sentence.
So I tried again. “Yeah, its breaking off in like, chunks? And I’m worried about water getting in there and… doing some kind of damage…so…yeah…”
Then he says in his mock serious voice, which is like nails on a chalkboard to me, “Did you break it?”
I refrained from saying “No, you dick head, you used grout instead of caulk. YOU broke it.” Instead I said “Don’t see how I could have,” annoyed smile, “Anyway, just wanted to let you know….”
He says “Ok, I’ll take a look at it.”
So I said “Ok, bye,” and started down the stairs toward the front door, and he made this sound, sort of like a laugh and said “Ok, bye” in a sarcastic way, like he was holding back on saying “go ahead and leave, it’s all you ever do anyway.” I went outside to sit on the front step to wait for Chris instead of going back up and punching him in the face.
When I got home a few hours later, it was clear he hadn’t fixed it yet. I closed the door and started to pee, at which point I heard him come down and start moving around in the hallway outside my bathroom.
I hate thinking people can hear me pee. I’ve developed chronic UTI’s because of my aversion to public peeing, and its only worse when it’s supposed to be a private bathroom. I finished peeing as quickly and quietly as I could and then started brushing my teeth and doing my other bedtime tasks, all while listening to him just beyond the door making noises like he was playing with tools.
I braced myself to come out and have him make an inappropriate comment about what I was doing in the bathroom.
He was standing in the laundry/utility room messing with a caulking gun with his back to me. I stood in my bedroom doorway for a minute before saying “Hey…”
Looking over his shoulder, but not turning around he said “Hey,” and then went back to his gun. “I’m trying to see if this stuff is still good, so I can fix your shower tonight.”
“Will I be able to use it in the morning?”
“Yeah, sure,” he mumbles while shoving a pin into the nose of the gun.
Unconvinced, I say “I can shower at work, I was debating going to the gym anyway, so it’s no big deal…”
“eh, I think it’ll be dry, I wouldn’t worry about it.”
I’m no caulk expert, but I’m pretty sure it takes more than 6 hours for caulk to properly dry. On the one hand I’m like “fine, its your shower, what do I care?” But on the other hand, I’m not about to take any chances with him withholding my deposit because of water damage in the shower.
When I get up in the morning I see that he has not caulked the shower overnight, so I skip the gym, sleep in and shower as normal.
The next afternoon I get a text from him saying he’s fixed the shower, and it will be ready to use that night. Again, I don’t believe him, which is backed up by Chris who maintains most caulk requires 24 hours to dry properly.
I get home that night around 7:30, and he’s standing in the kitchen when I come through the door, the one place where I can’t avoid him. He asks if I got the text, I say I just got it. “What?!” he says in his mocking, condescending tone. “I sent it hours ago! What’s wrong with your phone?!”
“I don’t get service at work,” I say irritably.
“OH, ok, because I was gonna say…” but I turn and go down the stairs to my room before hearing the end of his sentence.
A few minutes later I’m forced to go up into the kitchen to get a spoon so I can eat the yogurt I’ve brought home with me, kicking myself for picking such a high maintenance snack. What was I thinking? I have to get a spoon, and then wash it, but the bigger issue is where am I going to throw away the yogurt cup? This is not the kind of thing I can throw in my bedroom garbage and wait until garbage day on Sunday. I’m immediately annoyed with my whole situation, which is only exaggerated when I realize that he’s actually cooking a full-blown meal for himself, on the one night this month I was planning to use the kitchen (to heat up frozen quinoa and veggies).
But I’m able to get the spoon and get back downstairs without conversation to contemplate my dinner options. I decide to go out rather than wait him out or risk a conversation about what an event it is that I’m using the kitchen. (Oh, and I put the yogurt in a plastic bag and take it with me and throw it out in a 7-11 garbage can. This is what I mean by the choices I make.)
I return home a few hours later and go into my bathroom for the first time, and notice dirty foot prints on the white floor outside the shower and on the floor of the shower.
I sit down to pee and as I finish I notice that my toilet bowl is sparkling clean.
Which I have to admit, was not that way when I left it. That morning it had a ring at the water line because the little blue thing I bought to hang over the edge and keep the bowl clean didn’t work even a little (in fact I suspect it made it worse), a fact I’d only the day before come to accept. I was planning to clean it that evening in fact.
But apparently he’d felt the need to do it for me.
This leaves me with some questions:
WHY would someone voluntarily clean another person’s toilet, ESPECIALLY when they don’t use it?
Does he expect me to say thank you? Because I’m not going to. As with the time he vacuumed my room when I wasn’t home, I’m not going to thank him for a gratuitous invasion of my personal space.
Does this mean he used my toilet?
If he looked under the toilet lid, did he also look in my cupboards?
If he’s such a neat freak that he had to clean the toilet, why was he able to leave the dirty boot prints on the floor and shower?
Why does he talk to the girl he seems to be dating on speakerphone all the time? OK, so this doesn’t have anything to do with the toilet, but is a question that plagues me nonetheless. Chris says it’s because he wants to be sure everyone knows he’s talking to a girl. I resent having to hear his conversations because it makes me wonder what is wrong with that girl that she’s involved with him…
But there is good news: It’s almost the weekend, which means I’ll be spending most of time with Chris, and then I’m going to Denmark for 9 days, so Bob is not going to be my concern for a while. He can clean toilets, talk on speakerphone, and do whatever else he does in my space when I’m not around, and I’ll never know. I hope.