Dearest Housemate:

I can’t tell you how excited I am to know that you’ll be departing the premises on New Year’s Day.

I know as I stood there, my soon-to-be ex-roomie, I was mimicking the narrator’s husky voice. We were in the Qian, the northwest corner of the room, remember? I love “The Hoarders.” I couldn’t help myself. You and I both watched that show on Bravo. You were a shoo-in if I had answered that question (narrator’s voiceover once again): “If you or someone you know has a hoarding problem and would like to be on this show…”

Your half-hour segment would go something like this: The camera pans across what was supposed to be your Knowledge corner but instead became a moat. A moat of softcover novels, stacked 2 feet high and growing. You had to cross this barrier to enter the room, and re-stack them on your way out.

(Narrator VO): “Agatha found it more and more difficult to breathe…”

And then cut to me and my monologue:

“If there was a fire, I don’t know how NYFD would get to her.

(Face cringing, subject looks up, tears welling up in her eyes, she pauses, then looks at camera)

I had NO idea it was like this!”

You like those tears, huh? Yes, they were real.

Starting from the left corner of the room, I’ve dodged two large hardcovers that fell off the rickety Goodwill shelf. The coffee table books just missed my skull, roomie, but that’s okay. I know this is painful, but let’s duck under the souvenir hammock you used to hang your laundry and bedsheets, and move on, shall we? I’ve given you many a time limit, and I know you can do this!

I have the Bagua map, the Lo Pan compass here in front of me and right where we stood was your relationship corner. Lots of negative energy here, unfortunately. I have noticed, ever since you moved in 2 years ago, you haven’t a single relationship. Not one gentleman caller to our home. It’s been very quiet, I know, and I have to confess, that was one of the reasons why I liked you from the start. Hold on, wait a minute! What the heck is this? (digs 3 feet down into a pile of yellowing newspapers, reads a faded label covered in dust)

It’s your relationship with Jose (sighs). Jose Cuervo. Jose, who quieted the demons that haunted your night screams. At least for a little while.

Roomie, did you know you were supposed to refrigerate this?

I know you tossed him out, and for that I am so grateful. He does nothing for you, that Jose. I know, interracial relationships and all, but damn, he was a needy motherfucker. Worse, he was a fucked up genie. A genie in a bottle that granted no wishes.

So I applaud you for tossing him into the Glad Heavyweight, and man, doesn’t it feel good to open these shades? I mean, it’s the first floor and there’s actually some green you can see out of this, but how is the chi supposed to flow into your relationship corner of your home if the sun doesn’t even shine? I mean, you’re supposed to follow the Feng Shui Love Cures: Pairs of animals, cranes, ducks, in the southwest corner of your room placed close together, or touching even. It will draw love to you. Two cozy chairs (no table between them) also works. You are creating a comfy place for two.

But instead you have parts. Parts of broken stuffed animals. Ripped paper cranes, a single peony flower painting on the wall. Broken furniture picked up from the curb.

While tossing what clearly wasn’t working as a cure for you, I found the sage smudge stick from your cross-country trip to Arizona. Very very cool. I told you we were going to space clear this place, and we’re almost there. It’s only 8:00pm and at the rate we’re going, we’ll be able to smudge the negativity out of here by midnight.

Remember this, dearest roommate.

The most important concept is change. Change is the only thing that is constant in the universe. The Yin will become Yang and Yang will become Yin. In the extreme of Yang, Yin is incubated. Within the extreme of Ying, Yang is born. This is the forever change of life, universe and everything.














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