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July 25, 2011 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

The People You Will Live With

The Shut-In

You will never see them. You will only know they are alive because their rent still comes through every week and their light is on. They will wear a track into the carpet from the front door to their room from all their secret ninja-like entrances and exits. Their shelf in the pantry will, at best, have a bag of old apples and some Raspberry Make-A-Shake that you bought them as an (awkward) ice breaker. If you manage to catch them and ask them how they are doing, they’ll simply bite their collar, mutter that they’re fine, and scuttle into their room like a frighted cockroach. They’ll be quiet. Too quiet. They will audibly sharpen knives in their room.

The Crazy

They will try to get pregnant by the randoms from the Big K that they bang so that you can’t kick them out. They will wake you up with their crying and insist that you watch 90210 with them or they’ll never sleep again. They’ll count their feijoas and then insist that you stole one when you are allergic—and they know that because they once put some in your pasta as a joke, sending you to hospital. They’ll diagnose themselves with Asperger’s; they’ll say that’s why they can’t talk to girls. They’ll listen to you with your girl- or boyfriend, masturbate, cry, then tell you that they do that. They’ll eat the exact same meal every day, and it will smell like death. You will come back from holiday to find sausage in your private shower.

The Rager

They’ll scream at 11-year-olds for singing Shania Twain. When they discover that they suck at video games they will throw their controller through your television. They will then blame you. For everything. They will talk about how we didn’t land on the moon and how mad it makes them that we’re being lied to. They will think you opened their mail so will steal yours. They will have screaming matches with their worn-down partners at 3am. The fire alarm will go off and they will smash it off the wall with the sword they keep in their room. They will always attend costume parties as Nazi war criminals.

The Douche

They will get changed in your room, secretly. They will stink everything up with Lynx and beer. They will cheat on their girlfriends with their girlfriends’ friends and be surprised when they confront him about it in public, calling them unreasonable. They will make people call them ‘Mr President’ during sex. They will try to flush condoms. They will, when questioned about how abhorrent their lifestyle is to all involved, simply shrug and say that is simply how they are made. The only communication they will ever have with you is crudely propositioning you late at night when they come home drunk and half-cocked. They will vomit on your laundry. They will pop collars unironically. They will have “a few friends round for quiet drinks”, noise control will be called three times, and the walls will shake.

The Hippie

They will call themselves Wiccan, when pressed they will not know what Wicca is. They will be vegetarians, when people are looking. They will give you three-hour lectures on recycling, but won’t do the dishes for weeks. They will not wear shoes when they have Athlete’s Foot and are awaiting the appropriate herbs from home in the post to treat it. Their response to any reasonable request for assistance or help will be to get high. They will not use deodorant, they will borrow your clothes. They will think that being a volunteer DJ on student radio is a full-time job. Their pet rats will chew through the walls and power cables.

The Cleaner

Everything will smell of bleach. Every unwashed dish will accrue a passive-aggressive note. Your stuff will be thrown out if it is “in the way”. There will be a cleaning roster. It will be more complicated than any of your current course work. You will not follow it. They will call you a “fucking traitor” for this. They will take Sunday morning vacuuming more seriously than any other event ever to occur to humanity. They will do the flat shopping and return with more Spray n’ Wipe than things consumable to humans. They will publicly berate their lovers for not flossing enough before sex.


About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

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