A couple years ago, I lived in a different apartment, part of the same building as the one I'm in now.
My roommate was someone I didn't know and almost never saw.
He was from India.
The landlord set us up when I emailed her about needing another person to split the rent.
Our rooms were right across from each other.
Sometimes I'd open my door in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and he'd be standing by his door, looking out its slight crack.
Other than that, I lived a year with him and our only exchanges were brief smiles in the kitchen while we drank water.
I saw the inside of his room once.
He was gone and he had left his door open.
I didn't go into his room but I did look.
There was just a sleeping bag on the floor and garbage all over.
The garbage made a steep pile in the corner of his room.
It looked exactly the same as my room.
Three days before the end of our lease, he walked up to me in the living room.
I was reading.
He told me he had just finished his PhD and that he wanted to buy me pizza to celebrate.
He kept saying, "Ahm—do you like beesa hot? Beesa hot?"
I knew he was saying Pizza Hut, but it also sounded like he was saying, "Bees are hot."
I was worried that he'd turn around with a back covered in flaming bees and then point to them saying, "Bees are hot," in his tiny voice.
Flaming bees would've been nice to look at I bet.
Maybe too scary though.
I said, "Yes, I like Pizza Hut." He ordered pizza and we ate it, sitting very still on the
We only looked at each other once, to nod and smile.
We didn't say anything.
I moved out the next day, into an apartment on a different floor in the same building.