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2020-12-16 16:44:41 (UTC)

taking inventory: the living room

"A Better Son/Daughter" by Rilo Kiley

December 16, 2020 Wednesday 3:44 PM

The TV stand is nice and heavy and it's the kind of piece of furniture that my mom would say she likes because it's sturdy and old. We have the TV on it, which we bought for the apartment, and then there's the rest of the miscellaneous stuff that I found while dusting its surface today lol. Which are: the Nintendo switch(s)—Matt took his home when he left for Christmas, but Maria's is still here. And then there's this fluffy christmas stuffed gnome that I think we bought at Target that time in sophomore year that Nadiya and Maria and I took the bus to the Savers on a Sunday (we got two but I think the other one is on top of the mantle in the kitchen??). I remember because I think that was one of my favorite days ever in my college career, but I can't remember why exactly.

There's also a lego Santa and I have absolutely no idea where it came from but it has really big puppy dog eyes so I am pleased with its presence. Also there's an orange water gun on the table, which I pulled out of hiding (I have an armory of water guns and nerf bullets hidden in different places around my room because Maria is a power-fiend that cannot be trusted with weaponry and she terrorized me for like two days in September before I managed to steal her bullets). Also the lid to a jar, but no jar is near it?? And two loose screws that I think are supposed to install in the AC unit, which we took out sometime in October. My 3D-printed shark with human arms that my sister made me for Christmas last year. And also the thing Maria calls the "penis gourd" (it's just one of those small holiday squashes that's brightly colored and bumpy. They usually sell them at grocery stores for cheap around Thanksgiving). Two flashlights because we had a power outage a couple weeks or two. Also a piece of wood with three nails stuck through it, which I'm pretty sure is a memento from my Burnt Down Apartment. Matt and Maria got Niharika and I similar chunks of wood that they told us they pillaged from the buildings (we live only a couple blocks away from our old apartment and it's still boarded up and stuff, in the process of undergoing repairs). There's also a lego Star Wars ship, which I think belongs to Matt, but could also be Maria's. Also there's some wire bent into the shape of glasses next to the penis gourd. Matt made them for me, as an addition to my impromptu Steve Jobs halloween costume. But then I decided to be The Rock From That One Picture Take in the 80s instead.

Inside our TV stand—I don't know. A bunch of stuff. I didn't look inside the drawers because I was just dusting, but on the under part we have Freidrich (a large ceramic sculpture of a bloated head that our roommate from last year brought home; apparently it was the work of some RISD student. She didn't want it, so Nadiya and I—well, mostly me—decided to keep it. I like it! It's creepy! Last year, it was on a desk right by the front door of our apartment, and sometimes Nadiya and I would tickle Freidrich's nostrils for good luck).

Under Freidrich, a record player. In terms of records we have a bunch of classical music and then some LPs by Car Seat Headrest, Cage the Elephant (why), Mitski, and, mostly recently, Grimes. Maria got the Grimes one as a christmas gift for Matt, because she's his favorite artist. He vowed to never take it out of the plastic lol. It's got pretty nice album art.

We've got a plastic wiffle bat "for protection," courtesy of Maria. It usually leans right outside her door. On the living room coffee table, we have a Monopoly box (Nadiya and I bought it earlier this week), a coffee table book ("Trixie and Katya's Guide to Modern Womanhood." Matt and Maria are big fans of their show Ughhghhhh and also we watch a lot of Drag Race in this household, lolol. As you can see, Matt and Maria like to personalize their environments. I am no different tbh). We have tartan coasters too. Two couches (the second of which we bought). Our freshly-vacuumed carpet (I was getting grossed out by the sheer amount of crumbs on it). A small christmas tree on the side table with candy canes, lights, etc. Big plant in the corner. Exercise roller (only evidence of Nadiya in the room).

This apartment is probably the nicest place I've ever stayed (rent is cheaper than my former apartment too!). It has high ceilings, a glass chandelier in the living room, and we have three defunct fireplaces (the one in the kitchen could probably still be used, actually, but it would be a hazard and I don't want to burn down another apartment lololol). The one in the living room (and also the one in Matt's room, also the ghost room. Oh yeah, we have a ghost) has a marble mantle and a mirror above it and it's just. Super nice. Do I ever imagine the mirror accidentally falling forward and instantly killing the person sitting on the couch below? Not until now, no.

On the mantle, we've got a fortune cookie that no one ever ate (ugh I might throw that away). Three shot glasses (one from Denmark—Maria was abroad last year—one from Athens, which I think came with the house, and another one that has a pistol through it and says "come and take it." Idk where we got that one but we've had it for awhile. I think it must be Nadiya's but it is unclear lol). My little wood, uhhh, sculpture?? Of a cat. Only the body of the cat is a bunch of slats of wood traversed by some string at the top, so that it's super bendy and cute, accordion-like and such. That's another gift from my sister. Then we've got some trash... no, wait, that's an unopened package of a wreath hanger. I don't know why we need that. Maria already has the wreath up on her door. We've got an advent calendar that we (mainly Maria) started early because none of us were going to be here for, like, half of December. Two tiny bottles of Svedka, one flavored and one not. My sister's bf (god, did I ever name him? If not, I'ma just go for Joseph, lol)—anyway, Joseph gave them to me along with a bunch of other stuff before I left home this summer. We have two cleaning sprays, one is Lysol and idk what the other is. Also Hand santizier. And a little plastic black cat with an orange, uh... almost pilgrim suit? When you press him, his eyes light up green and he plays a cute little non-copyright Halloweenish song and I LOVE him. It's Maria's, her mom sent it last year. There's also Nadiya's piece of wood that I talked about earlier.

Oh, also, there's like a bunch of wood in the corner??? I don't know why lol. I think Matt and Maria must be using it for their joint art project, which was to make a James Turell-esque work. They've already got the lights and stuff down, but now they're trying to build a frame, etc., to make it portable so that I can drive them to a beach and they can take photos of it. It's been nice to watch the progress, and I like that my opinion is valued. Partly because, as Maria put it, I'm the only one in the apartment who has actually seen a James Turrell in real life (they have an entire Turrell exhibit at Mass MoCa, and I've seen it at least twice I think).

Oh, I forgot that on top of the small christmas tree sits a little styrofoam black cat that we call Gus. He's the staaaar of the tree. Another thing courtesy Maria. Last and least, there'

I like this living arrangement. A lot. I like this living room. I like that Maria and I impulsively bought 5 reindeer headbands so that all of us (the fifth being Greg, who is part of our pod) could be cute and festive. And I like that Matt and Maria are so active and that we have a TV and we can play video games together and chromecast movies from our laptops and phones. And I like that we have enough room to seat, like, 7 people but I still sit on the floor most of the time. And I like that Maria is always cocooned in a blanket and she wiggles when she's comfortable. And she makes, like, a lot of terrible half-ironic sex jokes (mostly involving the word cum). And that Matt is constantly sitting on the smaller couch, typing away in an almost absurd way—like he's not really a CS pro, but rather an actor playing a hacker on CSI or something. And I like that Matt is absurdly good at Mario Kart and he always uses Isabelle as his character (I use Toad and Maria uses Shy Guy; I have a personal vendetta against whatever AI controls Koopa Troopa, I want to EAT his ASS. In a BAD WAY). And I like Nadiya taking out the foam roller and talking about how she wants to stretch every day but then she doesn't, lololol. Nadiya's realm is largely the kitchen (me too, I think), and we cook together semi-frequently because we both like a lot of the same foods (i.e. I don't eat a lot of meat, but I do eat a lot of asian-inspired vegetable dishes; the other day, we made eggplant miso and also eggplant miso soup and it was soOooooo good). Sometimes I'll just talk to Nadiya and her only reply will be, "Ok." She is extremely neutral and it always makes me laugh. I like to scare her too. We stay up the latest in the house, so sometimes we will just wait in dark corners of the kitchen while the other pees in order to try and scare each other. I once hid in the fireplace for like 20 minutes trying to scare Nadiya but it didn't work D: it was so sad.

Oh, also, I like that our entire household went on a brief crusade when, earlier in the semester, we experienced what I shall retrospectively call The Egg Incident. Nadiya left a boiled egg on the table by accident over night but when she remembered n it the next day, it was gone. I, for some reason, got really invested in the mystery so we spent a long time shaking raw eggs around (we thought maybe someone had mistaken the egg for a raw one), but then eventually I found the egg under some sedimentary layers of trash and we constructed a timeline of events, logged the type of trash that was both above and below the egg, and we bagged the evidence. And then all four of us stood in the kitchen accusing each other for like 30 minutes lol. It turns out it was Matt, but he never actually admitted that out loud. Rather, he handed Nadiya a piece of paper in the middle of the argument that said "I threw it out it smelled I'm sorry," and then she didn't tell anyone because she loves chaos. Eventually, after I went to my room, she gave me the piece of paper and I felt so satisfied for some reason. Maybe I had solved the mystery on my lonesome, I dunno.

Oh, okay, Maria is talking to me now. I am going to stop writing so I can do other stuff. Maria has just said, "Every day is a burden on my sexuality," so uh. On that note, bye!!!!

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