When I lived in San Francisco, I moved into a sublet with my friend Josh. The guy who was actually on the lease rented out rooms individually. Total there were 5 people living in the apartment. It was all pretty chill actually until two of the roommates, a girl and a guy, who I believe were friends, moved out. The person who moved in was a middle-aged (although I could never determine his age) white guy. This guy, let’s call him “Drunken Asshole”, or “DA” for short, moves in when the other kids move out. I never really got the story on why those kids moved out, but they did, and we hadn’t become good friends, so I wasn’t upset. Anyway, this guy moves in, and the first thing I see is a crate of 40 oz malt liquor. I can’t remember the brand right now, but does it really matter? That’s not the point. The point is: he moved in with a crate of malt liquor; a crate, not a box, not a case, but a crate. Already my shitty roommate alarm is going off. This guy looks like he’s been drinking those things for at least a decade, and aged 40 years in that same span. In short order it’s clear that this guy is one of those San Francisco natives who’s lived in (arguably) the most progressive in the coutnry his whole life but the only thing he’s picked up is rabid fanaticism for local sports teams, a drinking problem, and the tendency to wear shorts that are overly long. It looked bad, is what I’m saying, but I had just moved into this place with my friend, and it’s not a bad deal for the room I had, so I decided to just give it all a chance.
Then, I was startled awake at three in the morning. See, DA’s room is right next to my room (there had been some room shuffling when the old roommates moved out); The walls are paper thin and he is talking loudly on his phone. It’s 3 am. Whatever, I put my pillow over my head and try to sleep. This happens several nights in a row. I complain and ask if maybe he could chat on the phone earlier in the night or, you know, text. He acts all aplogetic and says he will. Meanwhile, he is not letting those 40s just sit there. No sir, I swear that in just a week he had consumed most of that crate, drinking three or four a night.
One day DA comes by my room during the day and gives me earplugs because, “I must be a light sleeper”. Let me pause here to say that I am, in fact, a heavy sleeper. I do have insomnia, meaning I can’t sleep at all and I usually don’t try, but when I do sleep, I sleep like the dead. There is a story I’ve heard told about me by family that I once fell asleep behind a huge amplifier at an outdoor concert on the fourth of July. Could be apocryphal, but it illustrates my point. So, at this point I think, “Fuck this guy.” But, things are calm for a little while and I’m not kept up, so I let it slide again.
Then I’m woken again in the middle of the night by what sounds like DA screaming, “Fuck!” over and over again. This goes on for at least an hour at varying levels of volume. Just a grown man yelling fuck at himself, in the middle of the night, while drunk off his ass on malt liquor. So, you know, the perfect roommate.
Welp, I called a “house meeting”, which, if you know me, is the very last thing I wanted to do. I do not like confrontation. I do not like talking to people who are not my close friends. I didn’t know what else to do. I try to calmly explain that living with a guy who drinks enough Olde E (maybe) to kill most humans, who screams curses in the middle of the night, and who doesn’t seem to have a job, so is home all day to decorate the place, is making a difficult place to live. It didn’t go over too well.
I left some things out, like the fact that he had a bad back, so I ended up moving shit for him. One day I found him sitting at the bottom of the steps (we were on the second floor) and he could get back up, so I had to help him up. Actually that might have been a story one of the other roommates told me. He had weird biker friends who came over. I’m sure there were other things I was forgetting.
Then, one night I hear a banging on my door. It’s DA. He is covered in blood and it looks like he has a gash across his head. Other roomates poked their heads out at the noise. I asked him what happened and he said some guys jumped him at the bar. Now, as an aside, his story is probably true, but DA is the kind of asshole who probably provoked the attack. Even if that’s not the case, he’s still a jerk. Back to the story… So he tells me this and he looks pretty bad, so I say I’ll call 911 and grab a towel to stop the bleeding. He yells, “No ambulance!” I didn’t have a car to drive him myself., and I didn’t really want to deal with this drunken bloody (literally, not in the British sense of the word) asshole, so I shut the door on him and went back to bed.
Not much later Josh and I moved out to a two bedroom apartment that cost way more, but where it was just the two of us and I got to be the awful roommate. That guy is the reason that I will never again live with strangers if I have a choice.
Later I’ll tell you about how, around that same time, I got beat up and mauled by dogs. Man, my time in San Francisco was awful in a lot of ways…
Tags: head wounds, horrible roommates, san francisco