After recuperating in the sanctuary of my sister’s house after years of dwelling with madness, within and without, I have finally found a place to restart my life. The basement apartment is perfect for my purposes. It is buried in a quiet dead-end street. A park and Tim Horton’s is 100 yards away. A shopping mall (and the beer store, if I was heavy into beer) is 200 yards away. Etobicoke Creek trickles by with accompanying trails nearby. And it is near the corner of major suburban bus routes. It has all the basic elements that I need and is cheap enough that I can support myself on basic wages until the other stuff starts producing.
However, as always, there is a fly in the ointment. In this case, it is the other roomer; approx 50 years old and with heavy set and thick foreign accent.
The landlady provides some basic utensils, pots, pans and dishes with the accommodation. And on the first day, I used what pot and utensils that was there. But apparently, a pot and spoon belongs to the roomer. How was I to know? The roomer got all so hot and bothered about the use of his stainless steel pot. And dish detergent. And wash cloth. But especially, the stainless steel tablespoon. He was going to call the cops the next time his spoon was used.
Consequently, I start worrying about the storage space that I am using in the fridge. Have I gone over my share; despite the fact that the man only stores a couple of items? Knowing that people tend to project their own vices onto others, was his concern for being cheated showing up in the level of my milk?
This is so darn ridiculous. I am not going to go down this road and bring myself to that level. I have had at least 5 vehicles bump into the back of my vehicles over the years. And for peace of mind, I just couldn’t be bothered to collect. I am not going to start now.
The next day, I get a stomping and loud complaining about some apparent mess. Only unless one is like my obsessive “no-dust-can-be-found-on-the-top-of-closet-doors-and-window-sills” mom in my childhood, no person would have noticed any form of mess. Apparently, the chap didn’t like the way the garbage bag and the garbage was arranged into the garbage pail as well.
I just lost it; insulting him several times. It wasn’t so much anger; but contempt. I have all these great and profound thoughts. And I just cannot be bothered having to think about pots, detergent soap, dishcloths and especially stainless steel tablespoons.
The next day, I cooked up some pork tenderloin stew. I left him half with an accompanying note apology. However, the wording might not have been winsome. It said:
I do apologize for calling you an a-hole. I do and can respect property. However, I will not allow myself to be subjected to a concern for property rights that borders on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. If my mindset fretted about every $1 stainless steel spoon being used by anyone else, I should think that I would be spending $90 every week on psychological counseling sessions.
He didn’t eat the pork tenderloin stew.
Today. The roomer bangs on the door and complains that I used up his laundry detergent. I showed him that I had my own. His kafuffle alarms the landlady upstairs. He complains that he pays too much rent. And the laundry detergent is just the last straw. He threatens to leave. The lady threatens to call the police on him for being obnoxiously loud and raging. She also offers him the right to get out of his commitment to stay as a renter.
With the violent temper of this man over detergent soap usage, I am a teeny bit worried about the safety of my life. And I begin to calculate the depreciation cost of one use of a $1 stainless steel tablespoon. If a person uses a stainless steel tablespoon about once a day minimum; and on average, one keeps a stainless steel tablespoon for about five years before losing it; that comes to about .0548¢ per usage. That is unless one is using the declining balance accounting method. Imagine suffering mortality over the price of an accidental misuse of a stainless steel tablespoon!
I thought I had seen enough mad houses! Having expunged the madness within, by the Grace of God and through the enactment of His counsel, I seem to keep meeting up with it externally.
©Copyright Johnny Hutchinson