The Roommate Experience Pt. 02

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Uncle Ray was really considerate. He and his girlfriend Karen offered me a place to stay. I truly appreciated their generosity. Their apartment wasn’t big enough for three, but they put me up while I looked for a place.

Real estate prices were nothing like they are now – but neither were wages. The problem was simple: I couldn’t afford a one-bedroom anywhere near the garage. But I didn’t want to give up the best job I’d ever had.

I was really surprised when my cousin’s girlfriend called me.

– “Hey dickweed.” she said.

– “Laurie?”

– “The one and only.” she said. “Listen, I heard through the grapevine that you’re looking for new digs.”

– “Wow.” I said. “Word travels fast.”

– “So it’s true?” said Laurie. “Hey – Ron and I are at the Lion.” That was a pub, not too far from the garage where I worked. “Can you meet us there? Like, now?”

I rode my bike, wondering if Laurie really did have a solution to my problem. She and Ron were already there. I’d always liked the Lion. It was typical English pub: dark wood, a great selection of beers on tap, dartboards, and a collection of eccentric regulars.

– “Good timing.” said Ron. We were about to go have a look.”

– “A look? At what?”

– “At the apartment we’re thinking of renting.” said Laurie. “Ronnie and me, plus Rose – but it’s a four-bedroom. Split the rent four ways instead of three, and it’s a bargain.”

– “You’re kidding me.” I said. I had met Laurie’s friend: Rose was a big girl, but nice. If this was possible, it could solve my immediate problem.

I didn’t even order a pint. Ronnie and Laurie drained theirs, and we walked around the corner – two blocks away.

It was a massive old house – the ground floor was now a lawyer’s office. The second floor was for rent. There was a door on the side, which led to a set of stairs, completely separate from the first-floor office.

The landlord was waiting, and took us in. The house was old, but it did have some character. The stairs led into a good-sized kitchen, with a sloping ceiling. There were two bedrooms at the back of the house, with a small bathroom between them.

The main bathroom was on the other side of the kitchen, opposite another bedroom. The last bedroom was a bit bigger, and there was a living room, with a small balcony, overlooking the street.

I had never looked at a place with a mind to renting it before, but Laurie was no fool. She quizzed the landlord about utilities, noise during the day, parking, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

The landlord informed us that no pets were allowed.

– “He’s not a pet.” said Ronnie. “He’s my cousin.”

I was more concerned about how clean it was, and the water pressure in the shower (excellent). On top of that, I was trying to picture how four people could live together, without driving each other nuts.

Ronnie asked the most important question. “How much?”

The price was ridiculous – for one person. Split four ways, it was incredibly cheap. We excused ourselves, and went to talk it over.

– “Whaddya think, Joe?” said Laurie. “Could you handle living with us? And Rose?”

– “Could you guys live with me?”

I was already sold. It was two blocks from the Lion, and exactly six blocks, in the opposite direction, from Uncle Ray’s garage. I had to get out of my house – and here was a heaven-sent solution.

“Thank you, Laurie. Thanks, Ron. This looks great. Count me in.”


We took possession at the beginning of July.

I helped Ronnie and Laurie move their stuff in. That meant Ronnie and me carrying mattresses and box springs up those stairs, followed by a couple of dressers, and Laurie’s drafting table. They took the two rooms at the back of the house.

Uncle Ray loaned me his pickup truck for my move. All I really had was a desk, a small chest of drawers, my record albums, and my clothes. I left my old single bed behind; I splurged and had a new queen-sized one delivered. It was my one extravagance.

I took the bedroom opposite the main bathroom, leaving the larger room for Rose. I was also on hand when she moved in, and helped Ron carry her stuff up the stairs.

– “Thanks, Ronnie. Thanks, Joe.” she said. “I appreciate it. And it was very nice of you to leave me the bigger room. I would’ve flipped you for it.”

Rose was just as I remembered her. She was a very nice girl, with a pretty face and a massive set of hooters. Unfortunately, she had a roll of fat around her waist, huge hips, a very big ass, and thick legs as well.

But that was just her appearance. Rose had a good sense of humour, and she was genuinely kind. There aren’t enough people like that.

When my bed arrived, it took up most of the space in my little room. There was just enough left to squeeze in my dresser and my desk.

Within the very first few days, I discovered several great things about the new apartment. Right next to us, there was a little bakery. It smelled divine. I already knew Anadolu Yakası Travesti that I was within easy walking distance of the garage – and best of all, my stepmother didn’t live here. Dad came over to see the place – to make sure that I was okay, as he put it. I didn’t have much to say to him.

Uncle Ray was quickly becoming the real father figure in my life.

– “I’m taking over the garage, Joe.” he told me. “The old man is retiring, and he wants me to buy him out.”

– “That’s great!” I said. “Uh … can you afford it?”

– “Why? You gonna offer me a loan?” he laughed. Not for the first time, I wished that my Dad could have been more like his younger brother.

– “Any chance of me making mechanic?” I asked.

– “Sit down, Joe.” Ray got serious. “I have mechanics. And I can always get more. What I don’t have is someone to help me run the office. Someone to keep the books, to help me with the paperwork and the business side.”

– “You can just hire an accountant, Ray.”

– “I need someone I can trust. ‘Sides, accountants don’t know a thing about fixin’ cars. But you could handle both ends of the business.”

– “I don’t know anything about keeping accounts.” I said.

– “You could … if you went to college.”

Ray knew that I was planning to go back to school. But I was going to take auto repair, so that I could become a licensed mechanic.

He suggested, instead, that I take business courses. “I can teach you how to fix cars.” he said. “An’ I will – if you help me out, too.”

– “I don’t know, Ray.”

– “Look, Joe – I’m not gonna do this forever. Ten, twelve – fifteen years, tops. Then who do I sell this business to?”

I’m not totally stupid. “Me?”

Ray grabbed my nose with two fingers, leaving a huge grease mark on my face.


It was an incredible offer. Ray would pay my tuition, while I continued to work part-time at the garage. When I graduated – in two, or maybe three years – I would have a full-time position with him, and the opportunity to learn all aspects of the business.

And maybe … a chance to have my own garage before I was 35 years old.


The apartment did come with minor drawbacks. One of them was that sound travelled.

I don’t know whether Ron went to Laurie’s room, or if she went to his; it didn’t matter, because both of their beds squeaked. They were like fucking rabbits, the pair of them.

On occasion, they would get so carried away that the headboard on Ronnie’s bed would smack into the wall, like the drumbeat in a disco tune. Thump, thump, thump … if it wasn’t that, then it was the squeaky springs serenade.

In the morning, Rose and I would get our coffees, avoid eye contact, and by unspoken agreement, neither of us would mention the sounds we’d been forced to listen to all night. We just pretended that it hadn’t happened.


I had another problem, which was occupying most of my attention.


The big question was ‘Could I treat her as my girlfriend?’. Back in our day, the terms ‘friends with benefits’, or ‘fuck buddies’ were unknown.

I had her over, to see the new apartment. We christened my new bed, in fine style. Sam was passionate, and apparently happy as I was. She spread her legs wide, and then wrapped them around me as I drove my length into her.

Without a car, the only way I could get her home was by bus. I wasn’t about to send her alone, late at night. That meant a 25-30 minute ride back to her house – after which I would have to wait for another bus back downtown. In total, it could take me over 1 1/2 hours to see her home.

Much easier, then, to have her stay over. She was 21, now. Her mother made no fuss if Sam said she was staying at a friend’s. That way, she could sleep with me in my new bed. That meant going through several condoms, because I found it difficult to have a naked Sam in my bed, if I wasn’t able to fuck her repeatedly.

There was nothing wrong with the springs on my bed, and I didn’t have a headboard, so I don’t think that we kept any of my roommates awake.

My problems began in the morning, when we went into the kitchen.

The moment she saw Ron, or Laurie, or even Rose, Sam would immediately switch to complete idiot mode. She would giggle, and say the most incredibly stupid things.

– “Are those real?” she asked Rose, pointing to her enormous boobs.

I apologized for that one, later. But I couldn’t use the excuse of bad pills every time.

Sam apologized, too. She knew that she was crossing lines – almost every single time. She just didn’t seem able to stop.

I took her out on a couple of occasions, even though the bus was still an issue. I only went out with her if it was the two of us – alone. Sam also invited me to her house – her sisters knew about us, so it was no big secret anymore.

I went – big mistake. It was nice to see Tanya, I suppose. She was quick-witted, and fun to banter with. But Antalya Travesti Sam was a silly, giggling mess. She tried to use me as a weapon in the competition with her sisters. It was pretty awful.

One night, we were out together, alone. We walked around the lake, stopping for coffees. She was perfectly relaxed with me. No giggling, no stupid remarks. I couldn’t understand the difference. It was like night and day.

– “I know.” she admitted. “I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s just …”

– “Just what?”

– “Well … you’re so much nicer to me than anybody else has ever been.”



College was a whole lot harder than I’d expected. It was difficult – painful, even, at times – to sit behind a desk again and listen to hour after hour of bullshit. Accounting was different: practical, but mind-numbing.

On the other hand, college was a whole lot easier than I’d expected. The tests weren’t very challenging. Most of the assignments were just time-consuming, rather than difficult. Uncle Ray gave me all the part-time hours I wanted – as long as I kept ahead of homework and assignments.

The best part of that first semester, by far, was meeting Eli. He was a funny guy, with a refreshingly unique outlook.

– “My policy is simple: complete, brutal honesty, to the point of absurdity.” he said.

He walked up to the hottest girl in our class, and told her – point blank: “I’d really like to have sex with you.”

It worked about as well as you might expect. Eli was undeterred. “One day, I’ll meet a woman who appreciates honesty. Total honesty.”

– “Good luck with that.” I said.

We bonded over a few pints at the Lion. A few days later, we bonded again. It was easy to hang out with Eli. He only played one game: the truth – no matter what kind of trouble it got him into.

– “Eli – when was the last time you had a girlfriend?” I had to ask, after watching his direct approach fail again – spectacularly.

– “Define ‘girlfriend’.” he said. “Do you have one?”

Touche. I was still stuck in some kind of no-man’s land with Sam. “It’s complicated.” I said. “She’s not my girlfriend, exactly – but she’s not not my girlfriend, either.”

– “Wow.” said Eli. “That’s quite the situation. I see your problem.”

– “You do?”

– “Yeah – you’re an asshole.”

– “Thanks, Eli.”

– “Tell her the truth, Joe. What else can you do?”


I was supposed to meet Ron and Laurie at the Lion. My cousin wasn’t there yet. On the plus side, that gave me a chance to talk to Laurie. I started by apologizing again for Sam’s latest gaffes.

She had started phoning the apartment repeatedly, trying to reach me. Unfortunately, nine times out of ten, I wasn’t there – and one of my roommates had to answer the phone. Rose was assiduous about taking a message for me. She would leave a little note on my desk.

Laurie was 50/50. She would scribble me a message, if there was any paper handy, and she could find a pencil. Twice she left me cryptic messages on the wall. If not, she might remember three days later. Ronnie would chat with Sam, but couldn’t be bothered to let me know that she had called.

– “Why does he always ask about Tanya?” Sam wanted to know.

I told her my schedule – school and work – but she got impatient, and called even though she knew I wasn’t home. I apologized to Rose, and to Laurie.

– “Don’t worry about it.” she said.

– “I do worry about it.” I admitted. “I like Sam, and … there are lots of good things about her.”

– “Great sex?” Laurie wasn’t shy; that much I already knew.

– “Yeah. But … she’s completely different when it’s just the two of us, you know? Not so goofy, and she doesn’t do that annoying giggle …”

– “That’s messed up.” said Laurie. “Even when she’s at home?”

– “It’s worse when her sisters are around.”

– “I dunno, Joe. Not sure you can fix that one.”

– “What do you mean?”

– “Men’s fatal delusion. Guys think they can fix things. You’re a mechanic, right? Men think that if there’s a problem, you just get the right tool, and you fix it. But people aren’t like cars, or toilets. Well, some people are like toilets, I suppose …”

– “They deserve to be shit on?” I guessed.

– “Right. You’ve got a wounded bird, there, Joe. I don’t mean a mother bird, dragging her wing to lure you away from her nest. I mean an injured bird, with a broken wing, or something.”

– “I’m listening.”

– “Women think they can change their man. He cheated on his last girlfriend, but he won’t cheat on me. He hit me – but if I love him enough, I can change him.”

“Guys figure they can fix things. She has issues? I’ll be there for her, and we’ll turn this thing around.”

– “I don’t know, Laurie. That doesn’t sound like -“

– “Do you feel guilty, Joe? Like you should be doing something to make everything better?”

I couldn’t answer that. It was a little too close to where my head was Ataşehir Travesti at lately.

– “You’re a nice guy, Joe.” said Laurie. “Unlike that cousin of yours, who’s 45 minutes late. And Sam seems nice – when she’s not … you know, saying something bizarre.”

We ordered a second round.

“Do you know my sister? Jen?” asked Laurie.

– “I think I met her at the Christmas party. Last year’s.”

– “That’s right. Well, Jen’s got … issues. She keeps them under wraps pretty well. She’ll find a guy, fuck him, and get him hooked. Once he’s committed – that’s when she dumps all of her phobias and anxieties on him.”

“She makes the guy feel guilty if he doesn’t cater to her, and try to help her out.”

– “The guy doesn’t dump her?”

– “Once or twice. Jen’s pretty good at picking out the nice guys. You’d be surprised how often they stick around – and for how long.”

– “That doesn’t sound like Sam.” I said. “But I appreciate you worrying about me.” Laurie was just guessing, and trying to warn me to be careful. She was wide of the mark, though.

Except that … Sam had said that I was nicer to her than anybody else had ever been.

Laurie changed the subject – sort of.

– “So did you talk about this with your friend Eli?” I had told my roommates about Eli, and his uncompromising approach to the truth. They hadn’t met him yet, but they all found my stories about him incredibly funny.

– “Not really – none of the details. Three guesses what he said.”

– “Oh man.” laughed Laurie. “Tell the truth? How’s that working out for him?”

– “He’s still single, if that’s what you mean. And he has a mean bruise on the side of his face.”

Laurie and I had a few laughs. Ronnie never did show up that night.


Ronnie couldn’t boil water. Laurie could make pasta – if the sauce came out a can or a bottle. I would add mushrooms, or onions, to the sauce.

Rose was the closest thing we had to a cook. She had a stack of cooking magazines, with recipes, plus a half dozen dishes her mother had taught her to make. She was adventurous, too, and was fearless about trying something new.

I have to admit, 4 times out of 5, the stuff she made was pretty good. And she was more than willing to cook, if the rest of us cleaned up, and chipped in a few dollars for the groceries she bought.

– “Doesn’t seem fair.” I said.

– “What doesn’t?”

– “You do the shopping, all the prep work and the cooking, and serve us a nice meal. All we do is open our wallet and fork over a couple of bucks.”

– “I don’t mind.” said Rose, with a big smile. “You do the dishes, too.”

– “How about … if I helped you?” I said.

– “How?”

– “You take me shopping a few times – show me what you buy. Then I can pick up the food every now and then.”

– “You don’t have to do that.”

– “I’m offering to help, Rose.”

– “I know you are, Joe. But why?”

– “I want something in return, Rose.” I said. “I want you to teach me how to cook.”

Rose laughed. She had a really pleasant way of laughing, that made you want to smile along. I couldn’t help but contrast it to Sam’s crazy giggles.

– “I don’t know …” said Rose.

– “Please, Rose. Just a few easy dishes. If I ever have to live on my own, I don’t want to die of starvation. Man can’t live on ramen alone.”

She finally agreed.

Rose was patient, and good-humoured. I told her that she would make a great driving instructor. After two weeks, she let me fly solo. I served Laurie and Ron a stir fry with rice – and they never had a clue that it was mine.


I took Sam to dinner. The place wasn’t especially fancy, but the food was pretty good, and it was quiet. That was the main reason I picked it. We had to talk. That is … I had to talk.

Sam was pleased to be out with me, but she could also tell that I had something on my mind. That made her nervous. She started to giggle.

– “I’m not angry with you.” I told her. “I promise.”

“I don’t understand why you phone the apartment when you know I’m not there – but I’m not angry about that, either.”

– “What are you angry about?” she asked.

– “I’m not angry at all. I wanted to explain something to you, though. It’s my … philosophy of girls. Women. You see, Sam … as far as I’m concerned, there are three types of girls.”

“First: girls I’d like to … get to know better.”

Sam smiled. She was still nervous, though – right on the edge of a giggle. I could also feel the ghost of Eli looking over my shoulder, disapproving.

– “I mean girls that I’d like to go out with. Have sex with.”

Sam nodded, and smiled again. She looked a little more relaxed.

“The second group are girls that I’m not interested in. It could be their looks, their personality, their beliefs … I don’t know – age difference? Whatever the reason, I have no desire whatever to go out with these girls, or to sleep with them.”

“Your sister, for example.”

– “Tanya?”

– “Right. There are some things I like about her, but she was 16. No way. Not happening.”

– “She turns 18 in four months.” said Sam.

That didn’t help at all. “I’m talking about when I first met you and your sisters.”

– “I understand.” she said.

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