It's a Shame About Ray

come on, you knew there was going to be that title here eventually

I’m currently engaging in “careful typing,” as I recently returned from getting a manicure. I know. Yesterday I discuss laughing over The New Yorker and today I’m all getting my nails done. Allow myself to defend…myself. The weather here is dryer and all of the typing is causing my fingers to freak out. My nails are dry and there are hangnails everywhere and they were starting to hurt. Also, for some reason, I can’t keep underneath my nails clean. Even the manicurist was like, “Uh, try some lemon juice, I don’t know. I can’t clean that.” I’m not a filthy person. I type. How do I get miner nails from typing all day? For real.

Anyway, this place near my street does a manicure and a pedicure for fifteen dollars. You can’t beat that. My new year’s resolution is to quit biting my nails. I figure if I’m paying for them I might be more likely to stop biting them. I bite them all the time, when I’m not realizing it. I do it when I’m waiting, when I’m watching a movie, when I’m reading. I just bite them absently. I want to stop it, as it’s nasty. Mostly I just want people to hold my hand when I’m watching a movie. That sounds like want several hands holding mine at once while I watch movies, but you understand.

Anyway, I’m not sure how long it is until I cross the Dry Nails finish line, so I’m typing cautiously.

Let me check in…

They seem to be okay. Cool.

Now. As of tomorrow I’ll have lived with Ray for a month. Isn’t that crazy? It’s already been a month. It wasn’t until last night when I saw my friend Lee who was visiting from Austin that I realized it’d been that long. It’s been a rather easy adjustment living with Ray. He’s not a high-maintenance roommate or anything. But I have noticed a few things and I think I need to write them down now to remind myself later what I learned my first month with Ray.

I’ve already mentioned the pee seat, so I won’t go on about that again. But Ray is usually in the shower when I need it. Conversely, I’m always online when he needs it.

Just now I had to move one hundred holiday cards out of the way so he could eat his cucumber salad and bologna sandwich.

Anyway, it’s different living with a friend. You just can’t ignore him. Sometimes I’m trying to work, but I genuinely enjoy spending time with Ray, so I want to talk to him when he’s chatty. Ray works late at night, I think, after I go to sleep. I know I can get things done in the morning before he wakes up. And in the early evenings he goes out. It’s the afternoons that are more of a struggle.

Here’s the thing. I’m weak. I’m weak and as curious as a cat. Ray gets himself involved in little projects. Last week there was the letter writing thing (see the He Said forum), and then afterwards Ray asked where I had a flashlight. I tried to help him get the rusted batteries out of the old forum he found that a previous tenant had left. Then I went and got another one. When I asked Ray what he needed a flashlight for he simply said, “I found a hole.”

The vanity has a square in the ceiling. Ray wanted to know what was up there. And the next thing I know I’m standing on a chair with my head in the ceiling looking at the pipes of our upstairs neighbor. There was no storage space. There was no treasure. There was no Chester Copperpot. I was looking at dust, webs and pipes.

Two days ago I was swamped with work. I ended up hanging Christmas lights on our porch. The reason I stated was that I didn’t want our porch to spell out “Fuck y’all, we’re from Texas,” but the real reason was it was fun to hang them up.

Ray is constantly going somewhere you’d be mildly interested in seeing. You feel like a bad friend for turning him down. I simply have to sometimes and hope that he knows it’s nothing personal.

Ray and I have spent several hours trying to get our porch cam to work. It’s possibly the most inane time-waster ever, seeing as how it really only works during the day, when nothing’s happening, and we can’t just sit around and watch ourselves sit and watch ourselves. One day I know it’ll come in handy, though.

Even when I get myself in the work zone, Ray will sit beside me and read things from The Hollywood Reporter or comment on the “jackass” on the television. Then I get in conversations. Last night I was trying to finish up work and ended up discussing whether I’d rather have my face disfigured or all of my fingers cut off.

And man, does he love Cal. The only reason he let us move in here is because he loves that cat so much. He can see that small shine of light and love buried deep inside that tiny brain. Cal runs when Ray calls him. He jumps up to Ray and meows. It’s amazing. They just sit and cuddle and love each other. It’s made Taylor sit in my lap more. He’s jealous of the love between Ray and Cal. The love that has no name.

One day I found Ray hitting our porch table with a cinder block and two screwdrivers. He had a reason. I’m just saying.

Ray left the stove on with the gas running (the pilot light was out) for two days while we were out of town. The house didn’t blow up. The cats didn’t die. Everything was fine. Ray didn’t get wide-eyed and full of prayer as I did. Instead he shrugged and went, “Oh.” Ray saw that things were fine so there was no reason to freak out about what “could have happened.” I’m so the opposite of that.

Ray enjoys getting a rise out of me. I know it. I saw the delicious grin he got when he put a sticker on our porch door that said, “My other car is a pair of boots.” I begged, I moaned, I pleaded. “Say it!” he shouted. “I hate it,” I whined. “Trash,” was his only reply.

He’s easy going, shares, cares, and makes me laugh. He has absolutely no attitude at all. He is a testament to the state of Texas. He’s considerate and kind and loves the cats. When Ray and his friends went hot tubbing in the middle of the night and came home all wet and smelly, they didn’t sit on our cloth furniture. They ruined Ray’s. Now that’s being a considerate roommate. We really couldn’t have lucked out more.

But, you know, whenever I leave and come back to the apartment, there’s a definite air of nekkid around here. I wonder if Fabreeze takes care of that.

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