January 10, 2016

Conversations with Roommates

I picked an apartment that was close to my school, which I thought was logical. So, I’m currently living in an Italian ghetto. Aside from staying in my apartment after the sun goes down, it’s going great.

Anyways, a month ago I was living in another apartment, the same ghetto, but a different street. My roommate was a 19-year-old Italian boy from Venice. He was studying psychology but he had such an innocent and child-like face that I thought he would suit teaching or becoming a professional mama’s boy. I think it was the Harry Potter glasses and soft cheeks that worked against him. He called himself, Federico.

So, I was in the kitchen cooking pasta. I decided to invest my time in cooking meals and eating pasta. This decision came after I chose to make him a housewarming meal, where he, upon viewing the pasta, laughed at my face and said, "I have never tried this American pasta before.”

No, asshole, it’s not American pasta. It’s just fucking pasta.

Apparently, the pasta was not al dente.

So, we ate, and I started doing the dishes. He was leaning against the fridge, as he helpfully watched me wash the dishes as he peeled an orange. He was almost done peeling the skin off the orange when he then said hesitantly, “I need to tell you something.”

Naturally, my immediate thought was that he hosted orgies. That, or that I was too messy. However, the orgy idea was more probable.

I continued washing the dishes calmly and said, ” Oh, okay. What is it?”

“The police might come to the door, if they do, you have to tell them I’m not here.”

 

Exciting.

“Okay, got it. You’re not here.” I paused. “Why?”

“I’m…” he paused dramatically. I continue to anxiously wash the dishes. “An Anarchist.”

“That’s it?” I laugh in relief. “Okay, great.”

And that was the end of that. He then told me he’s leaving the next day for some Anarchist meeting in Venice and will come back in three days.

He came back two weeks later.

Ideally, I should have been concerned about the fact that he was missing for two weeks, but I liked living alone and figured he was probably arrested for creating public unrest after protesting against the closing of olive oil plantations or a factory that made those circular Italian crackers that taste like licorice.

I noticed his return after I had come home from school one day. He sat on the velvet red couch, wrapped in his duvet cover, sniffing and sipping on tea.

“You’re back” I forcefully said with a smile. “And sick. Where were you?”

“I was in Venice, squatting.”

Now, I have a couple of friends who squatted in an abandoned cinema in the city center of Belgrade, they actually managed to get it re-opened. So, this sparked my attention.

“Where were you squatting?”

 

“In a car dealership.”

“Oh, a car dealership?” I wasn’t sure where this was going. “Was it in the center of Venice?”

“No, it was in the suburbs.”

“Wait, you squatted in a car dealership in the suburbs of Venice?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“It’s a good way to network”.

It’s a good way to network.

I stopped making him pasta after that.

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