Boredom and Bliss

At the beginning of my time here, I was nervous about living alone. Now that I’m starting to think seriously about leaving of course I’m sad to give it up. At the same time, Malka has sort of moved in with me and it’s nice to have someone about. With Jill living across the street, Yvonne and Judee around the corner, Lisa on the other side of the hill, and Gavin the next suburb over, I’ve not (mostly) lacked for company-on-demand (or on-planning). However: Gavin’s gone, Y&J are leaving next week, Malka the week after that, and Jill in a month. Brave Lisa will hold forth until December.

And I, you ask? When am I leaving? That would be good to know. September? Let’s see about the finances, shall we.

It is lovely though sometimes lonely to have the house to myself. It permits all kinds of scandalous indiscretions; swanning about in the altogether, eating cookies midmorning when I feel like it, blasting Eminem while doing my pitiful yoga practice (the neighbors must love me), and so forth. Not feeling bad about the scattered dishabille of my dining-table/desk, which at any point is likely to house two art projects and a half-written letter and a mess of Sinhala flashcards and several newspapers and lots of dangerously unprotected CDs.

When I have had roommates, I become more uptight, more tidy, vaguely fascist in my kitchen ordering (see: 13 Park Avenue, Dishwashing Contest). I was brought up to clean up after myself and respect other people’s space needs and tidiness standards. That is not to say that I always do these things in my parents’ houses—heavens no! If I just behaved all the time then how could I provide them with opportunities to love me despite my flaws? (see below: Procrastination and Personal Worth.) When alone, I can be just as fascist as I like (see far below, December, I think: The Anal-Retentive Chef) and enjoy it too, without feeling like I’m imposing.

Roommates, though, provide necessary distraction and moral support. Also they are people to cook for, an element sorely lacking in my solitary life. Cooking for people is one of the great altruistic pleasures of life, on par with certain activities not mentionable in a public forum. Much as I enjoy the pajama’ed readathon that my Sundays often are, much as I appreciate the freedom to bust out (and leave out) the watercolors for a week on end, I truly enjoy the living presence of other people, and the closeness that comes with having to share air, fridge space, and toilet paper.*

Former roommates who read this, take it as: I miss you, and wish you had been here to read-in-pajamas with me today. I wish there had been quiescently frozen confections to share. Unfortunately, the freezer isn’t very cold, and plane tickets aren’t cheap.

After solitary quiescence, involving Fruit&Nut Kandos (the midprice range; opt for the more spenny 21 Collection range if you can) and books, I headed to Kandy for beer and slightly contrived (okay, I texted him) meeting with Haakon. I was sure we’d run into each other at Food City or the Pub! Instead a cute Sinhalese girl in a logo-bespangled flight suit tried to sell me Surf Excel, a Unilever-brand detergent powder. I refrained from a tirade about American cultural-product hegemony, and instead bought some broccoli. The Cruciferae section of the produce cooler is a piece of hegemony I’m glad for. It will have to wait, however, for tonight I feast on takeout garlic curry—another reason I’m glad to have no roommates, who might otherwise keel over from the inevitable garlic breath.

Other than that, what’s up? Nuttin’, honey.

*It’s incredible how much toilet paper some people use! I can still remember being instructed by my father, as a very small child, on how much was appropriate. The key is to wad, not wrap.


laura said...

it's so timely that you should write about toilet paper! i was thinking about rules for use just the other day because now that i'm living with other people and buying toilet paper, i'm much more concerned about whether people over-use.

Anonymous said...

do i count as a sorta roommate? i've washed dishes at 13 park ave, and miss you too.

Rebecca said...

src, of course you count as a roommate--that's why we had an 10-person apartment. so do you, laura, obviously. (what a gaggle: ross laura ian sarah albert kira me dave sarah jonah!)
washing dishes at my house doesn't make you a roommate, though, it makes you a saint.
toilet paper in sri lanka comes in at most 4-packs and seriously i buy it by the single roll and am shocked when i have to resupply. part of that is living in a place with washing-up facilities (you know what i mean) and part of that is ingrained TP parsimony. i am starting to see those 24-packs as just another example of american consumptive excess.

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Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Well, Unilever isn't American anyway--it's Anglo-Dutch.