Friday, January 16, 2009

Roommate Roulette

Living in NYC for the last 25 years, I've had a wide variety of roommates.  An artist's income demands sharing your residence in this city.  Some of them were disasters, others became close friends.  Some were just bizarre while others brought huge amounts of fun.  None of them cleaned very well but I rationalized their lack of tidiness with the lopsided rent I charged them.  In the latter years I found it was profitable to take a multi-bedroomed apartment, furnish the common areas with my decorative flair and then put the ad on Craig's list.  This usually worked out.  Though lately, my luck has changed for the worse.  Recently I moved into a very nice place (new construction, central air, modern) I thought I'd have no problems getting a cool roomie at all.  The trouble is, it's located in Bed Sty, Brooklyn.  I've had scores of people make arrangements to come see the place but they get so frightened when they get here they don't even ring the bell.
One guy showed up to view the place.  He asked me how I feel about nudity because he was a "naturalist".  I said I didn't mind if he kept it out of my face.  During his visit this middle aged, chunky "naturalist" asked to use the restroom. (Wait for it) he returned from the bathroom wearing nothing but his black socks.  I passed!  The first one to actually take the room was a fiesty black women named Natalie.  SHe seemed pretty cool so I agreed to have her move in.  I asked her for some ID and she produced a social security card which named her Jerry.  She explained she changed her name for her modeling career.  I hadn't occured to me right away but I soon began to suspect something strange.  I said to her three days in that when I saw her name was actually Jerry, and don't get insulted, I thought she might be a tranny.  "Why Brian Honey, I AM" she exclaimed followed by a loud cackle.  "You wanna see my $8000 tits?" she laughed as she ripped open her (his) shirt and proudly displayed two perfect breasts.  I asked if she(he) still had a dick, she(he) told me he was saving up for that.  I congratulated her(him) on winning the most interesting roommate ever award.  It was fine till I begin to notice more and more frequent gentlemen callers coming all through the night.  Turns out she had a little internet TV show she was producing in her room luring customers who had a taste for her special combo package.  I had to refund her money and ask her to leave because I was having nightmares mixed with the night reality of the endless parade of men.
A few weeks later, I accepted a young photographer who just moved from Nashville and was ready to take NY by storm.  He kept assuring me he had big offers all over town and paying would be no problem if I would let him move in and wait a week for his checks to come in.  I agreed , but a month later he was still waiting for those checks.

I think I've just about had it with the roommate game, yet I can't afford my own apartment here in the city.  Maybe it's time to move back to Pittsburgh.

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