FRESH YARN presents:

I Hope We Can Be Friends
By Randi Goodman

Hey, Jeff! Thank you so much for talking to me about our Living Situation. I was afraid that you weren't going to see the note that I left for you by the phone, the post-it on the bathroom mirror, the card in the mailbox, or the 3 x 5 poster in the refrigerator on top of your Organic Pasta Thing. Last time, you claimed that you didn't know those notes were for you, even though they clearly stated, "For You, Jeff." Thank goodness you figured it out this time, and I really, really, really appreciate you taking time out of your Busy Dog-Walking Schedule to sit down with me and work this out. I realize that you work Very Hard: What 38-Year-Old-Manhattan-Dog-Walker doesn't have to work hard? There are so many dogs in Manhattan! And they all need walking! And, one has to provide for one's 38-Year-Old-Self, right? Especially when one's 38-Year-Old-Self does not have Any Other Form Of Income. Which brings me to my First Point: I know that you were originally subletting my half of the apartment this summer, while I was out of town, and you were living with my roommate, but if you haven't noticed yet, I'm back! I've been back for Seven Months Now, and you haven't seemed to have Moved Out Yet. You don't appear to be leaving any time soon, because I've noticed you haven't packed up any of your stuff or appear to be looking for a new place to live, even though you were supposed to be out of here at the end of August. So I thought this would be a good way for me to tell you, Jeff, that there are some things I don't really like to put up with in a roommate, if you were actually a roommate, which I want to make clear, you are not. You are a Temporary House Guest, looking for a New Place To Live. That implies that you are moving out Really Soon. You look drunk. Aren't you supposed to be in AA? I thought that's where my roommate told me she met you and I know you don't want to hear it from me, but I don't think you are following those 12 Steps very well. Maybe I should just go straight to my notes. I wrote out all of my thoughts on these sheets of paper, in order to be as concise as possible.

Jeff, can you please pay the rent by the first of the month? Actually, maybe I should rephrase this: Jeff, can you please just pay the rent? It has been a full seven months since you have contributed A Cent towards The Rent or even to Any Of The Bills, and I have polled all of my friends: All of their roommates pay part of the rent. Therefore, I think it is not too unfair to ask. You see, subletees normally move out when the person they were subletting from comes back from wherever they were. Maybe this wasn't made clear to you when you moved in. I guess I just thought it was Assumed. Now, I hate to be a Nag, because I know, I have brought this issue up to you Many Many Many times before, and when I have brought this issue up before, you made it clear that you thought this was rather Unfair because you were just a Guest and No Longer Subletting, as I am Back and you made the rather Creative Point that before you moved in, my roommate and I covered the rent fine by ourselves, and you didn't see why we would need you to contribute at all, but I don't really think that is The Point. I told you, when we talked about you moving out Last Time, that I have discussed this matter At Length with my Therapist, and she suggested I was a Rather Large Doormat, and you agreed, Yes, I was a Doormat, and so I know you Appreciate My Initiative in Discussing This Matter with you. I am sure you are getting upset now, so why don't we just move on to other matters and we can talk about the whole rent thing again in a few months.

Some minor stuff, just to begin: Can you please make sure that if you take a phone message for me, you remember to actually give it to me? There is nothing worse than hearing from a friend that they called you weeks ago and "left a message with some Weird Guy who said He Didn't Really Live There so he Wasn't Sure If I Would Get It" and you don't ever recall receiving said message.

While we are on the subject of the phone, I was wondering, Jeff, if you could please not apply Smelly Face Cream and then talk on our phone, then fail to wipe the phone off. I've noticed that you seem to apply some sort of Smelly Gel-Like Lotion to your face and then you will talk for hours on the phone and then you will leave and the phone will ring, or I will go to make a phone call, and I will pick up the phone and there will be this Smelly Face Cream on the mouthpiece and it will end up all over my face and hands and I don't want Smelly Face Cream on my face and hands, if I did, I would have just asked, "Jeff, do you mind if I borrow that Smelly Face Cream of yours? I want to put it All Over My Face! And My Hands!" But I don't. So, please clean up after you apply Smelly Face Stuff and talk on the phone.

Under no circumstances should you Shave Your Face In The Kitchen Sink And Then Leave The Little Hairs And Chunks Of Shaving Cream Just Floating There, in the basin with your Week-Old Dirty Dishes. I don't care if you think that the "light isn't good in the bathroom." It's just unsanitary. And, also, you should not leave your dishes in the sink for a week. Wait. Let me say that again: You should not leave My Dishes That You Are Eating Off Of in the sink for a Week. We both know you don't own any dishes. You only own a sleeping bag.

I find it Really Uncomfortable when I come home from work and you are Having Sex On The Sofa In The Living Room and even though you see I am home, and you clearly see that I notice that you are Having Sex On The Sofa In The Living Room, you don't stop Having Sex On The Sofa In The Living Room, you just continue to Have Sex, right there in the Middle Of The Living Room, On The Sofa. That makes me Really Uncomfortable. Especially when I am trying to watch Friends.

You have a lot of Drag-Queen Friends that you meet in the Clubs that you like to hang out in, and when they come to my apartment to visit you and then they Raid My Closet and Wear My Very Expensive Vintage Dresses Without Asking and never put anything back on a hanger, I find this all really annoying, too. I like to keep my nice clothes on a Hanger. And then sometimes, they stay and when I ask, "Who are you?" they tell me they are a "Friend of Jeff's" and that you told them the night before that they "Could Stay A Few Days so that they would have a Place To Crash in Manhattan so that they don't have to take The Train All The Way Back To Jersey," and that is not so cool, either. I guess I should just say that I Like To Know If There Are Going To Be House Guests ahead of time. Additional House Guests. I mean other than You.

When you come home during the afternoon, and find me Curled Up In The Fetal Position on the floor, sobbing uncontrollably, it really bothers me when you pretend that I am not there and you step over me to turn on the TV. I am probably Curled Up In The Fetal Position on the floor, sobbing uncontrollably because I Sublet My Half Of The Apartment to Some 38-Year-Old-Man-Who-Walks-Dogs-For-A-Living Over The Summer And When I Came Back, He Never Left And Seven Months Have Gone By And He Seems To Have No Intention Of Ever Leaving, And I Am Just A Huge Doormat, Just Like My Therapist, And All Of My Friends, And My Mom, And You Have Told Me I Am And Maybe I Am Just Totally Crazy, But I Really Just Want You To Leave.

And the Last And Final Point:

In the future, If I give you Notice and tell you that you need to Pack Up All Your Things And Move Out, I think maybe I am being Serious. I am not just probably Overreacting To Something That You Did that was Really Not That Big A Deal In The First Place and I will get over it in just a couple of hours and time will pass, and then I will totally forget about it like I Usually Do. Because, then Something New will happen. Something New always happens, Jeff! I probably should give you Notice again, Right Now, and tell you that you Need To Pack Up All Your Things And Move Out, and this time I will Really Mean It. But, let's face it, we both know that about two days from now, I will Forget About All Of This, and I like to Avoid Conflict and instead, I will just continue to Secretly Seethe And Complain To My Therapist and My Mom and My Co-Workers and All Of My Friends About You and how Horrible you are and how I Wish You Would Just Leave, but you Never Do. And then years from now, when I have finally moved out because I simply Can't Take Living With You Anymore And Since You Have No Plan To Leave The Apartment And End Up Staying Here For Over Three Years, I End Up Fleeing New York For California, Hoping I Never Have To See You Again For The Rest Of My Life Because You Made It A Living Hell, I will probably just take all this Angst and turn it into Something Creative, like an Essay and I will get this all Off My Chest and it will be Cathartic and Everything will be A-Okay!

Because, in the end, I really hope we can be Friends. I am working really hard on cultivating new friendships.


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