I live with a 48-year-old Venezuelan single father who is a passive-aggressive yoga instructor with no serenity. This isn’t the most ideal living situation but it’s what I have right now, and I can’t really afford to move anywhere else at the moment. I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place out of circumstance. It’s the quintessential New York living situation.
To give some backstory, two years ago I was couch-surfing for several months before I could find a proper living situation—the current one in question. A friend had lived in my current bedroom but was moving out and needed to find someone as soon as possible to fill his vacancy so that he could receive his security deposit back. Unfortunately, my friend (was he really a friend?) neglected to tell me exactly whom I would be living with. I understand I have a part in this debacle because I was so desperate at the time to find a place to live and thought this would be a temporary fix, so I didn’t ask too many questions. Clearly, that was not the case because I’ve remained here for a little over two years now.
The living situation was simple. I would be renting a single room in a four-bedroom apartment. When I initially moved in, all the bedrooms were filled. There was the Passive Aggressive Yoga Instructor With No Serenity in question, a cute-ish production assistant, and some guy who I would rarely see late into the night who had a cat that would escape into my bedroom and scare the living daylights out of me when I would return to my room from the bathroom. The rooms that are shared by all tenants are the kitchen and bathroom. The living room was blocked off as the Passive Aggressive Yoga Instructor With No Serenity’s meditation space. He occasionally used it as a bongo-jam session area. I’m not entirely sure if he’s good at playing the bongos, but it is certainly annoying to hear him beating and chanting to whatever he calls rhythm.
His passive-aggressive tendencies come out in the form of vulgar notes and texts sent from the confines of his bedroom. He has left notes in the kitchen about the cleanliness of the toaster. The kitchen in which I never use. He has left taped messages to the wall in the bathroom ad nauseam. Most of them involving single strands of my hair being found in the sink, bathtub, even the toilet. I can’t help it that I have long, luscious locks. Plus, biologically the human head sheds 50-to-200 strands of hair a day. I can’t fight biology. There was a time when things reached a boiling point where he actually did confront me face to face, and I just asked him to show me exactly what he wants me to do about my hair situation. I had lived in fear on a daily basis that I was going to receive one of his texts about my hair. I’m not a mind reader either, so I asked him to give me a demonstration on how to clean the way he would like me to. In his demonstration, he tells me how he cleans his own pubic hair that he trims from the bathtub by wiping it up with a tissue and throwing it in the toilet. I could have gone without the extra information, but the advice was taken; I have adhered to his commands on how to clean the bathroom to no avail. He still sends me threatening text messages about how he’s going to kick me out if he sees one more hair of mine in the bathroom. It’s not a pleasant environment to live in. He has also invaded my bedroom to leave me notes which he tore pages out of my journal to write on. He’s opened my mail. This guy has serious boundary issues. I sometimes imagine that I’m living with Joan Crawford with her yelling, “No wire hangers!”
It seems every person who has lived with this man has left in a mad dash out the door. The guy with the cat moved out in the dead of night. The production assistant scrambled to find a new occupant as quickly as possible in order to get his deposit back also. Two new roommates moved in, one of which I called Baby Gay, who filled Cat Guy’s room. Then, another who moved in last September but I never saw his face until recently who I have been calling Naked Roommate since late one night at the crack of dawn when I had seen his naked silhouette walking down the hallway. His only word to me: “Hey.” Baby Gay unfortunately got into an altercation with Passive Aggressive Yoga Instructor With No Serenity, and he had to call the cops because he didn’t feel safe in his presence. Baby Gay doesn’t live here anymore and it makes me a little sad because at least with him, I had an ally. As of yet, Naked Roommate’s only offense has been the way he closes the front door when leaving, which we got a group text about.
I would love to move out of this living situation but as I said before, currently stuck in between rock and a hard place. As for me remaining mostly calm during all of this, I chalk my resilience up to living with two older sisters growing up having to share a bathroom. I helps that I went to boarding school at fourteen years old and had to share the same bathrooms with 30 other boys. I can generally sleep through almost anything, even earthquakes. It amazes me that I’ve lasted two years in this apartment. In a perfect world, he would move out, and I believe all would be copacetic with a cast change.
Until I can leave, I’ll just have to write passive-aggressive articles about him.