Duplex Chronicles

The Duplex Chronicles – Christmastime

With the end of the fall semester at school always comes Christmas, my favorite time of the year (according to Johnny Mathis and many others, it’s the most wonderful time of the year). I sit here on Christmas Eve in the year of our Lord 2005, and it occurred to me that this is the first Christmas Eve of my life that I’ve been by myself. No need for pity here as my family is actually delaying our traditional Christmas events one day, since I work for a church and have had to work earlier tonight and tomorrow morning. I also went out for Chinese food with some friends earlier, and I have my cats, and I’ll let TBS’ 24 hours of A Christmas Story lull me to sleep tonight. So I’m okay.

But that reminded me of the first year in the duplex. People tend to leave at various times when it comes to Christmas vacation. Elrond, Gimli, and Tom Bombadil making the farthest trips of all of us. However, I Sam was by far the last person to leave on the first Christmas break of the duplex. I don’t remember why, but for some reason I didn’t go home until the 23rd, when everyone else had left by at least the 20th. At first, I welcomed this as a great break to be able to clean the bleedin’ place, as certainly no one else was planning on doing it. So I went throughout the house, vacuuming with our industrial strength 75 pound carpet sweeper that Aragorn had borrowed (aka stole) from his work. I also cleaned out the sofas, the sinks, the bathrooms and most disgustingly of all, the fridge. For some reason there was some sort of cement like brown substance that I vividly recall scrubbing out from under the fruit/produce/bread/raw beef drawer.

The most irritating thing that I cleaned up was Elrond’s mail, that he had for some reason opened and left strewn about the basement before leaving home for the holidays. He only opened said mail because I kept bugging him too, since I did see things like credit card bills and whatnot in his accumulating pile, and I figured it might be important. So instead of opening the mail, saving necessary things and throwing away the incredible amount of junk mail that college students receive, he apparently was trying to beat an old record of his of seeing how fast he could open each article of mail that he had built up over 4 months. So since he apparently beat his former record, and was so excited about it that he forgot to clean it up before getting on a plane, I cleaned it up instead.

However, after 2 days of cleaning everything, I had literally run out of stuff to clean (since I wasn’t about to breach Tom Bombadil’s room, or should I say tornado wreckage). So on a Friday night I’m searching for stuff to clean, and I’ve run out (how pathetic of a Friday night is that?). The thing is, when you’ve lived in a house with no less than 10 other people living with you at a time, it’s amazing how quiet things are when everyone’s gone. This soon drove me to the brink of madness. We didn’t have cable, mainly because we didn’t want the distraction, but I had a couple tapes of Mystery Science Theatre episodes, and I began playing them at all times, just to have background noise.

I also never noticed how much that damn house creaked until trying to go to sleep. I’m the most extroverted person I know, and I love, nay prefer having background noise when falling asleep, and in a house of 10 men, that was not hard to come by. Until of course everyone else was gone. My vivid imagination wasn’t helping either. So I remember on the last night I was there by myself, I downed like half a fifth of tequila and basically passed out. After that I tried to make sure to head home around the same time everyone else did. However, that was where my habit of playing TV (preferably Mystery Science Theater) as background noise began, much like how I have A Christmas Story playing right now.

Well, I don’t have a good segueway, but Merry Christmas everyone! Samwise

1 thought on “The Duplex Chronicles – Christmastime”

  1. Yeah… the fact that in most places it’s quiet at night was one thing I had to get used to living alone after moving out of the ‘Plex. You never realize exactly how much activity is going on around you until it’s all gone and everything is quiet…..

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