In classic haunting stories you may note that there’s always an uptick of ghostly upheaval when a household goes through a huge transition. So, I ascribe most of of what transpired the months of July/August 2013, the fact that Nikolas, the Worst-Roommate-Ever was FINALLY THANK THE LORT MOVING OUT.
Nikolas didn’t start off being the worlds shittiest roommate. He seemed like a good, albeit socially awkward kid at first. (Literally a kid-he was only 21). He had a long Kenny G. ponytail, listened to Enya and baked muffins. He was quiet, and he always paid his bills. (Or, at least his parents did)-What the heck more can you ask for in a roommate?
Anyway, over the course of the next few years, Nikolas began his great transformation—from new-age mama’s boy, to a gym queen almost four times his former size. The bigger he got, the more of a dickweed he grew into. He stopped listening to Enya, and started to listen to tweaker top 20. He cut his Kenny G. hair. He stopped baking muffins and ate nothing but fish, whey shakes, and lean meats. All of these things might be tolerable if he still kept up with his house chores, but apparently he decided somewhere along the line that messes were for his mama (i.e. me) to pick up. No matter how many times I asked, begged, or nagged, he just sighed and said “I’m sorry. I’m just really really busy.”
Nikolas’s tenure as worlds-worst-housemate also coincided with a particularly dark time or me personally—I’d come home from my shitty job every day, and find empty tuna cans thrown in the sink…An open gallon of whey powder carelessly left on the counter. Empty plastic bags which once held frozen salmon, now floating in a few cups of scummy tap water. Those days our kitchen always smelled like fisherman’s wharf on a rare warm day. Those days I’d come home and weep, for I knew if I didn’t clean it up, it would not get cleaned up ever, and then the bugs and spiders would descend upon our house.
I’m ashamed to admit, there were days that were so dark, the only thing that cheered me up was daydreaming about Nikoolas accidentally dying of mercury poisoning. My bad vibes eventually grew strong enough that I believe they became sort of a dark entity of their own. Could this entity be powerful enough, to say, cause a bottle of olive oil to explode on a shelf? Perhaps. Could it possess the body of our elderly neighbor Jim, and cause him to drive into our house? It’s hard to say. All I can be certain of is, as soon as I decided to kick Nikolas out once and for all, things around our place started getting witchy.
First thing that happened—perhaps the harbinger of the witchy times to come–was, I saw a dead rooster hanging from the stop sign in front of my house. Know what’s the weirdest moment of finding a dead rooster hanging from the stop sign up the street from you? The moment when you’re like “holy shit. that looks like a dead rooster. but it can’t be! oh yes it is. well, if it is, it can’t be real! But why would someone just hang a toy rooster from a stop sign, are you high? No, I’m on my way to work. Not high at all. OH GOD IT’S A REAL DEAD ROOSTER.”
Then, there was that eerie visit from our next door neighbor Jim. Now, I am not at all a fan of Jim. He’s cranky, rakes his sidewalk obsessively, and hates our godforsaken bohemian house full of art and merriment. He also hates our ugly yard, and seems to be preoccupied with our landlady’s butthole, because he’s often talked about how “she’s tight as a drum” and that’s why she’s too cheap to hire a gardener. (All the while making the universal symbol for “tight butthole” with his hand and making me look at it).
Anyway, Jim stopped by that particular afternoon, in a surprising effort of goodwill– to bring an earring of mine that he found in his driveway.
“Thanks Jim,” I said.
“Hey, don’t mention it.” he said, and then lingered in our doorway, giving me a once-over. “You lose weight?”
“I don’t know, Jim,” I said, starting to feel icky. “But thank you for bringing me my earring. I really appreciate that.”
“Sure, sure, sure. You know, you’ve always been a…… really great neighbor” he said in a way that made my stomach cold.
I closed the door, silently retched, and got on the horn with a friend.
“JIM’S LOST HIS MARBLES OFFICIALLY,” I said. “HE CALLED ME A NICE NEIGHBOR.”
“What’s wrong with you, you ARE a nice neighbor,” said my friend.
“That’s not the point. The point is….THE WAY HE SAID IT. I’m telling you, he’s gonna do something weird.”
My friends laughed at me then, but It wasn’t but a few weeks after this strange encounter that Jim—for reasons nobody will ever know—started his truck one morning, hit the gas and sharply accelerated, and then drove over right our fence and into our house, knocking out our gas for a few days and leaving a gaping hole under the front stairs.
Fortunately, nobody was harmed. And, I have to admit, it was a nice distraction to come home from work, and instead of cleaning up the chum and tuna cans from our kitchen sink, stare at the giant hole in our yard instead. As I looked through the chasm, our ice-cream man zipped by, playing “Deck the Halls.” Did I mention it was July?
Nobody will ever know the true reason why Jim drove through our house. His old lady told us “He was on his way to a dentist appointment.” Dig this: apparently, after he crashed into our house, he simply drove away from the scene of the crime, to the dentist! (Must have been one painful cavity).
A few weeks later, we had a little party on the patio to celebrate arrival of the new roommates—Nikolas was moving out (THANK THE LORT JESUS!!), and Poppy was ready to move in to his old room. When we came inside to bring the dishes back, we discovered that a jumbo-size bottle of olive oil had exploded on Poppy’s shelf, and was raining down on the floor.
“Weird,” said Poppy, examining the bottle. “It’s like someone came in, and just sliced the top off the bottle.”
After this, we had an unholy invasion of house flies–a story which I covered extensively in an old post from my food blog.
The last creepy thing to happen was when I decided to replace the rusty towel rack in the back bathroom with a shiny new towel rack. When I did this, I noticed something really weird about the towel rack. On each side, there was human hair wound around the bar. Not assorted hair, but specific hair.Wound around the bar intentionally, about one inch on each side, and a quarter inch thick. Long, brown and curly hair. Hair that looked a lot like Kenny G.
After getting all of my gross-out feelings exorcised, I pinged my former roommate P, who’d lived in the house the year before (and left because she couldn’t stand Nikolas) and asked her if she ever noticed strange hair segments on the towel bar in the back bathroom.
“Oh, yeah. The hair. I used to just cut those off when I lived there.”
This did not sit well with me at all. No. For her answer implies that whatever ritualistic hair-winding was going on, it happened repeatedly. Enough for her to have to cut it off –repeatedly. For days, I tried to erase image of Nikolas pulling out strands of his Kenny G ponytail (which he obviously saved, and kept under his pillow when he had it cut), and wrapping them in mystical spirals around the towel rack. I remembered all those time he said he was “Just Too busy” to clean up his messes. Now I know what he was so busy doing.
Everything in the house settled down after Nikolas moved out. And nothing particularly spooky happened again, until I decided to start gardening in the back yard. Then I dug up all kinds of unholy things.