I remember a roommate who was afraid of moths, and would chase them around the room with a tennis racket yelling Ga! Ga! (moth in Japanese).

I remember a roommate who played his guitar every evening to accompany the passionate cries of a woman we never saw, who lived on the other side of a thin wall. Sometimes we caught a glimpse of a man going out to work the graveyard shift.

I remember a roommate who found a half-empty can of paint remover in the cellar and sat down at the kitchen table with it, leaning in to take deep breaths and talking all the while, until his words became completely unsentenced and precipitated randomly out of the fog.

I remember a roommate from a landlocked country in West Africa who saved every scrap of printed paper, because you couldn’t simply throw the written word away! It required some kind of ceremony which none of us knew. And so the local newspaper came to stay—a tower in the corner that kept its aging headlines to itself while the rest of us shouted at the game.

white-footed mouse—
my house has an entrance
i’ve never seen

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