The Apartment Gremlin

In another piece of writing, this was a name I gave my roommate, Ben. In this mini-essay from my “Warmth” series though, I’d consider him anything but.

Working from home alongside someone, and spending such extended periods of time in quarantine together creates a unique routine. I think we’ve all developed habits with our roomies (partners, friends, pets, etc.) that likely never would have existed if we weren’t stuck together for so long.

There’s something beautiful in that to me. The wandering thoughts we say out loud from one makeshift office to another. The lunch walks we take to avoid stir-craziness. The made-up happy hour we have together to mimic moments of the past. As we emerge from this pandemic haze, I hope we still look back fondly on how we’ve grown together with our people.

*Two notes:

-Relatives and distant friends alike: we are not dating. Ben is in a lovely relationship with a very sweet man that I love third-wheeling.

-When I read this to him, he teared up. Caught ya, Bennie! šŸ˜‰

The Apartment Gremlin

Ben ate a piece of cactus minutes after this photo was taken.

Love is checking in on me when I’m vibrating off the walls. Dusting the leaves of my plants at 11pm and going on about why we need another bookshelf.

Asking if I got outside today, if I have plans to leave my windowless room after a 2-hour nap. If I want to come to the gym.

Asking me how I slept every morning and wanting to know the answer. Knowing the coffee pot will always be half-full for me when I emerge. Giving me the good corner of the couch and pats on the head. An endless stream of memes and news headlines for me to see after the many times of day I wake up. Flight deals, cut coupons, and my favorite sweaters laid neatly across our kitchen island to dry.

I put your smoothie ingredients back in the freezer after you jump into a meeting you forgot about. We stand in our respective doorways, finishing (or, always continuing) our conversation before turning the lights out. Shouting back and forth with toothbrushes in our mouths.

Knowing to stay sensitive when it’s the second week of the month. Giving me shit for it either way, but sharing dark chocolate in solidarity.

Eating empanadas with me on Valentine’s night even though I never asked for it. Just because you knew I needed it.

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