He's walking down a dirt road, a few pieces of strewn garbage lazily scrabbling across the turf before him. He's content, happy, the stress from the past couple of days at work finally easing off of his hard tensed shoulders. He looks forward to getting home, climbing into bed to listen to an episode of 'Mythbusters' or 'How It's Made' while he reads his book about the Westies.
Then, out of no where, there's a heavy thudding BR-RRA-A-A-AATT that cuts through the calm. The dirt kicks up in front of him, he freezes out of shock for a second, and then dives down behind a trash can.
Another burst of automatic gunfire cuts from the other side of the street. A few strays whip over his head, his too-short hair bristles. He clenches shut his eyes, clasps his laptop to his chest (Huff Post or Gmail's been left open on it) and bares down to what's going to be an ugly, long-lasting battle.
This isn't Iraq in case you were wondering (I don't think they have Gmail out there... probably Jihad-mail... rimshot!) this is my apartment. And I've been caught in a wicked crossfire between The Lady and the Roommate.
Something in the back of my head tells me that this was inevitable. The two of them don't get along very well at all, and at the risk of further alienating them from each other, and even me, I'll break down how the other sees their advisory.
The Lady sees the RM as an awkward annoyance, a child that she's been prematurely saddled with. A slob that seldom picks anything up and is a thieving anti-social dullard. He's pathetic and a nuisance. She often wonders how he even made it through bootcamp.
The RM views The Lady as a interloper, the succubus that's robbed him of his best friend and roommate. A point of conflict and contention. What he sees is a house thief who does nothing but plot against him when he's not here, laying traps (or pubic hair) in his room.
(Update: As I was writing this, the RM came back from the store, where I sent him to get me a Snickers with Almonds and an orange Gatorade. When he came back, he burst into my room and started to jabber on in a non-sequitor that involved Alec Baldwin, the film 'We Own The Night' and the letter 'X' , he then placed upon my head the Gatorade and said 'dude, listen to the wind outside, and feel the coolness on your head. Doesn't it feel like a tropical storm?!)
The fact is, I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too. I love having The Lady living here with me, because I don't get to see enough of her during the week to begin with. With her here, it takes away all that lost time where we're traveling to see each other. It's also beneficial to her as well, because we live in such close proximity to her job, that she can walk and leave the car parked. With gas at 4.00+ USD, that's a huge check in the plus column.
With the roommate, it's nice to have him around because he's genuine comic relief, and I feel like I have an obligation towards him as his 'older brother.' But he can be tedious to deal with as well, as he seldom does chores and often parades ugly t shirts he buys into my room for my approval/disapproval (there's really never an 'approval' since he refuses to buy clothes meant for an adult).
These two don't like each other and I don't like having to be the go-between. I hate having to spend a good chunk of my work week counseling my roommate on getting along with my girlfriend, and I don't want to deal with The Lady's attitude towards my roommate, which makes her pissy, which she'll take out on me.
All I want to do is come home and relax, and not feel like I have to be a referee. I did this for twenty-sum-odd years with my parents, and now that I've moved out (again) I see it as wholly unnecessary to do it with two more people I care about.
I think this will be easier to explain to the readers if I break down the latest point of contention: Being that my name is on the lease to the apartment, I take a more ... presidential stand on the happenings of my little two-bedroom country. When I invited The Lady to move in, we agreed that we'd split the rent (Update 2: The Roommate just walked into my room, head partially shaved, to show me the 'upside down vag' he shaved into the front of his forehead. It was a downward pointing triangle. He was also only in his underwear.) three ways, and her share of the utilities would be spent on buying groceries. We all agreed to this, and it was fine.
Then the RM started to have an issue when his share of the utilities came out to 90 dollars for the month. And then when he went to a fit when he was looking for something to make for dinner, and there was nothing he liked.
The Lady and I like organic products, so we shop at an organic grocery store. The RM likes to eat cardboard and other crap of that nature. So I can understand his befuddlement.
"Dude, weeks ago I told you to make a list of shit..."
"Well... will she shop at someplace other than Trader Joe's?" I didn't want to argue with him, because it was a stupid argument to have. And then he launched into a tirade about the utilities. "We're only here half the month, how is it so high?!" I, again, didn't see a point to arguing with him, nor did I feel like bringing up the fact that we've been running the central air a lot lately, as well as the dishwasher... plus he has a huge tendency to leave the living room tv on when he goes into his room, or vice versa, along with the lights.
The Lady has threatened to move out, trying to avoid a nasty confrontation. I've implored her not to, to just talk it over with the RM.
And that's how I get sucked into being the go-between. Why is it, the guy who's always caught in the crossfire is unarmed?