it was cold in my bedroom although warm under the covers. i woke up 20 minutes before my cellphone alarm went off at 9am. i got ready to meet bruce (back in town for the winter break), who came by an hour later to drive me to the burlington mall after hearing about my plight of not having a car and not being able to go to the great shopping spots. we got lost along the way, driving north up the expanse of I-95, as far as the north shore, to topsfield, to danvers. although i had my GPS with me, it was out of batteries. at a gas station i bought a map and we were able to see how far off we were from the burlington mall. a southern detour later we eventually made it to our destination. on the last weekend before christmas, the parking lot was full. instead of circling to find a closer spot, we parked it as far as we could and then walked into the mall.

it's been a while since i've been to burlington mall, over a year ago in fact. despite the obvious crowd of people visiting from all the cars parked outside, inside the mall it was surprisingly uncrowded. people were polite, there weren't the mobs of people clamoring for sale items. it's a two story mall, and we did a circle on the first floor then once more on the second. crate & barrel, spencer's gifts, fye (where i received a mysterious color quarter in my change), body shop, waldenbooks, yankee candles, those were the stores i visited. i bought gifts, but i have a habit of buying gifts for myself as well when i'm shopping, and i ended up buying more for me than everyone on my shopping list. afterwards we left the mall and went across the street to the large barnes & noble bookstore complex. we browsed around a bit (i bought another asian cookbook), before coming back to cambridge.

i went across the street to get some drinks from the supermarket, before settling at home with the heat turned up (68 degrees), watching the starz lord of the rings weekend, consuming an entire bag of potato chips, drinking a can of soda. i discovered one of the books i got today, past world atlas of archaelogy, i actually already have a copy (that's how you know you have too many books, when you can't even keep track of which ones you already have). i fell asleep on the couch a little bit before 5pm. with my roommate back home in california for the new two weeks, i knew i had the whole place to myself, the comforting embrace of my returned privacy. i woke up at 8pm, hungry, ready for food. i made french bread pizza again, just because i wanted to finish up all that bread and cheese because i wouldn't be eating it otherwise.

about an hour later something weird happened. while i was eating my pizza, watching the two towers on television (occasionally switch over to the saturday night patriots game against the jets), i heard the lock of my front door jiggling open. could it be mike? is he still here in town? true, he inconsiderately never told me when he left, not even a courtesy note, and i just assumed that he was gone, but i guess he didn't leave after all. when the door opened, it wasn't mike. it was mike's girlfriend, wendy. "hi," she said, "do you mind if i do some laundry here?" i nodded yes, my mouth full of pizza. "thanks, i didn't want to scare you," she said with a nervous laugh. i waved my hands, gesturing i wasn't scared and it was okay. but was it? tell me this is strange, tell me i'm not the only one. my roommate is gone, but he gives his keys to his girlfriend and she has the audacity to come over to MY HOUSE to do her laundry? that's kind of f*cking bullshit, don't you think? maybe it's me, maybe i'm incapable of sharing. wendy's a nice girl, and she stayed in mike's room while the washer and dryer were running, but the simple fact is a stranger is in my house and my privacy has been violated. i can't very well tell her, "no honey, you're going to have to take your clothes to a laundromat." it puts me in a very awkward position.

all i know is it's almost 1am, she's not doing laundry anymore, but instead just watching television in mike's room. is she going to spend the night here as well? what the hell is going on?

how many people think i should just get a new roommate?