I want to be a good roommate, but it has not been easy. Because of what I do. How I was raised. Who I am. My job.
"You can't just put people's ears in the microwave," my roommate said to me, utterly annoyed, utterly confused, as though she had never heard of such a ridiculess thing in all her life. I did not know. I thought it would be okay. I asked people on yahoo answers if they would burn. They said it should be fine. Honest. I saw my roommate put chicken in the microwave. I thought she would be fine with me putting an ear in there. And anyway, I had to put them in the microwave because I needed to cook them. What else was I supposed to eat? My parents cooked the ears in the microwave all the time, and nothing bad ever happened.
I do not know how to live. I thought I did, but I do not. "You can't just go and kill people!" my roommate said during our first week together. My first mistake. An honest mistake. My eyes went big, and I tried to understand. No one had ever told me you were not supposed to kill people. They don't teach you this in school! I thought it would be fine.
I wanted to know everything. I asked questions. "But then," I began. "How do you get people to, like, stop being unhappy?"
It was an honest question, but inappropriate. Asking was my second mistake. My roommate's voice rose, in frustration, in having to explain rules that she had already learned, perhaps from experience. Perhaps when she was five years old, she killed people, and her mother said, "Bad Molly! Don't do that! People don't like it when you do that!" But it was my job. It is who I am.
"I don't know," she breathed out. "Maybe try watching a movie with them. Give them a back massage. Just do, whatever. Just don't kill them."
It didn't sound right. I was skeptical. It didn't sound fair. Sure, you might watch a movie with them, but then they would just be unhappy after that.
People talked. They called me a jerk, a bully, a punk. I didn't mean to be a punk. I could hear them in whispers on the elevator. "Yeah, don't talk to Maggie. She is such a loser. She just like, kills people and then like, eats them. Like, she touches them, and they die. If they get hit by a car, she's there. If they get Cancer, she's at the hospital. Like some kind of creepy stalker looking for a boyfriend or something. Ew."
When I entered rooms, people stopped talking. Usually because I touched them and then they died and whatnot, but sometimes because they did not want to confirm my existence.
I was walking down the streets the other day. I didn't mean to. Well, I did mean to walk through the streets, but not the reprecussions. I just wanted to get groceries. My intentions were good. I figured, Okay, if eating people is wrong, then what will I eat? What can I eat that is good and righteous and moral? I decided bread. My roommate ate bread sometimes. She does not even use the insides of people as a spread! She is the good person I strive to be. I was, indeed, determined not to kill anyone on my way out. I kept repeating it: Just don't kill people, please don't kill people, no one, no one, let everyone live. It won't be so bad. Just let them keep breathing. No big deal.
As I was crossing the street, the accident happened. Someone was crossing. She dropped her keys on the ground, and I ran into her.
A car swirved. "Ouch," she said. "That hurt. And now I'm dead. You killed me." She looked at me. She was upset.
"I really didn't mean to! I'm sorry! Please, forgive me. I won't. Do it. Again." Tears slid. I didn't bother picking them up. "Please! I keep killing people and I want to stop but it's not working. Please don't be mad."
"I am mad. Sorry."
"Wah," I moaned. I wondered what to do with her body. I didn't seem right to waste it. I figured my roommate just didn't like parts of dead bodies in microwaves. Maybe she would be okay if I put it in her bed. Yes, that sounded like a lovely idea! I could write "FOR YOU!" on the t-shirt of the body. My roommate would love it!
I carried the body up to my dorm. On the elevator, a boy carrying a skateboard asked me what was up with the body. I said, proudly, "I'm giving it to my roommate. Isn't that a good idea?"
He said, "Uh, sure, whatever." I grinned. Yes, indeed, she would love it. I was about to become very popular. "Death is so nice, did you hear what she brought her roommate?" I could already hear the gossip. "A dead body!" The voices continued, imaginary, gracing my mind. "Man, it's so unfair, no one brings me dead bodies, not even my own boyfriend." And then, "And you know, I thought it was weird she cooked ears, but maybe they are good."
Concepts of how the world worked played in my head. As I opened the door to my room, I felt like, finally, I knew how to live, I knew how to do it, this life thing, just right.