I Live With An Unholy Mess Of Men

First, it started with the Ethiopian. Mickey, a 24-year-old Ethiopian ISU student, was my first roommate when I moved into my house on 9th Avenue.

We co-habitated for nearly six months; Mickey in his basement gentleman’s quarters and I in my top floor drawing room. I would cook, Mickey would order Jimmy John’s and we bonded over beer. It was pretty all right.

Then, about a month ago, an electronic mail letter from my landlord, Kevin: “Hey my friend Sam is moving in soon. He’ll be living there part-time.”

Part-time? Soon?? What do these words mean, Landlord Kevin???

Sam moved in a few days later, and left again after just one night. He had to go back to Utah to quit his job and would then be moving back to the house. Okay, I said, all right.

The move-back happened just last week. Sam and his friend, Brad, walked in the door at the exact same time that Jamie video-chatted me and my dad called me. Certainly, this is man overload, I thought.

But lo! How wrong I would be. As it turned out, Brad would be moving in, too. With Mickey, Sam and Brad, the man-count jumped to three. It doesn’t end there.

Plans had been in the works for several months to move the much-famed Jame up to Pocatello with me. We’ve been planning to live in this house for a couple of weeks until we snag a place of our own. We figured it would just be us and Mickey, but as each new dude moved in, I said, “Ahh it’ll be fiiine,” Jamie squinting at me through our Internet connection. We’d just been trying to figure out where we would squeeze his big blue couch (not a euphemism) when I got home today to find the table covered in chips and beer, a pair of muddy boots by the door and a dog food bowl in the kitchen. “None of these other men has had his best friend hanging around,” I said to myself, snooping around an empty home for any other signs of new life.

Which brings me to 10 minutes ago:

A creak of the lock and a jostle of the door handle. I jump out of my room and stare as the door hinges open and in runs a chalk-and-ore-colored mut. Brad and Sam follow, “We got a dog!” they say. “I saw that!” I say. “Nah, just kidding, it’s our friend’s,” Sam says. “Friend?” I say.

In walks a third man, bearded and fleeced. “This is our friend, Brian Boardman,” Sam says. “I’m gonna crash on your couch for a few days, if that’s cool,” Boardman says. “Yeah, that’s cool,” I say.

For those of you playing along at home, that brings the man count up to four, with a fifth on the way this weekend. They’ve taken over the kitchen, they leave the seat up in the bathroom and they’ve lowered the decibel range for the whole building. I’m just glad the dog’s name is Lucy.

[Disclaimer To My Roommates: I like you guys. I do. You’re just a comically absurd number of guys.]

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