Last November, I found out that my roommate had been hiding a body inside the freezer we keep in the garage. I know, it’s already September, but the circumstances were dire back then. They still are. My first thought was to call the police, but my roommate hadn’t paid his share of the rent just yet. It wasn’t due until the 30th, and you know how difficult it’s to find people who pay on time. He always does. I decided to wait for a few days. Also, that very day, he surprised me with season tickets for the LA Opera, and well… Madame Butterfly. Tosca. The Flying Dutchman. At the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion… Have you ever been to the Dorothy Chandler? Oh, dear God, it’s a wonder of midcentury architecture, with its white terrazzo floors and those massive golden chandeliers in the lobby. You cannot say no to that, can you? I wouldn’t call myself a true opera enthusiast, I slept through most of The Flying Dutchman, but as a young, white homosexual growing up in godforsaken Kentucky, I often dreamed of attending a performance. Our appreciation of the beaux-arts is what distinguishes us from the bullies… Anyway, Madame Butterfly was superb, thank you, but last night I found another body. This time I’m evicting my roommate, no doubt about that, right after La Cenerentola.
I know, this time I shouldn’t wait, but, again, growing up gay in a red state, watching Disney Princess movies, and getting hand-me-downs from my better-off cousins from Nashville, all I could dream of is to achieve social progress through marriage, and, what do you know? The Italian version of Cinderella might have the answers. After the performance, I’ll be ready to call the police, yes sir, all I need is to come up with the money to pay for my roommate’s share of the rent first. That might prove to be a tad difficult, however, because I lost my job on Friday. Not my fault! Yes, I drank at work, to forget that I’m living with a murderer, but never more than one bottle, and yes, I didn’t have a sale in over three months, but I’ve been through so much stress — I cannot sleep! A cocktail of Tylenol PM and Lunesta doesn’t seem enough to keep me in the land of Nod for more than a few hours. A few times I’ve woken up screaming, which isn’t good, because then my roommate rushes into my bedroom asking “what’s going on, what’s the problem?” and while it may be comforting to have a strong man run to your room every time you have a nightmare, it is not so when the man in question is also the cause of your night terrors…
I guess my real question is this: Should I betray my meal ticket? I mean, yes, my roommate kills, and, yes, he’s not too careful about the way he packs the bodies. They now have these grayish-brown freezer burn marks; every time I open that damn freezer to get the Eggos, I squirm in horror. However, he’s kind. He has threatened to, but he has never beaten me. Except for that one time but it was totally my fault. And after he found out I lost my job, he offered to pay my rent and cover this months’ expenses. He paid for getting the kitchen repainted, and he offered to cover the cost of sanding the floors too. Yes, I am fully aware that I could be his next victim, but let’s be honest: looking for work is just so depressing. How could I concentrate, with two bodies hidden in my garage?
I am so stressed I can’t even enjoy wasting time on the Internet… Oh, my. Jarek’s a rather big fella… That must be a foot long. And look at those round peaches… Anyway, I don’t want this to sound racist, because it isn’t, but to think of all those black and Latino people on welfare and me in the most complete wretchedness. The government should send me a check to compensate me for all my suffering. I had a rough childhood! Discriminated. Persecuted. Forced to leave my paternal home and move to Southern California to escape a reactionary life on a hyper-caloric diet, and once here, never discovered! I shouldn’t have to work. I’m too meek. Too sensible. And too pretty. I’m like a Jane Austen heroine, raised by loving parents, with a handsome countenance, a kind heart, and good, old-fashioned manners, but in every respect unable to provide for myself or actually willing to… Oy, Matteo has a half-off sale. Would it be too extravagant to purchase new sheets, considering the circumstances?
Carlos Allende – 10.9.2019