My Roommates Threw a Party Last Weekend While I Was Sick in Bed. This Is What I Overheard.
You don’t want to read a backstory, reader. So here’s the gist of it.
Last weekend I was coming down with a really bad cold. My roommates and I had also scheduled a party for one of those evenings. They did not cancel the party in my honor. I did not party hard because I was sick. Instead I went to my room, closed and locked the door, and tried to sleep, because every part of my body felt like it was cold and hot and sore and jellified at the same time. The party was very loud, so I didn’t sleep. But I did listen.
For a really, really long time – probably at least 5 hours – I lay in bed, neither asleep nor awake, really, but instead in the throngs of some horribly mystifying feverdream. Because of that, some of the things in this report may have not actually happened, but are instead the inventions of my sleepsick mind. So keep that in mind, I guess. In addition to that: because the saga of this evening requires a little more context than what I have provided above, I have also included, in the following timeline, a few things that happened to me before I tried to sleep. So like, also keep that in mind. Okay. Let’s get to it:
9:34 – Having already felt crappy all day, while going to the bathroom — out of absolutely nowhere — I puke a little bit of the pepperoni-with-extra-cheese Papa John’s pizza into the basin of the toilet. About seven seconds pass. I then mutter “shit” under my breath, defeated.
10:06 – My roommates have started drinking. Because peer pressure is real and works really really well, I pour myself a small, diminutively sad glass of whiskey, which I dilute with both three ice cubes and a splash of water. I take a sip. What little hydration I had in my body instantly leaves me.
10:09 – I chug a glass of water.
10:45 – The first guests show up – a handful of people who I kinda know but not really. I begin to say hello; in between the words escaping from my throat to the words coming out of my mouth, I puke. Luckily, I am able to contain it in my mouth, run into the bathroom, and spit it out. I groan the words “super smooth.”
10:48 – I chug a glass of water.
11:35 – The party is in full swing. I have finished my previously described glass of whiskey, and have begun on a second. I feel it pretty intensely, as I have digested nothing but saltines, toast, and a banana all day (omitting the Papa John’s for obvious reasons).
11:38 – I look down at my hand and notice that I have drank another glass of whiskey. I remember that, in general, one isn’t supposed to drink while sick. I shrug.
11:39 – I chug a glass of water.
11:48 – It’s really hot in my apartment so I take off my sweater.
11:50 – I chug a glass of water.
11:53 – It’s really cold in my apartment so I put on my sweater.
12:25 – With the party in full swing, I finally decide to go to bed, as I am beginning to realize how heavy my feet are, and how much liquid is collecting in my skull. I tell one of my roommates this, and she looks at me consolingly and says, “Okay, feel better. You want us to be quiet?” I say No, of course not; I’m no narc.
12:30? – I fall asleep.
1:45? – I wake up, feeling like a blobfish looks. I am making noises with my mouth involuntarily. There is a measurable puddle of sweat under my body. I am very, very thirsty. I also have to pee, but I am afraid to leave the room, lest I run into someone who will drunkingly convince me to “Come on, man, let’s do shots wooooo.” I tell myself, It’s okay, you’ll just fall back asleep in five minutes. No big deal.
1:54 – “Love On Top” plays and the squawk of female voices, for some reason, makes me need to pee more. I continue to hold it.
1:57 – “Timber” plays. I quietly hum along in my diseased, hoarse voice, which, looking back, was probably one of the saddest things that has ever happened to anyone ever.
2:14 – A boy and a girl are having a very intimate conversation outside of my door. I decipher few words, but by the tone of their voices, I can tell he’s screwing her. One of them says “I’m done, I’m just. I’m done.” Then there’s a pause. Then the other one, probably the dude, says “Just text me, okay? Just. Just text me.” I still have to pee.
2:32 – Something shatters. I hear one of my roommates yell.
2:46 – I somehow don’t have to pee anymore. Can’t tell if it’s because I pissed my bed, or because, within the confines of my delirium, I managed to rise from my bed, brace the din of the festivity, piss, and lurch back into the quarantined zone. Either way I’m feeling warmer than I was before.
3:02 – Most people have left, but a few of our closest social leeches friends are sticking around. They’ve begun to play Motown music – Stevie Wonder, Temptations, Four Tops. I roll to my back and see the ghost of Marvin Gaye above me. He starts to sing “Sexual Healing,” just for me. I say No thanks, Marvin, I’m not feeling too well. So instead he starts singing “Timber.” I tell him ‘That’s not your song, Marvin’; but before I can scold him anymore, he’s vanished. Someone outside my door says “Is he gonna be okay?” in a way that I can tell they’re clearly not talking about me.
3:15 – From outside my door I hear “Hey, is this supposed to be locked?”; then pounding; then someone jiggling my doorknob; then a voice, maybe my one of my roommates, saying, “Yeah it’s fine, it’s just __________ he went to sleep;” then someone yelling “Oh my God AAAAAHHHHHH;” then “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”
3:21 – One of my roommates has decided to turn up the music as loud as it can go in order to show the remaining scum good friends of mine at this party a piece of orchestral music that he really likes. As I lie in bed, I try to understand his motives, and they are unclear to me. He’s probably trying to fuck some chick, I tell myself. No. Maybe he’s trying to show everyone how smart and diverse his musical palette is? Yeah, that’s gotta be it. The strings are literally in my room now; they drag me out of bed and stand me up and punch me in the face; then kick me to the ground, stomping on my hands, feet, stomach, and genitals; then each and every one of them, while singing “Timber,” urinates and defecates in my mouth. Before I have a chance to ask them to stop, I’m in my bed again.
3:26 – The piece ends. No one says anything for like, ten seconds. Then someone says “That was cool.”
3:30 – Are they really playing Fleetwood Mac? They can’t be playing Fleetwood Mac. Are they really playing Fleetwood Mac? They can’t be playing Fleetwood Mac. Are they really playing Fleetwood Mac? They can’t be pl
3:35 – I cave. I grope and swipe blindly for my phone, knocking it off of my nightstand. I retrieve it from the ground, nearly falling out of bed in the process, and manage to compose a typo-laden text to the orchestral aficionado roommate that says Hey cn you burn clown the music just a punch.
3:49 – They burn clown the music just a punch.
3:56:45 – I muster the courage to send another text: Hate to be a narc but at 4 the music stops. I feel bad the moment I send it.
3:56:47 – The music stops almost as soon as I send the text, indicating to me that the stopping of the music in reality has nothing to do with my request. I’m briefly offended, but I realize that however the job gets done it gets done. Now it’ll be quiet and I’ll finally be able to sleep.
4:05 – Something happens; I can’t remember what.
4:16 – The guests make their way to the back door, presumably to leave. In order to do so, they have to pass by my room. They proceed to have a loud, incoherent conversation only feet from where I am sleeping, their words separated by only a medium-thickness layer of shitty plywood. I am sweating.
4:23 – One of my roommates is telling a story to someone, it doesn’t matter who. He, my roommate, had a history teacher who gave the commencement address at his high school graduation. The climax of her speech, he said, was the point during it when she said “no matter what you do in life, make something. Whatever it is, make something.” My roommate tries to think of examples of professions that make things, but he can only think of 1. A writer, and 2. A lawyer who paints in his spare time. He repeats make something make something make something over and over and over and then I’m on the beach and I’m making a sandcastle and I knock it down and yell “Timber,” and then I’m painting some sort of modern art piece and Marvin Gaye is my teacher and he tells me that pointillism really isn’t my strong suit, but fuck him, what does he know; and then I start running away from him angrily but then I fall and trip emphatically into a gaping abyss and I’m forced awake, and I lie in my bed and the sound of pots and pans crashing to the kitchen floor rings out and bursts through my door, followed by a muffled curse. I cough phlegm into my pillowcase.
4:31 – The back door to my apartment has closed shut. Silence for some time, then one of my roommates announces she’s making cookies for reasons completely unknown to me then and now. My other two roommates proceed to huddle in the kitchen – which is directly adjacent to my room – and have a loud conversation about how much they love cookies, and also how they’re gonna stay up for as long as they possibly can. The orchestra fetishist – who sounds stoned out of his mind, thus explaining his motive for playing such music – starts talking about some cooking blog and peppers.
4:45? – I fall asleep.
11:25 – I catch one of my roommates as he is leaving the apartment. He asks if I am feeling better. I lie yes. He says, “hey, I’m really sorry, I hope we weren’t too loud last night.” I say What? No, of course not; I slept totally fine. Don’t worry about it.