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Worldwide Ace » Battling the Wizard – Part IV

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Battling the Wizard – Part IV

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

Continued from
Battling the Wizard – Part I
Battling the Wizard – Part II
Battling the Wizard – Part III

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.


When Jesse finally finished moving out, I quickly moved in. The kitchen wasn’t nearly as well stocked as the Wizard had claimed and I began to feel that he simply didn’t want me moving in. I bolted for Boston, grateful for the added space and distance, leaving the Wizard and the Master to the house. In a series of emails, the Wizard and I talked about having this as a trial period. No one ever signs the lease immediately, he told me. He had been burned by bad roommates too many times not to test the waters. Ski season is still two months away, I assured him, and we’d see how things went. I promised to make food to go instead of having people into the house. If there were issues, he wanted me to come to him, saying as long as I wasn’t on the lease, he should deal with our landlord.

SIDE NOTE: In the year and four months I lived there, I never met our landlord. She supposedly was an old woman. She never answered any of the messages I left for her. She never answered her phone. She also never complained when I subtracted costs from the rent. In many ways, I wonder if she even existed. Of course, at Shady Hollow I never met or spoke to my landlord either, so I didn’t think much of it. However, at Shady Hollow my roommate acted as the property manager, and I never had any issues that he wouldn’t or couldn’t solve. The same can’t be said for the Wizard and his house.

When I returned from Boston, the stress of the move had seemed to wear off.He restated caveats and complaints about things I had yet to do, mostly with regards to the Winter routine that would begin with ski season, a full month and a half away. I tried to make adjustments. I started purchasing ground coffee despite the fact that I had a wealth of whole bean coffee I loved. When I did grind, I would drag the grinder outside the house, crouching in the morning cold as it whirred. I tiptoed around, constantly checking back with the Wizard in the evenings to see if my morning noise was bothering him. Only once, when I accidentally knocked down a couple of pans, did he come out of his room and glare at me angrily. Other than that, he seemed surprised any time I mentioned a noise I thought may have bothered him, though occasionally he would say that it did when recovered his faculties.

Before, with the van, the Wizard had let me use it multiple times, usually to hit up Taco Bell on the way home from Tichu. “Can you drive?” he would ask me, obviously uncomfortable with the prospect of getting behind the wheel.

“You know my condition,” I would say. It allowed him time to sober up on the drive back to his house before taking over. For me, it got me home and allowed me to get food. He sold his vehicle just as I moved in, replacing it with a refurbished Subaru. I asked a few times to borrow his car for a Taco Bell run, but the amount of grief he gave me made it clear he didn’t want me borrowing his vehicle without having my own insurance. It’s a fair point, and one I didn’t feel needed to be rehashed, so I stopped asking within the first few weeks.

When things went wrong in the house, or if I needed something, it felt like pulling teeth. I asked for a little more space in the garage to find his explanation of why it couldn’t happen that he had stuff there and where would he put his stuff. He didn’t want his workshop cramped, which is understandable, so I found ways to store things in the closet in my room, and I reorganized the storage area beneath the stairs. I came home one day to find my things moved to a new smaller shelf in the laundry room, my previous spot repurposed for his web business. He needed the room, he told me, and he had gotten me the other shelves to make up for it. He didn’t ask. He didn’t give a warning. It just happened. When things would break and I came to him, more often than not he would tell me to fix them and subtract the cost (including time and labor) from my rent check (at a very reasonable rate, and given my financials, it was always enticing in a way). When I would set things in a corner of the living room, they would migrate to a pile downstairs. When I would ask why he didn’t just ask me to move them, he would say he liked an orderly house. Twice, I came home to find dogs running through the house.

“Oh, by the way, the dogs are staying here a few days,” he would say, his friend’s dogs already there. I wasn’t consulted or warned.

I was starting to feel pushed out, unwelcome, and segregated, ready to move to Ned for the Winter, when The Master announced he was moving out at the end of December. The Wizard immediately started acting different.

“I can’t find two roommates at once,” he whined to me. He was visibly bothered by the idea. And as ski season began and my adjusted routine turned out to be less problematic than he expected, he began to allay me with compliments and assurances.

I told myself that I would stay the ski season, if only to make it easier on him. Inside, though, I was still unhappy, but I didn’t want to let him know.

Continued in
Battling the Wizard – Part V