Corner of the World

0801131815aI wrote this on Sunday, but I waited to publish it for some reason.

“How can I trust you?” is the wrong question. The right question is, “Why shouldn’t I trust you?” If you can think of any reason not to trust a person, then don’t. But don’t expect them to keep pulling more and more proof out of their ass as if there is anything that can eliminate all of the doubt in your mind. I don’t know with 100% certainty that I’ll live long enough to finish this sentence, but oh look, I just did. That’s called a leap of faith. I asked my roommate to take one with me a few nights ago, and in a shock that nobody could have seen coming, he declined.

In my last post, I said I was moving out. That’s still true. But after publishing that one, I had an idea. What if I gave him just one more chance? Sure, he’s been acting like an asshole, but he is under a lot of stress, what with his application for permanent resident status in the U.S. to worry about (he’s from Korea) and his uncle (who is his closest relative in America) waffling on helping him find a job like that. So I floated an idea: What if I go back to California, but don’t move out? I’ll stay there for a couple months or so, find a job (it’s not that hard to find a job, if all you want to do is find a job), save up my money, and mail the rent checks in anyway. When I’m ready (somewhere in early 2014, let’s say), I’ll move back, but until then, he’ll have the whole place to himself. Sounds like a win-win, right? But he didn’t see it that way.

The most distressing thing about our conversation was that he said yes at first. Then we swapped stories about our crappy experiences trying to make lives for ourselves and stand on our own two feet. He told me that life would be so much easier if he could just find an American girl to marry, and I told him about all of my crappy roommates. But when I got to Robert, the sweet, gay librarian who threw me out simply because he wanted the room back and told me so not in person but in an email, he told me that I was a fool for trusting him. I didn’t sign a lease, so I should have anticipated getting kicked out right before the holidays and right after I told him I’d be out of town for a while (thus forcing me to change my plans). No, I don’t think that’s the moral of the story. What I learned from Robert is not that it’s wrong to trust people, but that you shouldn’t assume someone is on your side just because they’re friendly.

What follows is the most dramatic part of this story to date. I told my roommate that since he insisted on having me here to breathe down my neck, I would have to move out. He said fine, then started banging on my door demanding that I tell the realtor. I refused. Earlier in the day, I had told the realtor that I meant to move out, then changed my mind and said that I’d give my roommate one more chance. He said he’d check back in on Tuesday to ask what my final decision was. Fair enough. So when my roommate told me on Friday that I needed to contact the realtor right then and there, I refused. He grew agitated. I shut the door in his face. (God, that felt good.) He opened the door and started yelling at me. I ignored him. He fucked off, then barged into my room a while later, waving his phone in my face and threatening me with violence. I told him to go back to his room and calm down. He told me that he would love to leave me alone, but that he can’t do that until I tell the realtor.

“No,” I said. “The way that you leave someone alone is that you leave. Them. Alone!” I shouted that last part. It was the first part all evening that I’d gotten really angry. FYI, if you want to piss off Robot King, just walk into his room and refuse to leave. When I wrote “Unfinished Business”, I would have said that this man is deeply troubled, but far from one of the worst people I’ve ever met. Boy, has that changed. Do I hate him? Yes, I do. Because I don’t give a flying fuck what happens to him after this.

There were red flags, I suppose, but I never could have anticipated this. When I first met, he seemed fine, if a little tense. I wrote him a check for the rent and security deposit, he handed me the keys, and that was that. We discussed move-in details. There was some drama with him allowing me to move in before I’d sent in an application to the realtor, but I assumed that that was because he wanted to spare me the trouble of staying in a hostel until the realtor was back in town. Now I’m staying in a hostel until my flight on Wednesday just to keep away from him. I considered calling the police after he threatened me, but I don’t think he has the balls to take a swing at me. Besides, I would own him.

When I left for California on my two-week vacation, he asked me to give him the September rent check even though I would be back before the end of August. I guess he thought I was going to just ditch him? Whatever. I did write him that check just to get him off my back. But I won’t make that mistake again.

This video contains my final thoughts on leaps of faith.


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