I have a guest who has stayed for a month now and I'm ready for him to get his own place. He has every excuse in the book. "That place was a dump," he said. "You don't want me to stay in a dump, do you?" Another time, he said, "This place was nice but I'm not sure I would like being that close to a family I don't know." And then there was, "That other place was a wash, a dead-end, not right at all."
My house guest has stayed too long to be a guest and since he doesn't pay rent, he's not a tenant either. He's not immediate family, so I can't fart in front of him. He's taking up a whole bathroom in our house so in the morning when I have to pee, I have to do the dance if someone's using the other bathroom at the time. The guys can just pee off the deck, which is gross, but I can't quite imagine how it would look to my house guest/tenant/new family member if he walked up the steps and caught me hanging off a post of the back deck exposing my bare ass so I could pee without peeing down my leg. Wouldn't be pretty. I'm tempted, but it wouldn't be pleasant.
I'm supposed to be a pleasant woman, but I'm not.
My long-term house guest came downstairs this afternoon on the pretext of helping with the groceries that I didn't need help with and I had just farted in the foyer. Mortifying. The whole thing has become so mortifying that I find excuses to leave the house and stay away for a long time. Tonight, after dinner but before I had a chance to sit down and eat, I left the house to 'go walk the dog.' I was angry. Dishes were piled up and this extenuated house guest had said he'd help with dishes. This actually means that he puts all my stuff in different places every time he unloads the dishwasher. If he loads the dishwasher, he never starts it, or if he does, stuff doesn't come clean. There's always two lids stuck together or a bowl full of water after he runs it. But you'd have to actually put a tab into the dishwasher and press some buttons for the dishwasher to run. That must be too hard because most of the time, my eternal house guest doesn't do it. So, tonight, I was making dinner and didn't have all the utensils and pots I needed because too many dishes were dirty. As I struggled to make this meal, I got madder and madder. On top of it all, I have to make a separate platter for this guy for every meal because of his food preferences. Three times, he has cooked for us, but each time has made food that I can't actually eat. And each time, he buys duplicates of ingredients I already have and it clogs the refrigerator. And who really needs a quart jar of pickle relish? So, I tried to work on this meal and not one of the three men in the living room got off an ass to come into the kitchen to help. And so, I served this meal and, before I could eat any of it, I left on the pretext of walking the dog. This actually means that I resisted the urge to toss the hot half-cooked meal onto the carpet in front of the guys and say that 'Dinner is served. Tonight we feature big-asses-sitting-on-a-couch.'
I'm still miserable. I have to face that filthy kitchen in the morning. I'll be damned if I clean it. I will be dammed, I'm sure.
Today, I was struggling to finish some work at a computer in the library. If I have to wait for Nick to finish at Driver's Ed, I might as well get something done. Using the library computers helps to keep my load lighter. All I have to carry is a small binder with notes and a thumb drive.
I sat there, stumped about where I needed to put some text. People around me were loud and obnoxious. Some guy across from me tried unsuccessfully to get the librarian to fix his problem. I would have sworn he was the same guy monopolizing the librarian last week. People chatted. They talked to their computer screens. It was not easy to concentrate.
Then, the man who was sitting to my left caught my eye and said, "Let me use your pen."
Now, I like my pen. They don't make this kind of Itoya pen any more and it's getting harder to find refills. People might not realize it, but when I give them one of my Itoya pens, it's a high honor.
This guy did not register on that scale so I pretended to be hard of hearing.
"Let me use your pen," he repeated and pointed.
"What?" I said, finally looking at him, not moving toward my pen.
"Let me use your pen," he said slowly as if speaking to an idiot. Then he waggled his pinky and his ring finger together. That motion that is so akin to a finger snap that I hate it and anyone who uses it.
"Oh, this?" I slowly held up my Itoya some distance from his hand, wondering if I should refuse him. It seemed petty to refuse, but I wasn't above slow motion. He waggled his fingers at me a little more.
Then, he proceeded to fill out two pages of an application while I waited for him to give my favorite pen back. I stared at him, willing him to write faster so I could go back to focusing on my work. I did not want him to think he could walk off with my favorite pen while I wasn't looking. Reading his paperwork didn't work. I tried, without success, to focus on my own work.
Then, he got onto his phone and had a conversation with someone as if he were in his own living room. Do people realize how loud they are speaking when they're on the phone? The man held my pen in the air. Finally, he got off the phone, finished the second page of his application, and handed my pen back to me.
"Thank you," I said, trying to be civil. My words may have been civil, but my expression could have started a war.
I went back to work on my aggravating text and just when I thought I might have a solution, the man said again, "Let me use your pen."
What the hell was wrong with this guy? I made him repeat himself again, but it didn't deter him or lead him to be any more polite than he had been in the first place.
So, as I watched him scratch away at another page of his application, I saved my document, gathered my stuff, and stood up.
He didn't look up from his work when I stood over him with my bag in hand. Finally, I dug into the depths of my bag, located a free pen from a hotel I'd visited, and pointed at the pen he was using.
"I can't spare that pen. I can spare this one. Here."
He kept writing for a moment. I leaned over him and put the pen next to his hand where he couldn't keep writing.
"Take this one. I can't spare that one." And I plucked my Itoya out of his hand.
He glared at me. I rolled my eyes at him and and tucked my favorite pen deep into my bag. I noticed that the cheap pen was a different color on his application. Good. Then, I turned and walked to a different computer and sat down to get some actual work done. I don't know if he noticed my new location. I didn't look up from my work.
When I left the library, I walked back over to where the man had abandoned my free pen from the hotel. I tossed it into my bag for the next asswipe that that wags his fingers at me.