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Worldwide Ace » Battling the Wizard – Part II

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Battling the Wizard – Part II

18 February, 2014 (06:45) | Growing Up

Continued from
Battling the Wizard – Part I

The following catalogs the turmoil that led
to my sudden move to Nederland at the end of January.
It’s extremely long, though each part is reasonable article length.


For the first time in my life, I felt uncomfortable in my own home. And it was all thanks to our newest roommate. Certainly, the news was difficult, and I didn’t blame him for having a rough time with it. I couldn’t imagine what it might feel like to be told you had a son, and that you hadn’t even been given the opportunity to be a father to him. It was drama out of a soap opera. I engaged my roommate by talking to him. We’d sit out on my patio as I decompressed with a beer or a bowl, chatting about it, trying to offer logical, careful analysis and support. But it wasn’t enough.

He spiraled out of control. He fought with the neighbors, verbally assaulting them. After one altercation, he thought he saw a gun and called the police. Either the neighbors were deft in hiding the altercation or he was hallucinating (and I find the latter far more likely). The cops dragged him home and left him in my care. I tried to keep him there, but he stumbled drunkenly into the night, certain there was a conspiracy between the police and the neighbors. I took frantic calls from his girlfriend every 10 minutes for several hours until he finally arrived at her house, many miles away. I was both relieved and disturbed. A few days later, I was told that the neighbors had filed for a restraining order and he would have to move out. At this too, I was relieved and disturbed. The restraining order listed multiple offenses about which I hadn’t even heard. And I felt complicit for giving him a chance, guilty for letting him enter our community, and sad that he couldn’t overcome his issues and that I couldn’t have been more help.

Within weeks of his moving out, the owner of the condo had flown in, contracted for renovations and informed us that we would need to leave when the place sold. Given that I had been told it might sell within months of moving in, and that I had lived there three and a half years, I was grateful for such a good situation lasting for long. Perhaps my roommate’s strife was simply too much for our landlord to handle and she finally decided enough was enough. We didn’t have to leave, per se, and she even got us a storage unit during the renovations, but we needed to clear out floor by floor. The top floor, with my room, was to be first. And I was thankful to another member of our Tichu circle for putting me up for the week.

I trolled craigslist incessantly, looking for the right spot at the right price. Boulder’s housing market is shockingly predictable and pricey. With so many students, short-term leases that don’t fall between semesters are uncommon, and despite the transient nature of the younger population, rooms are rarely empty for long, especially those at a reasonable price. The expectation of more students rolling in next semester means the slew of property management companies can often be patient and bide their time. Most of the ads I read promised preleasing for fall, short sublets until the previous year contract ran out, or expensive prices for less than stellar accommodations and locations.

The Tichu crew listened to my whining about the process, about the stress. The Wizard had previously mentioned open rooms to me, so I asked if there was one now, figuring I could be a better roommate than his slew of bad ones and save myself the trouble of looking. Unfortunately, his house was all booked up, so I continued my search from the futon mattress flopped on the floor of my newly renovated and echoey condo.

Within a week, I found a two-month sublet just around the corner, saving me moving costs, with the chance to renew for another year. The house was a group of current and former Americore people. They were chill, young, and we seemed to get along. I quickly jumped on it. At the end of the first month, though, the house was sold, and the renewal was officially a no-go. Once again, and for the second time that summer, I started to stress the move. I’d be moving a week before closing down the camp at which I worked, meaning I wasn’t just preparing for moving myself. The stresses of the camp and my job over the summer had only added to the pressures I felt, and I was less than happy about the entire ordeal.

“You know,” said the Wizard after I had regaled my regular card buddies with the latest twist in my life, “my roommate Jesse is moving out about then. If you’d like, we could see if this would work.”

“Seriously?” I replied, feeling grateful to be spared another difficult search in my already stressful life.

“Sure,” he said. “But I don’t usually like rooming with friends.” His eyes went wide, and he began to hem and haw in what I thought was our usual routine. “And there are some things you need to know about the house.”

I figured the caveats were minor. I’m a flexible person and I’ve made adjustments before. I’ve never lived alone, save for short spurts house-sitting. I find that adjusting to other people’s needs makes me more conscious of my own, saves me money, and is more enjoyable. I had already baked breads, cupcakes, cookies and muffins multiple times in conjunction with the Wizard’s special dietary needs, bringing treats to occasional Tichu nights, and I was willing to adjust my diet. It’s not as though I didn’t have my caveats, especially in Winter. I had early mornings and early nights. I cooked for my carpool, meaning at least some noise each morning as they came in for a quick breakfast before we headed up the mountain. And I came with Stuff™, a collection of cooking gear that could fill a kitchen, a common room’s worth of furniture, and more.

Continued in
Battling the Wizard – Part III