Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Tale of Two Roomies

There was once a girl who was very neat and organized. Her desk was clean and clear. Not a paper was out of order, not a paper clip mislayed. She spent her days studying, staying up late with a desk lamp. She would take naps during the day for hours. It was her only escape from her rigid hell. Her days were structured by the minute, everything was always planned. Her only treat at night was her nightly phone call to her boyfriend. She'd wait until her roommate was out of the room, and listen to his voice. Sometimes, she'd have to wipe away tears quickly when the roommate walked in. She always said it was allergies, but her roommate knew better.

The roommate was another story entirely. Her desk was perpetually messy, and she listened to music far too loud. She had many boxes of food, sticking out of the cabinet at weird angles. She fluttered in and out of the room all day. She couldn't stay in one place too long. Her side of the room was filled with pictures and posters stuck with sticky tape. Sometimes they fell down at night, which she never heard. She slept w/ headphones on. She was known to sleepwalk up and down the hall.

Her roommate was a creative soul. She felt it in her veins, as her pulse throbbed in her head. She doodled on her notes and decorated her bulletin board. She wrote stories and made scrapbooks. While the girl had a career, had a plan- her roommate didn't. Her roommate danced around the room, wiggling any time a decent beat came on. She flirted with boys and dated a bunch, and the girl frowned. Her roommate was wild, crazy, wouldn't settle down; she raved to her friends. The girl was never going to get a job, she couldn't be contained. She'd be a gypsy forever, depending on men to take care of her.

The roommate, on the other hand, wanted to get her to lighten it. "Come on," she would say, standing there in her bra and pajamas. "You got to learn to live a little! Dance, have fun! You don't have to study all the time. It's college! Relax!"

The girl would just ignore her and keep studying. It was the first few weeks of college, and the air was hot and humid. It was a clear Thursday night, and the roommate busted through the door. The girl looked up in annoyance.

"Come on, you're coming down,"the roommate announced. She wiggled her hips in the doorway.

"No," the girl said coldly. "Some of us want to graduate."

"I promise, you'll like it," the roommate said. "Please? If you don't want to, you can come back up."

The girl looked at her earnest faced and sighed. "Ok," she said, sliding her feet into her sandals.

The roommate bounced up and down enthusiastically and ran down the stairs. The girl followed reluctantly. She led her to the middle of campus, where the sprinklers were going off. There were several girls running through the sprinklers, laughing as grass coated their bare feet. Their clothes were wet and their legs were covered with sprinkles of dirt.

"Come on!" the roommate said, kicking off her shoes and running straight into the water. The girl grimaced and gingerly set her shoes on the cement. She crept towards the water, delicately stepping inside the spray.

The roommate caught her hand and pulled her into a run. "You have to twirl!" she said laughing. They joined the other girls in twirling in a giant ring. One girl fell and pulled several more down with her. They all sat laughing as the water whirled around their heads and made their makeup run down their face. They spent an hour running around like children. They laughed as they leaped through the air, the spray hitting their face. They shoved each other on top of the sprinkler and laughed as the water shooted up their shorts.

On the way back to the dorm, the roommate was skipping down the sidewalk.

"Now, that was a lot more fun then studying wasn't it?" the roommate grinned.

"It was," the girl smiled. She felt lighter and free. She had escaped the confines of her world, and taken a step into her roommates. She grinned. "Want to jump into the fountain next week?"