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Nightmare in Flat 41

The College Student Chronicles

I struggled to figure out how to class this story. It's not quite an adventure, and it's not about relationships. Actually, this story isn't much of a story at all. Think of it as a short description of a long year in my living arrangements during my second year of university.

As soon as I agreed to live with the friends I had made in my freshman year, I heard a small but very present voice at the back of my head saying "You'll regret this." I pretended not to hear it, but it was very much there. Who wouldn't want to live together with their friends in an apartment? At the time, I could not stand the thought of living with three strangers, so living with friends sounded like the perfect plan. Isn't it funny how freshman students try so incredibly hard to find a group of friends they call a "family" and do "everything together?" Let me tell you what isn't funny though: living that lie long enough so that you end up sharing living space with them.

Anyway. Fastforward to the first weeks of living with my "friends." It only took me 5 minutes to realize that what I had done I was going to regret for the rest of the year.

When I was younger, I was very bad at cleaning my room. My clothes would live on my chair, and my toys were spread across the floor like they were the actual floor themselves. I used to watch a lot of American teen movies, and was heavily inspired by the rockstar posters on the walls, and giant cork boards covered in inspirational quotes and pictures of my friends. All in all, it was a messy room, but to be honest, who actually was an organized kid? My dad would often tell me to "Limpia tu chiquero" (Clean your pig shelter) and I'd half do it. But, thinking about it now, I should have listened to him, because a pig shelter is exactly where I ended up living in during this year at college.

Let's call flatmate number Jim. Like me, Jim was a student from abroad and his favourite hobbies included spending long hours at the gym (to both work tremendously on his biceps and to pick girls up), playing his guitar and slamming doors. Jim was the flatmate that made the most impact in my college apartment experience, so I'll just focus on him.

As I said, Jim and the gym (hence his alias) were in an intense relationship. He could not spend a day without going to it, and even when he was at home, he would do everything in his power to improve his figure. Some of the things he would to accomplish this, were to order protein supplemented meat online, and delivered to our door. Of course, he would order roughly like 20 kgs at the time, so OUR mini freezer soon became HIS mini freezer. This is one of my favourites. When he decided it was time to defrost his 500g of mince beef, he would lay it bare on the counter over the fridge, and let it melt...and melt...and melt, until a mix of blood and water was dripping inside and outside of the fridge, and on everywhere on the kitchen floor. Oh you thought he'd clean it? Nah, he'd just step on and over it covering the entire house with a bloody mess with his feet.

Jim took very good care of his figure; so often, when he'd return home from a "gym sesh" on a cold, snowy winter day, he would take the liberty to fill the bathtub with snow from outside our house, and take an ice cold bath. Sometimes, the snow was too cold to melt, so he'd add water to his bath. Obviously, as it would get too cold, he wouldn't stay in there for long, which meant he'd jump out and run to his room... leaving the water running and overflowing the tub, eventually reaching our kitchen floor.

I love taking showers. I always spend extra time at the drugstore picking out an artisanal, fresh smelling soap that I can enjoy lathering my body with while in a steaming hot shower. However, it only took a couple of showers for me to realize that my loofah was covered with hidden, long pieces of thick black hair which most definitely did not belong to me, I can assure you. You can see where this is going. After that, I had to sacrifice using loofahs, or scrubs, in fear that they would fall in the wrong hands, and be used for other purposes than the ones I had intended to. This was the same story with my razor.

I work during the night as a nightclub steward. I'd go to work at 9 PM and come home at around 4:30 AM wanting nothing more than to fall on my bed and sleep for three days straight. However, my dreams were always crushed when I had finally made it through the door, and I would see Jim and his friends playing guitar and cooking massive dishes of curry with an incredible amount of unnecessary oil, and didn't let me sleep until 7 AM.

I'm not a confrontational person. I'm sure that if had tried to say something to Jim, I would have so much anger and frustration built in my system, that I would either start crying uncontrollably, or tear his face off. So I decided to let off some steam in the pettiest ways I could think of. When I'd see his gym bag on the floor, I'd cover the handles with mayo. When I'd see his sunglasses on the table, I'd slap them with strawberry jam. When he'd forget his cigarettes on the counter, I'd make sure to either sell them, or break them into tiny pieces and put them in the trash (this one gave me extra satisfaction, because Jim loved smoking in the shower, stinking up my lavender-honey bath I wanted to take). If he left his lighters unattended, I'd keep them and give them to people. The Tupperware boxes and cutlery he had used for his lunch but left to rot on top of the microwave, I'd throw away without asking.

What is the moral of this story? There are several. For one, deeply reconsider your friendship standards before you move in with them. Second, if you are uncomfortable with someone's behaviour, grow a pair of pelotas and do something about it. Third, if you happen to be unable to grow a pair, petty revenge tactics are recommendable and are even great therapeutic strategies to do for the sake of your sanity. 

Read next: ACT
Maria Armenia
Maria Armenia

Aspiring jungle woman with pet gorillas, and a strict papaya and mango diet.

Many stories, memories and thoughts to tell! 

Insta: mariameline

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Nightmare in Flat 41
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