Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2020

Roommates

Roommates
Photograph via Unsplash by Denes Kozma.

I woke up one morning to find three new people living in my home. Each bore an eerie resemblance to me in their general appearance and manner of speaking but differed dramatically in terms of attitude and demeanor. All of them vehemently denied the suggestion that they looked anything like one another. This accusation angered them greatly.

Me 2 turned out to be an unemployed slob who sat on the couch in his sweatpants all day getting high and playing video games. Me 3 was a successful, clean-cut businessman who wore a suit and carried a briefcase and woke up at 5 a.m. every day to hit the gym before work. To be honest, we all kinda hated Me 3 a little.

Me 4, well, he was a different story altogether. Nobody seemed to know where Me 4 came from or where he went when he left the house. Sometimes he’d disappear for days, then return home like nothing happened. We were all sort of scared of Me 4, if we’re being honest.

Meanwhile, Me 2 and Me 3 bickered like an old married couple because Me 2 was always pilfering everyone’s food, and Me 3 had this irritating habit of leaving passive aggressive notes around the house.

Me 4 mostly kept to himself, and it was a point of much contention what he was always doing alone up there in his bedroom for hours and sometimes days on end, in almost total silence. Once, he caught me with my ear pressed against his door, listening for something/anything that might offer a clue about what he was up to in there.

The rest of us agreed that Me 4 made us all uncomfortable and that something had to be done. Me 3 was convinced he was a terrorist or serial killer and wanted to notify the authorities, but Me 2 didn’t want to get the police involved, as he had some ongoing legal issues he’d rather not get into. I suggested that we kill him and bury his body in the desert, but none of us had ever killed anyone before, and we agreed that it was a little late in life to take up something like that. Eventually, we resolved to ask him to move out, which he did without complaint, and one day, he was simply gone and his room cleaned out almost as if he’d never been there.

Years later, we received a postcard from him with a picture of a generic tropical locale, signed simply “may the road rise up to meet you” on the back. It hung on our refrigerator for a while before it was ultimately overtaken by a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for toilet paper and a note from Me 3 about not drinking his orange juice, the “O” of which Me 2 had made into a little penis with his Sharpie.