When we last left off, I had arrived back to Los Angeles after a 9-day trip including New York City, Upstate New York and Southern Florida.
I was eager and a bit apprehensive to see who my new roommate was. Walking into my room, I noticed that it had not only been cleaned by the guy running the house, but also rearranged. My former roommate Jimmy and I had set up a divider between our beds, which where arranged in an “L” shape including a nightstand. I wouldn’t even know he was there sometimes. The new arrangement was slightly different. And by “slightly” I mean “appallingly”.
The beds were now parallel, about 18 inches apart from each other. As the room itself is only ten feet long, there were four feet in which the beds overlapped. Depending on which way my new roommate and I chose to sleep, we might be able to give each other a high-five before zonking out. The pillows were arranged accordingly.
My new roommate was out, so I had some time before I found out who it was I’d be waking up next to for the next however long. The house was brimming with new characters, all of whom told me that he was a good guy.
“He’s a really good guy” said Space-Cadet Sharon.
Space-Cadet Sharon acquired her moniker on my second encounter with her. Coming home from work one night, I opened the door into a completely dark house. People often ask me how I could possibly live in a house with ten other people, and the answer is simply that everyone is so busy. Coming home to an empty house with all the lights off was a pretty common thing. Closing the door behind me, I turned the Living Room light on before I made my way to my room. As the lights came on, I was for the first time able to see Sharon, sitting on the couch, holding the remote control for the TV.
She looked up at me as though I had just walked in from the kitchen with a snack for the two of us. “Hey, do you know how to turn on the TV?”
It took me a few seconds to respond as my mind was doing jumping jacks. The biggest thing I wondered was how long she had been there for. There’s no doubting that the TV is tricky to turn on with our confusing remote control, but I don’t think that the task is made any easier by doing it with the lights off.
I’d need a second opinion about my new roommate.
“The new guy? Oh yeah, he’s nice” said Hollywood McGee.
Hollywood McGee acquired his moniker on my first encounter with him. The first night he moved in we were celebrating Celeste’s first Dancing job with some champagne. I was meeting Hollywood McGee for the first time during this unusual soiree, and thus encountered that peculiar situation in which I was surrounded by lots of people, but no one was listening to my conversation.
“So I understand you’re a singer” said HM
“Uh, yeah, kind of. I do silly songs with my guitar.”
“Well, I’ll be able to tell you if you’re any good.” The look of shock on my face was enough of a cue for him to continue on. “I’ve studied for twelve years, six different genres…”
He went on to drop names like Leon Lett going in for a touchdown. I sat in wonderment as he explained to me the way that Hollywood works, and how he is positioning himself in it all for success. Later that night he returned from Subway with a story.
“I must have Hollywood written all over me.” Taking a cue from my blank stare, he continued on “Yeah…I was at Subway – just wanted to get a sandwich, and the guy across the counter asks me where I’m from, I guess he heard a hint of my Australian accent. So I said Australia, and he says, ‘did you move here to become a star?’ I pause, not sure what to say, and he says again, ‘you must have moved here to become a star.’ And I said…uh, no. If what you mean is, am I an actor? Then, yes. I’ve done professional work in my country and have moved here to continue on with my career. Bigger roles will come, and yes, that may eventually lead to fame…but stardom is not necessarily what I’m here for. I’m here to act.”
My jaw gently placed itself on the floor about halfway through this speech. It reminded me why monologues are not a wise thing to spend too much time working on, lest you start doing them in real life. I gathered my wits to try to come up with a response:
“Uh, yeah man. That’s crazy – I mean, that’s like – whoa.”
“I know, right? I mean, I know this is Los Angeles and everything, but he can’t say that to everyone.”
The third and final opinion of my new roommate I would seek out came from The Raven. With a tendency to sit down with a group in the living room and never utter a word, I was always curious as to what this guy’s deal was. He didn’t hide from everyone, he just never engaged. I finally got the chance to ask him what he was up to in Los Angeles, and was delighted when a smile came across his face. All this time no one had ever asked him! He seemed like such a nice guy, and I was sure his bizarre spatial awareness was the result of some sort of some sort of tumultuous whirling in his mind. Perhaps a poet?
Quoth the Raven: “I go to raves like every weekend – that’s kind of my thing.”
His mind was whirling all right. It all made sense. The hunched over ‘I’m not in my element’ posture, the inability to maintain eye contact for long periods of time, the hilariously large Sandwich he got from the grocery store that it took him three days to finish.
“The new guy?” I gave it twenty seconds before figuring that the search in his head for who it was I was referring to gave way to a progressive mix of sampled beats and waving glow sticks.
I went to Trader Joe’s to get some food, and upon my return I heard some noise in my room. I slowly peeked my head in…
The beautiful French-Canadian girl, a new one, looked up as she went through the backpack that was next to the bed. This wasn’t exactly who I was expecting, The only three words I had been provided with were: nice, good, guy. The third one didn’t match.
“(H)ello. I am Marieve. Your roommate, he is letting me to keep my bag here.”
“Oh, hi, I’m Jesse.”
This is where I go about unpacking my groceries, not sure what to say. I went to the kitchen to put some stuff in the refrigerator, and upon my return there was French being spoken in the living room. Underneath the hawking and spitting that the most romantic of the Romance languages demands, I heard some more noise in my room. Marieve was now in the living room, so unless it was yet another person keeping his or her bag in my room, then it must be my new roommate.
Walking in, I had the kind of American introduction with Connecticut Chris that you only get at State Colleges. There was a handshake, a smile, and talk of both sports and music within the first ten minutes. But before we got to that, I knew things were going to go smoothly based on the first order of business CC brought up.
“Yo. What’s with the beds being right next to each other?”
This was going to work out just fine…