August 20th, 2002


Houseguest Hell

OK. Reader participation time. Tell me about you WORST houseguest(s). Some of mine will follow in the days to come.

This could make a good zine actually.

Our most recent mistake

My housemate had to kick out her houseguest this weekend. He definitely made my top three worst houseguest list before he finally left. S. was one of those people that I can never keep my emotions straight on. Part of me feels empathy. S. oozed depression and patheticity. It became clear over the course of two days that he thought this trip would end in romance between him and my housemate, despite the fact that she had broken up with him 15 years ago and had told him she wasn’t interested in rekindling anything. But most of the time he seemed like a sad, broken man, looking and acting far older than his years as he sat at our kitchen table dropping hints of mental instability and personal tragedy.

Then again, he was also manipulating and conniving, weaseling a spot on our floor by implying my housemate had promised him he could stay. He also said he would be visiting SF to hang out with other friends and see the sights. Tellingly, these other friends never materialized and he actually refused to leave the apartment to do anything, preferring to lie on the couch in our living room and read his book. We realized his stories weren't really making sense, making us wonder whether he lied about everything he told us. Some of us started to get possible-serial-killer vibes as his strange social manner became more pronounced. The final straw though came when, fueled by desperation or his own festering fantasies, he began standing way too close to my housemate when no one else was around, at times forcing her to push him away.

She told him he had to leave when he showed no sign of going anywhere on the day he was supposed to be staying somewhere else. He had been cooking some kind of huge, frying pan-sized popover when she gave him the news. When, after taking his time noisily packing up, he finally left, it sat on the kitchen stove metaphorically deflating into itself like S.’s unreal aspirations that this time things would work out. I swear, I almost cried when I saw it. I threw it away uneaten and washed the pan immediately. I knew it would taste nasty, sad, and bitter.
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