there's something so peaceful about being up that early in the morning. the streets are empty and silent, like a ghost town. with just 15 more minutes left in the time we have with each other, my roommate seemed suddenly interested in telling me about all the things she's done within the past few days. where was this days ago, when we had all the time to chat, but she seemed like a recluse hiding in her room watching videos on her laptop?
road crews were repairing sections of the big dig tunnels so i had to take a minor detour through north station to get to logan airport. when we finally arrived at the airport (terminal C departure), i wrote down my e-mail on a post-it note and gave it to my roommate, and asked her for her e-mail address. there was a brief moment of awkwardness, when it looked like she wanted to say something fitting for this occasion, but she balked. i wished her a good journey home and said good bye. i don't think she ever thanked me for the ride. not that i really cared, because i was too absorbed with the fact that i would be returning to my cozy bachelor lifestyle.
i arrived in belmont a little bit after 4:00. i dropped off the car and rode my bicycle back home to cambridge. the rain earlier in the evening had already stopped but the roads were still a little slick. it was still eerily quiet, my labored panting the only sound. once i got back, i took a shower, finished watching an episode of legend of the seeker from bed, then finally went to sleep. it was close to 5:00 by that point.
i slept until well past 11:00. it felt like a brand new day without a roommate. having roommates make me better appreciate the times when i don't have them around. with my roommate gone, i can finally leave the toilet seat up (out of courtesy i kept it down for the past 2 months). i could also finally adjust the shower head, which my roommate had tilted to an unfamiliar angle, and i didn't bother readjusting because i didn't want to get into a shower head tug-of-war.
i'd already taken some stock late last night (or early morning, as the case may be), but i went through the bathroom, the kitchen, and the guest bedroom making an inventory of all the things my roommate left behind. people who stay at my place always seem to leave something behind. even those staying for just a few days manage to leave something of themselves. the past few years i've begun to document these orphaned objects. normally its perishable items, like food in the fridge, or toiletries, like shampoos. of my chinese roommates, my favorite things are the discarded items they bring over from china.
so these are things my roommate left behind:
i'm surprised she left behind her little tin of instant maxwell house vanilla bean latte. that wouldn't have taken up too much space in her suitcase. maybe she didn't like it that much. salt and pepper i can understand leaving behind, but the montreal steak spices she couldn't taken. maybe she just forgot about it. she couldn't take the eggs or the apples though. eggs i can use, but i'm not a fan of green granny smith apples (too tart).
sauces i can understand not being able to take back. i noticed she had a lot of steak seasonings, and now that i think about it, occasionally i'd see cuts of meat in the freezer (though i never saw her eat it though). not sure why she bought the blue cheese dressing though, since i already have 2-3 bottles i would've gladly shared with her.
the paper trail! there was an asian design post-it with a telephone number. she brought a few roles of toilet paper which she never had to use since i offer all roommates free complimentary toilet paper (as a standard bathroom service, no extra charge!). she gave me her metrocard, which probably still has around $6 on it. finally, the most interesting thing was a chinese newspaper. you don't have to be able to read chinese to see it's dated 7/16/2010, the day she left shanghai 2 months ago.
she also left behind all the boston info (including pamphlets and maps) i gave her. i thought she told me she collects maps of the cities she visits. maybe she bought a better map, and those weren't good enough. still, i figured she'd want to keep that stuff to remind her of the good times she had in boston, but apparently she's not the sentimental type.
also unclaimed: a poster of a bunch of large radio telescopes captioned "submillimeter array." astrophysicists in the house!
finally, a few toiletry/cleaning items. i've been itching to replace the dishwashing liquid but i'll use it for now (i'm a dawn guy myself). not sure what i'll do with the shampoo since i have my own (though i'm curious what pink shampoo smells like). the liquid detergent she bought one day, after using mine for a few weeks. maybe she didn't like the smell of my detergent. as for the cooking oil, i'm pretty sure that's the 2nd or 3rd bottle she's bought since living at my place. girl uses a lot of oil for her cooking!
as customary when a roommate moves out, the first thing i do is clean the guest bedroom. i laundered all the linens and wiped everything done with a disinfectant. i put back the small 14" tv that she didn't use. afterwards, i spent an hour in the room, getting used to it again. i noticed the mattress was a little bit sagging in the middle. time to troll craig's list for a used replacement. it's probably a good idea since the one i have now have some embarrassing stains.
i voted in the primaries today. not that it mattered too much, since a lot of candidates were running unopposed. i just wanted to cast my ballot for tim flaherty for state senate. besides all the mailings i've been getting over the past few months and weeks and days, i like flaherty because he looks like sam the cooking guy (who has some good recipes). i purposely didn't vote for deval patrick and left it blank. i wonder if i could've written in tim cahill? he seems to be a decent guy from his tv commercials, but the pundits say he won't make a dent since he's running as an independent. if i see him on the ballot in november, i may vote for him.
it didn't take long for me to revert to single style living. the coffee table quickly became cluttered and i left clothes all over the house. soon there'll be dirty dishes in the sink. the one good thing about having a roommate is it keeps me tidy. without the judgmental eye of an ever-present roommate, i can become quite the slob.
it actually rained briefly in the early afternoon, the kind of strange weather pattern that had downpours while the sun was still shining. it soon stopped and i went out to pick up some kleenex. ever since the start of ragweed season, i've gone through a few boxes of tissues already. i passed by danny's diner on the corner of eustis and beacon street. i noticed it's been closed the past few days. i wonder if it went out of business? the place is almost never busy except on weekends, when i see a few local hipsters going there for brunch. that corner spot seems cursed. in the time i've lived here, that's the 3rd different restaurant (originally it was mexican, then a pizza joint, and now a diner). danny himself died suddenly of pneumonia complications a few years back.
for dinner i ate something my roommate left behind in the freezer: a frozen healthy choice meal, lobster cheese ravioli. sounds delicious, but it wasn't anything memorable. there were 5 pieces of ravioli, and with a combined total of just 250 calories, it was an appetizer at best. lacking additional food imagination (i forgot i still have some leftover spaghetti meat sauce), i opened a can of smoked oysters and ate that for dinner as well.
finally, tim flaherty lost to incumbent sal didomenico. he may have lost the primary, but he won cambridge in a landslide, with 72% of the vote (according to unofficial results). maybe because he lives in cambridge, could that be a reason? didomenico won everett, his own home town. as for how many people actually voted, i'm sure the turnout was probably low. among my immediate families and friends, i'm probably the only person who voted today.