In the summer of 2017, my best friend and I moved into our new apartment complex at 2125 Franklin. He had a girlfriend at the time, so he moved the majority of his things to her apartment and left the remaining crap on his side of the bedroom. Since he lived with his girlfriend, I essentially had the room to myself.
Jacob and Dominic
In the Fall, two new roommates occupied the other bedroom. Jacob always sat on the couch and watched TV, and Dominic surprisingly cooked meals and ate at the counter. Dominic dropped out of school and went home after the fall term. Then it was just Jacob and me, which was actually pretty great. We each had a bedroom to ourselves.
After winter break, we got a new roommate. Billy wasn’t going to the University of Oregon, so he had plenty of free time which he spent hanging out around the apartment, smoking weed, and making trash beats.
My Apartment Was a Hotbox
Billy smoked a lot of weed. It wasn’t even the good weed. It was the nasty-smelling cheap weed that would stink up the whole apartment. Even if I closed my bathroom door and my bedroom door, it would still seep in through the vent. There were days when I would take a nap in between classes and wake up high as fuck. As you can imagine, it didn’t help me focus in class.
Billy had visitors over all the time. One day I walked into the apartment and saw Billy and his friends playing street craps in the middle of our living room. The coffee table was on the balcony, and there was a pile of money on the floor. There were nights when I would walk into the kitchen, open the refrigerator, and realize that there was a stranger sleeping on our couch. Unfortunately, Jacob was victimized the most due to the fact that he shared a bedroom with Billy.
Urine in the Closet
One night Billy had a friend sleep on the floor in the same bedroom that he shared with Jacob. That must’ve been scary for Jacob. Billy’s friend was so drunk that instead of walking 10 feet to the bathroom, he ended up peeing inside Jacob’s closet, urinating all over his shoes. Of course, Jacob had to clean it up himself the next morning. He reported this to management, and their solution was to have all of us attend a counseling session.
Let’s Talk It Out
We each received a letter in the mail from management to attend a mandatory counseling session. Miles showed up and had no idea what was going on. The whole thing was stupid and pointless. Jacob and I just wanted management to evict the guy. This had nothing to do with a lack of communication. Billy was clearly violating the terms of the agreement. We had provided them with enough evidence and horror stories to do something about it. They did nothing, and Jacob ended up leaving after the winter term.
Welcome to Hell, Brad
After Jacob left, they found another tenant to occupy that bed. Brad walked into a horrible situation. It didn’t take long before Brad started staying at the library until closing at 9 PM every night.
Do the Dishes
One day I got a knock on my bedroom door. It was Billy. I stepped out to find his friends in the living room. He confronted me about not helping to clean the dishes. I told him I didn’t use any of the dishes. I ate out all the time. He told me that since I was living here, I needed to help out around the apartment. I wasn’t going to clean dishes that weren’t mine. Everyone should take care of their own shit.
He walked into my room, grabbed my laptop, and stepped out onto the balcony. My heart stopped. Was this madman threatening to throw my things off my balcony? He said if I didn’t do the dishes, he was going to drop it. Alright, I’ll do the dishes, please don’t throw my computer off the balcony. I ended up doing all the dishes, then he gave me my things back. I was furious. It was the last straw. I packed all my things, locked my room, and walked out. I scolded the management. It was the last time I slept in my own apartment for about two weeks.
I ended up sleeping at my friend Matt’s apartment. I want to thank Matt and Katie for letting me sleep on their couch. They were super understanding and accommodating. They even took me out to dinner a few times. I’m very grateful to them. That was a very unpleasant time in my life. Obviously, I had left my apartment by choice. I didn’t want to go back to my apartment because I felt my presence would evoke Billy to be hostile. It was eye-opening just how many little things we take for granted — a comfortable bed, a warm shower, and fresh clothes. It sucked not feeling safe to go home. No one should feel that way. For a week, I wore the same exact clothes. I barely got any sleep couch surfing. Most days, I aimlessly walked around campus to pass the time. I even went to church a few times. All I wanted to do was go home and sleep in my bed.
Saving Brad’s Life
One night I had to sleep over at my apartment to give Matt and Katie a break. I came home to find Brad sleeping on the couch.
Me: Hey man, are you OK?
Me: Are you sure you don’t wanna sleep in my room tonight?
Brad: No, I’ll be fine.
Me: All right. Knock if you need anything.
Sure enough, 2 o’clock rolled around, and Billy walked in. He turned on the lights and immediately started talking to Brad. Of course, I had stayed up for Brad’s safety. Billy’s voice started getting louder. I knew it was important to make my presence known. I opened the door and stood in the archway. Billy accused Brad of snitching. Fortunately, it didn’t turn violent, so I didn’t have to intervene. I offered Brad to sleep in my room, and he agreed. Billy started talking to me, and I just stood my ground until he talked himself out. Brad was crying in my bedroom. I told Billy goodnight and closed the door. I shut off the lights to make it look like we went to bed. To this day, Brad thinks I saved his life.
I received news that management finally gave Billy an eviction notice. I remember walking back to the apartment and seeing Billy packing his car. He asked me if I could help him carry some things. I decided to help him out. I knew that this would be the last time I ever saw him. When he drove off, I felt an enormous sense of relief. Brad and I could start living our lives normally. There was a calmness when I stepped inside the apartment. Something I hadn’t felt in a very long time.
Brad had already scheduled to move to another apartment, so he and I were only together for a couple of weeks. When Brad left, I was the last man standing.
By then, it was summer again.