Things My Roommates Probably Think of Me

Posted on October 25, 2011 by

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by Dalia Bishop
I live with four guys. I use “guys” instead of “men” because they still use bed sheets for window curtains. (I don’t mean any criticism by that-it’s just where I arbitrarily draw the distinction). They’re nice guys and I can’t complain about them as far as roommate set-ups go–they do their dishes, pay bills on time, and change-out my fantasy football players for me when I haven’t been paying attention and all my team is injured or in jail. They’re nice guys.

However, they don’t know me well yet so, as the newest member in the house, I feel particularly sensitive to how the guys perceive me. I’m not around much so they haven’t learned much about me, my sense of humor, my TV preferences. Generally, when I’m home, I’m in my room working and see them only when going to or coming from the bathroom.

On this mini-sojourn, I will typically have a book-in-hand as, each week, I have several books to read, a study group for which to prepare, and three writing assignments to complete. So I maximize every waking moment by reading at all times. This includes my time spent in the bathroom. Because there are four of them, without fail, one of my roommates will pass me on the way out, noticing the book in my hand.

I used to just say hello, maybe a “what’s good, bro” to let them know I’m not hung up on being the only Black person in the house but I’ve recently started to feel self-conscious about being caught emerging from the bathroom with a book. Now I’m afraid I’ve given them the impression
that I poop alot.

Sometimes I’m just brushing my teeth and trying to get in a few pages at once. But it feels too late to explain that now; I’d have to get to all four of them individually or have a house-meeting to discuss my actual poop-schedule. And I doubt they’d believe me or think I was cool after that.

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