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Worldwide Ace » Battling the Wizard – Part VI

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Battling the Wizard – Part VI

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

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

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.


Shortly after New Year’s, as I sat freezing in the basement, tired after a long day, trying to work on something in the common area that truly felt common, the Wizard wandered out into the garage. In moments, I could feel the cold draft wafting in. I glanced into the laundry room to find the door to the garage open once more. I hollered to please close the door and swung it shut, trying to keep what heat I could inside the house.

When the Wizard walked back in, obviously stoned, I said, “Could you please keep the garage door closed. It makes it really cold down here. I suspect that’s part of why our heating bill is so high.”

“I was only in there for a second,” he replied, starting to argue playfully. I was in no mood for playful.

Once again, I pointed out the inequity in the house.

“But that’s how it’s always been,” he argued.

I said how unfair I felt things were.

“This sounds like an emotional issue,” he said, dismissing my points.

I told him I felt like I was subsidizing his business.

“So what would be more fair? You tell me. This is your problem. You propose a solution.”

“A hundred and fifty dollars. Seventy-five off my rent, seventy-five off our other roommate’s.” I called after him as he walked away. “That’s what I think your extra space is worth.”

I was shaking with anger as I said it, but I tried to maintain my calm. He had been dismissive of my points. He had been patronizing. And worst, he had once again tried to blame me for the issue, one inherent to the house, one that should be shared.

The following morning he cornered me as I got ready for work.

“I feel betrayed,” he yelled. “You take everything I’ve done for you for granted. All the pot. All the kindness. And you turn around and do that to me?”

I listened patiently, letting him vent. He ripped into me for five solid minutes.

“Okay,” I said as he stormed off without letting me respond.

At work, I thought about it. In some ways, he was right. The price on rent was good for Boulder. The utilities were pricey, but it was an old house that leaked heat, and I couldn’t blame him for that. He had installed paltry, yet mildly effective insulation in the garage, so it didn’t leak much worse than the house. And it was unfair if I heaped the blame on him.

The issue wasn’t simply the rent or the inequality in the way things were divided, though those added to it. The issue was that I still felt like this wasn’t my home, that I was just a guest. The common rooms weren’t common. Our lives were nearly wholly separate like neighbors instead of housemates. And if the house didn’t feel like home and I didn’t feel comfortable, then something needed to change.

I pulled the Wizard aside and had a heart-to-heart with him. I explained how I felt. I told him I didn’t need monetary compensation for the division. I pointed out that I wouldn’t be the last person to complain about the division of rent/house. And I made sure to emphasize that he was great at treating me as a guest, and terrible at treating me like a housemate.

I pointed out that I still hadn’t signed a lease, that the other housemate had done so immediately, despite being a stranger. I pointed out that he had never made room for me, save the spaces he didn’t want or need, that he had argued with me over sharing the spare bedroom as a library/study because it was already his office. I pointed out that I felt homeless despite having a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in. I didn’t understand it and I hadn’t articulated it well the night before.

“That’ll change,” he promised. “Sometimes, I push people away. I was really anxious about having a friend move in, and that probably made me push you away. We’ll work on that.”

I left the conversation feeling like we had made progress, like things would get better.

But the Wizard can’t change, and I should’ve known this by now.

Continued in
Battling the Wizard – Part VII