The Roommate

I decided to pack up my roommate’s belongings today. He left all of a sudden, and never said why. He told us we could pack up his stuff and use his room.

I stepped into his room, and for the first time, I contemplated the man that once lived there. He was a mysterious guy. He showed selflessness in all aspects of his life. I never understood him.

Bookshelves lined the walls of his room, and the shelves were filled with volumes of literature. I decided to start there. As I placed each book in one of three boxes, I read its title. Most of the books were about Religion. Others were about less deep topics such as politics and business management. He was well studied.

I ran out of boxes, because there were so many books. I felt tired, so I sat in his old grandma-like wooden chair. It faced the window. He spent so many hours sitting in that chair, reading a book, and admiring the view. His door was always closed, but I’m sure that was what he did. It was a nice chair.

I felt uneasy sitting there. It was like wearing a dead man’s jacket, except my roommate isn’t dead. He just moved away. I turned the chair a little to the left until it formed a 45 degree angle with the window. If you suck at math, I apologize. Look it up. After moving the chair, I felt a little more comfortable.

I took in the view from the window. I could see a tree to the left. Directly in front of me, a sidewalk snaked its way throughout the apartment complex. Beyond that, only 30 yards away, was a dark, brick wall. There were shrubs at its base. A vine spread in all directions and threatened to cover the wall.

I shrugged. The view was okay at best. For some reason, I expected to look out that window and see the Great Pyramids of Egypt or the Himalayas. If I were to place a chair in front of a window, it would have to show me something remarkable. Instead, I saw a brick wall. For my roommate, that wall was enough. That sliver of life tracing its way up that wall made my roommate smile and in turn made others smile.

I think happiness is different for everyone.

I don’t know if that discovery helped me to understand him more or less. I felt compelled to write about it. So there it was. I admire the man and wish him the best.

Published in: on June 19, 2008 at 10:18 pm  Comments (1)