When Your Roommate Stops His Meds

DY∆D, Photography, Strange


In my last year of University I took on a fairly serious course load and wasn’t able to work as much as I had in years prior. My plan was to sublet a room in the hood from my old homie for 200 beans. In late august I put all my superfluous furniture up on Craigslist and began boxing my books and art supplies, shoes— you know, shit that really matters.

On September 1st I showed up with the moving van— Mike opened the door kind of slow, and peered suspiciously at my girlfriend and I. When he gave daps I half expected his hand to be slick with Jergens or some shit. Anyways, whatever. He took me down the hall to the room. It was still packed to the ceiling with shit: bikes, yellow papers, fucking old school laptops, vinyl, and live rats. I mean it, like yo— there were two rats in a squalid aquarium that was stuffed into the far dark corner of the room. We were hit with the scorching scent of rat piss and feces. “What the fuck, dude?” All he had to say was “they’re for the snake.” This motherfucker was keeping feed rats under horrendous conditions, son. He moved their cage into his own room after a thorough cleaning though— everything was cool.


After the initial sketchiness I settled into a pretty chill schedule of study and sleep. Mike became less visible around the house, just staying in his room with the door shut. At night he’d leave his door open a crack so his cat could come and go. I’d see him sleeping on top of his blankets, fully clothed, all the lights on. I figured dude was stressing over a girl or something, you know. 

About a month into our arrangement I come through the door super tired, kind of prickly. Yo, dude was standing in the middle of the living room wearing a towel, his pectorals and traps rippling. He starts breathing all deep and shit, staring at me. The dude yells “Michael. Michael the archangel. The thirteenth letter. I feel my wings growing.” At first I felt threatened, then I kind of laughed, you know, like what the fuck are you talking about my G? I said, “If you’re Michael the archangel, what the fuck you doing chain smoking native cigarettes in a squalid apartment on Walkley?”


By mid October shit started getting mad fucked up. The anxiety ratcheted way up in the house and Michael began putting weird posters all over the walls. He was doing other fucked up shit, too. He played this Mike Tyson rant 200 times in a row. Yo, after 20 plays that shit gets kind of disconcerting. Even still, he wasn’t really infecting my lifestyle with his sickness so I didn’t care all that much.  I’d see him all spaced out and I’d try and talk to my him about what was going on. He’d refuse to talk and only communicate via notes. Other times, he’d ramble on about the matrix and how now that he was “detoxing” he could see all the symmetries and patterning of existence— everything was a message just for him. It was a palindrome and a anagram, the matrix, the archangelic.


Even Tupac had chosen Michael as his one and only emissary and was speaking through him on the regular. Real talk, some of that shit is true, there are patterns and geometries everywhere, but when Michael accosted me outside my bedroom and accused me of sending him subliminal messages with my box of cereal I fucking lost it, grabbed a hammer and threatened him. “Does this fucking hammer look subliminal to you!?”  The next day I came home and dude had installed 500 dollars worth of locks and cameras. He even cut a fucking hole in his bedroom door for the cat. Peep this Swann Professional Security System, you can cop one now for under 500—


That’s not it, though— what I saw next blew my dome piece. The entire bathroom was tinfoiled and sealed with silver and red tape. I mean floor to fucking ceiling. Like whoa, calme toi. On the real that’s when I saw the scope of homie’s delusion. He thinks “they” got technology that can see through brick walls but not through tinfoil?! It was time to cop another living arrangement, quick. That night I slept with a hammer, a carving knife and a hockey stick.



I ended up having to shell out mad cash to move in the middle of a winter month— like fuck. Whatever, you can’t win ’em all. It’s been 3 months now since I seen dude at all. I tried sending him a sup, haaryou? type of text 3 weeks ago. There’s been no reply. Dude is probably haunting the ward right now. Plus, yo, my new crib is super G. I ain’t hating, though, everyone goes through shit sometimes. Ultimately I’m grateful to be out of that scene, na’mean. Keep it real homies, and enjoy these flicks, they’re not my best work— But yo, they tell the story on point. Shit is real hood. Walkley represent, lmao.