There are plenty of ways I'd rather go than being crushed to death by the collapse of an ancient bunk bed taken down by the aggressive sex of a madwoman, but we don't always get to pick our poison. That, friends, was nearly my fate.
Freshman year in college, I was a naive, fresh-faced, almost impossibly innocent 18-year-old. My wildest experiences involved nothing crazier than working at Dairy Queen and going to the prom with a farmer’s son who had to get home early to milk the cows.
I was shocked by habits no edgier than tattoos and birth control pills. This was when the alleged higher power saw fit to give me Alexa (not her real name) as my first college roommate.
She was beautiful, let's be clear. The sexy kind of beautiful. Like the Supreme Court and “obscenity” — you can't define it, but you know it when you see it.
Her beauty would've been nothing more than aspirational to me had she not been my cellmate in a dorm room the size of your average bargain casket. Bunk beds you had to turn sideways to walk past, and one puny closet. Habitational waterboarding for teenage girls. And did I mention the mice?
Alexa was going through what might most politely be defined as a phase. A sexual awakening? Nymphomania? I truly wouldn't have given a shit had I not been incarcerated in pornographically close quarters with it. I mean, yay for sex positivity! Yay for body positivity! Now get the fuck(ing) out of my room before I lose my mind.
To be blunt: Alexa got it constantly. Constantly. Not even sure how she ever went to class. Every time I got back to the room, she was in our bedroom with some guy. Several times, there were spare guys sitting in the living room waiting to sub in should the starter lose his fastball(s).
Again, not that I'd have hated that so much, but her minor league team tended to drink my beer and be preoccupied in the bullpen. Not the greatest conversationalists.
I'd rail about this to our suitemates from the adjacent bedroom and they'd ask: “Have you told her this bothers you?” Sweet mother of God. We have to tell people we might at some point in the distant future want to enter our own bedrooms to sleep, dress, or retrieve our toothbrushes? To whom is this not obvious?
So I tried to tough it out. It's only a year, I thought. So I'm seeing sexual acts I've never even heard of pretty much every time I open my bedroom door. I'm expanding my horizons. It was like showing porn to a baby panda, but I rolled with it as best I could.
Until it happened. The worst night of all. She staggered in with some guy after I'd gone to sleep on the bottom bunk. They hopped up on the rickety, decades-old, scary-as-shit-on-the-best-of-days top bunk and started pounding away. They say your life flashes before your eyes in certain circumstances, and I'm here to tell you that's true.
Worst of all, my flashback ended with being squashed by horny teenagers in a vermin-filled dorm room in which my greatest personal achievement had been stress urinary incontinence.
We’re all of us humans, though, right? You're probably thinking “Snap out of it, pretty girl had hormones,” and part of me felt that, too. But there was more.
Alexa, being gorgeous and (quite possibly) a pathological narcissist, was also an actress. Good enough to get roles that involved standing in mirrors delivering lines to herself for hours on end. This I didn't care about, as she saved it for the bathroom, where there were guys to behold it. Having said that, I wasn't altogether fond of her experience in one play.
It was supposed to be a comedy, and the guys who'd written it were said to be hilarious. They later went on to successful TV writing/producing careers, so yes. Ha ha. Funny guys. She got a role in one of their plays and our mouse-shit-filled suite rejoiced in her success. Until the day I got home from class and found half the cast going through our closet, trying on my clothes. People I'd never seen before were strutting around in my sweaters and Gap jeans.
"What's up, Alexa?" I asked. She said they just needed some wardrobe for the show and somehow talked me out of a homicidal rage. She also asked if she could borrow a few of my books.
Cut to: a month or so later. A friend and I decided to check out the play to show support to the oblivious fuckaholic who was making my life a dystopian hellscape and that was when I got to see my clothes and books get their moments in the spotlight. The characters were moronic Valley Girls. The main accessories of my life were symbolic of their idiocy.
Thanks again, roomie.
It won't surprise you to learn that I moved in with other roommates at my earliest possible convenience and, even then, transferred to a different school sophomore year. I can deal with rodents, maybe even rebellious debutantes, but it was the actress who did me in.