the simmering

by rantywoman

I’ve been cleaning house today and thinking of all the work I put into this place. I spent a lot of money and effort getting the former tenant out; painted the walls and cabinets and had numerous repairs done; moved furniture cross-country, had other furniture moved from my mom’s place, and spent hours buying yet more furniture and getting it delivered; hung all the pictures; dealt with a pest infestation; got the mail box keys straightened out and extra keys made; found specialty light bulbs for the fixtures; bought curtains and new blinds; purchased and installed the AC filter; had knobs installed on the cabinets; stocked the kitchen with dishes and cleaning utensils; got a TV, cable, and DVD player installed; and purchased all new cleaning supplies.

At the time, I was fine with doing all the work, as my roommate had a full-time job and was also having back problems (another sign of internet addiction). His contribution? He got the internet hooked up. He called the company where I found my bed and had them deliver one for him (he had been living in an apartment with nothing but an air mattress for the preceding year). He wanted darker curtains, so I suggested he find some or have some made; instead, he hung a sheet over the window. Then he settled onto his back, surfing the net and belching.

To be fair, he didn’t have friends over or otherwise cause a lot of noise, and he wasn’t particular about anything with the condo, so I tried to count my blessings.

Yet when he took my job misfortune as a lucky sign that perhaps I’d have to move on and he could buy this place for himself, I finally saw the light. I raised the rent to market rate (he was paying way below market, with no lease or deposit) and insisted he at least do one chore each week– clean the small shared bathroom. I had to remind him to do it, and he would pout.

As soon as his new promotion was secured (at my former organization again, ugh), he decided to buy a place of his own in this same building. He gloated about his new job and the good favor he had curried with administration, and every time he heard I might be applying for a position, he decided maybe he should apply for that particular promotion himself. Then, of course, my last reminder to clean the bathroom set him off into a volcanic rage of insults, which finally brought me to coming clean about my own disgust and resentment.

I sent him an email and gave him a letter stating that he has thirty days to move on; we are currently ignoring each other. It’s a shame that he’ll be living in this same building and yet we won’t be able to rely on each other, but every time I think of breaking the ice, I realize I am still angry. I block him out 99% of the time, but when I think of him, I don’t feel I have the ability to “make nice.”

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