Almond counting and Roommate Rage

I count my raw almonds.  I then put them in little clusters of 5 each.  6 clusters to total 30 almonds to equal the suggested serving per day of 1 oz.  My co-workers at my last job would tease me about, I also would fill three plastic bottles of water up and bring them back to my desk to minimize trips to the fountain.   “What are you watering the plants with those Pete?” Matt said.  Does good portion control make me a psychopath?  You can’t go overboard with your good fats. Would you eat a full bowl of avocado (another good fat) ?? You’d be nauseous.

People will label you if you do things that don’t fit the mold of the normalcy they desire.  I forgot which comedian said it but “Your doctor, dentist, lawyer, teacher at school, they all go home and jerk off to internet porn just like the rest of us.” Its the great equalizer.  Point being, we’re all weirdos in a way.  You do something in the privacy of your home that you’d be ashamed for people to know.

I remember when I was being overruled as the only gringo in my apartment in Spain.  I’d never felt more ostracized.  It was a valuable lesson for me, not being surrounded by much diversity in my life previously and being that I am a part of the majority, ruling class of the world: whites.

Blowout screaming matches with roommates are inevitable sometimes, but can be extremely cathartic. I incited one, on the day before I moved out to a different neighborhood of Madrid, I’m glad I did. Because I brought all the passive aggression to the surface.  I feel humbled, with a much clearer view of my faults. The resentment was building up over months of me coming out to the common room to ask my roommates to turn down the music and lower their voices so I could sleep.

At 1 am on Friday night, I walked into the common room with a puffed up chest, inflated by the righteous indignation of the being a “good guy.” I had 6 roommates, the 3 in question were 2 Mexican guys and a Colombian girl, one of which speaks fluent English and is the de facto spokesperson for them. As I continued to hold my ground in defense of quiet sanctuary of a shared apartment, they vehemently defended their one night to be able to get drunk and sing along to the music. Objectively, this is sound logic.

“You can go get drunk and be loud at the bar down the block.” I said.

After my insistent defending of my point and many repetitive back and forths, Manny, unleashed a string of gestures and was clearly “Something, something, something… cabron!” (asshole in Spanish) his eyes bloodshot and widening in a rage, his brashness magnified by having been drinking for a few hours.

“You think your tough because you have a few drinks and now you confront me? You fucking coward.” I said

In the heightened feeling of the argument I didn’t bother speaking or listening to Spanish, so Jose would translate what he was saying. I eventually learned that I had been slamming the door way too loud when I left the apartment every in the morning, I left globs of jelly on the sink every morning, like a slob, I never washed any of my dishes. All of which was true. I slinked back to my room, deflated, no longer bothering to raise my voice in rage because I had to concede they were right.

I felt so isolated, so alone, and claustrophobic in an apartment where they had surely been harboring their passive aggression for months and putting a happy face for me. I was the dummy acting polite to them and while they were talking behind my back. I was the odd man out in this apartment, I never got along them and was the gringo of the crew, maybe they thought of me as the gringo rich white boy. Every time I walked in or by them I felt a sharp sense of apart-ness.

I was outnumbered, I was the bad guy, Jose and Manuel were resolute in their anger towards me and now I see they were justified. I just couldn’t stand to be overruled by majority and clearly being the petulant brat of a roommate with zero self awareness. But why couldn’t they just tell me I was sloppy or ask me to stop slamming the door as I walked out the door in the morning, when it actually occurred? This is the mine that I always step on, a sobering learning of my fault’s and an opportunity for growth, and I slink into a funk of bathing in self pity and trying to convince I am a terrible and unredeemable person, which is just not a realistic or accurate assessment. It at least felt good to have everyone put their cards on the table and learn how I have been sloppy and inconsiderate. It was a satisfying counterpunch to all the bullshit phonies. I get off on this, I’m a masochist through and through. I want to know all my faults and I want to know them now!

I was sobered in the sense that I felt I needed to hear the unpleasant truth about myself that I don’t hear enough. Its the masochistic idea that the self destructive tendencies that I need to hear have these reprimanding other people, Does it satisfy some deep twisted pleasure in me to have people shame me and tell me how bad a person I am? Am I trying to recreate my childhood where I was frequently not living up to my dad’s expectations? Acting out, getting mediocre grades and slinking my way through athletics without any real effort.

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