January 10, 2012, 12:25pm - Cooper St. low-rise, 3rd floor.
Soundtrack: Dead and Gone - The Black Keys
Everything is foreign to me. Fifteen pillows on my new bed. A laptop computer. Bathroom sink water pressure that likely couldn't summon the power to drown a gnat. A roommate. Bacon and eggs for breakfast. The raw kinetic potential of a $300 noise fine hanging over the apartment from this past weekend's indulgences; threatening to drop like the gavel of a bloodthirsty judge. Peach yogurt, futon sofa-beds, a flat-screen television. An Atari, two woefully incomplete copies of the Saturday Globe and Mail crossword, the "legendary" first draft of Jack Kerouac's On The Road. A record player, scores of empty beer bottles, a glass jar with $22 in it – labelled "apology jar". This may be a little weird, but I'm certainly not sorry for the position I'm in. This is my adopted life for the week. This is the apartment swap.
The swap is already imposing its will on me. My usual slumber was cut decidedly short. Late to bed and early to rise, I was; my sleep bookended by a hastily completed, Bud-Light-fueled two page assignment written for the first day back to school. I did a poor job of it. I don't care, either. I hope my professor reads that last sentence, too; if only to satisfy my own self-absorbed thirst for yet one more reader of this convoluted and depraved blog.
You see, an apartment swap can throw any lad's daily routine out of whack, no matter how mundane his life. Used to coming home after a long day, opening the fridge to pour yourself a cool glass of water? Not this time, pal, you got iced! Like your plain-yogurt-and-berries smoothie every morning for breakfast? You're a peach yogurt guy now. What's that you say? The water temperature in this new shower is more temperamental than that crusty old ex-wife of yours? Get used to it; the boys at Cooper count their blessings when the pipes spit out so much as a drop of hot water.
I think the real challenge lies in the first 24 hours of the swap. So many unanswered questions. How does your pal sleep in this bed with so damn many pillows? Are they a surrogate companion? Why peach yogurt, and not something more manly like plain or blackberry? Am I a psychologist? What an impressive selection of fragrances; I wonder if he'd notice if I... Have I moved into a girl's bedroom? Has he even read half of these books? If so, that's kinda impressive. Can this Foreman grill make toast and cook hash-browns? Better to find out. Why is my roommate still asleep? Should I eat his breakfast? What kind of weird stuff do you think Henry did in my apartment last night? I bet he already ate that can of beans I left for him. Henry loves beans. I wonder if the crazy cat lady knows she has a new neighbour? I wonder.