The short stories I wrote about the goings on at the green house led me to thinking about housemates.
When young and single, I lived in share houses on 2 occasions.
First with a female colleague. We were good mates and life was a ongoing party. One neighbour, I worried, was in danger of developing repetitive strain injury to her wrist from twitching her curtains while keeping tabs on the comings and goings.
All was rosy until I came home work to find my housemate, her boyfriend and a sack of aromatic green leafy stuff in our kitchen. It wasn’t oregano. They were foil wrapping and packing in ziplock bags a less culinary crop, marijuana, in preparation for a weekend trip to the city. When I suggested in the house wasn’t the best place, they moved it to her hatchback parked under the carport. Not quite what I had in mind, especially when my Dad visiting and foraging in the kitchen cupboards for tea emerged with a recycled Moccona coffee jar full of leaf, but not tea leaves, unless you wanted a really mellow brew.
Things got more confused after I went to call my housemate to the phone one post party Sunday morning and found her asleep in bed betwixt her boyfriend & his best mate. Successively the best mate became the boyfriend even though the old boyfriend remained the business partner.
In the new boyfriend’s spare time he liked to fish, a wholesome pastime unless you come home after late night fishing and a leave a bloody great eel coiled on a dinner plate in the fridge for the other housemate to find too early on a Sunday morning. Then it can be hazardous for your health.
The party wasn’t fun any more. My entrepreneurial housemate wasn’t to be convinced that these pursuits could end in disaster, plus the household was attracting a changing demographic, some of whom spent too many nights sleeping in our living room. That, in addition to a few bathroom health and safety issues led me to taking a second job to get me out of the house, and finding my own place.
My new place was 2 bedrooms, and having 2 jobs I wasn’t there much. It seemed a waste to leave it empty. In country towns there’s always someone who knows someone and it came about that a woman who worked for a government office in town but lived in a nearby regional city needed a place to stay during the week.
The new housemate and I didn’t see much of each other but the evidence of her living there was unmissable. I think she assumed hotel service was part of the rental agreement. She arrived on Mondays, left on Fridays but her mess stayed all week. The crux came when on a rare Saturday night in, I went to grill a chop for dinner. The grill tray looked like a science experiment. It was green, and although I didn’t get too close as opening the grill door unleashed a pungent smell, it appeared to be moving. I tossed it in the bin. And threw her out.