I sighed happily as I finished typing that last line of conversation and got up. It had been an interesting night, far more than the previous day had. I udpated my journal an hour before, and now the sun was up and my room was already starting to revert to its normal furnace-like qualities. The day was officially starting. I clicked on the media player and let it start playing a soothing random tune from the list. ...when I heard it was Weird Al's "A Legacy Begins", I randomly clicked elsewhere...that really didn't fit the mood right then.
I took down the blanket makeshift curtain that hung over my window down and wrapped myself up in it, then wrapped myself up in my other blanket, then layed down on the bed, looking up at the ceiling as the sun shone into my face and on the rest of me. I felt somewhat wearied, being that I hadn't slept at all that night. I looked up at the ceiling, various thoughts running through my head, and MxPx played a song. That...is when I fell asleep.
Not that I had planned to, mind you. My plan was that I would take a small nap, and that, as the sun continued to rise and the temperature in my room continued to increase, I would wake up not far off drenched in sweat, but even moreso than I normally do, seeing that I had the addition of the extra blanket.
1:30 came around instead.
My mind woke up first, having been stirred by the sound of voices. Eventually consciousness plus clear thought came upon me. I slowly opened my eyes and saw that the sun wasn't shining into my room, so that meant that it was past 11 in the morning. It wasn't a weekday, so Ryan should be home at this time. I listened to the conversation outside my door, and while not understanding what all was said, I recognized three distinct voices. Somebody coming and visiting here at the apartment is a very big deal, it not happening too often, so that instantly sprung my consciousness ahead a few notches.
I roused myself up and looked around for something to wear. I wasn't able to locate my shorts with my gear (belt, wallet, etc.) around, so I grabbed a generic pair of pants lying around instead. A light blue t-shirt soon followed, and then I left my room and down the hallway. I brushed my hand against the bathroom door on the way, hoping to quickly clean myself up. It was closed, so apparently somebody was in there. Ah well. I went to the living room, source of the conversation.
(alternative line: "Supplies!!")
Magen. I hadn't seen her for years. Literally. Some time ago, she and Fallon had a dispute about something and ended their friendship. Lately, though, they had had a reuniting, so to speak, and were friends once more. And now here was Magen again...looking completely unchanged since I had last seen her. Acted the same too. Same attitude, same jokes, same...everything. "The more things change the more things stay the same" can be quite true, mm?
We gave our greetings and I found they were heading out to get some food. Then they invited me along as a friendly gesture (yes!!). I went to make myself not smell just woken up ("so you're going to make sure you don't stink like butt?"), and that's when I heard "oh yeah, beware the bathroom. Go check it out."
I slowly opened the door, looking around. I didn't notice anything...then a shoe box with cloth inside...then....
...oh no. -_- <--(that's a face)
I wonder exactly how much my opinion matters in this household sometimes. I know I'm not around as much as my roommates, but I pay half the bills here, yet I'm barely informed of anything that happens around here. I never know when Fallon does or doesn't have a job. Pets have been brought into here without my acknowledgement. People have been brought into here to stay for a month or two (Shira. I'll...relate that story some other time). And each time the explanation has been the same: "oh, I knew you'd understand and wouldn't mind". While that is true for the most part, the principle is still the same. I'm not informed of events around here. And what if it wasn't okay? Society says I should have half the votes around this place, since I pay half the bills, but all that happens to me sometimes is I'm just ignored, downplayed, or generally made fun of. And while progression has been made a lot since I had first moved in, I still sometimes sense a feeling of being thought of as "inferior" to what is going on. When I'm online, this is especially prevalent, as the room where my roommates and our circle of friends hang out, jokingly relate the adjective "Mikey" to "being wussy/zealot Christian/consistently happy/being gay". I know that that is just how they have fun...but sometimes it just sort of hurts. I'm a person, a human being, actually very deep, being made light of sometimes just actually hurts. It's like they don't know when and where to stop sometimes, and when you say something about it, you're referred to as "being whiney" or some other like expression. Some other people I know are actually this exact way, like Nick, who I'm sure I've mentioned before in previous journals. When the subject of purposed maltreatment comes up, all their responses are surprisingly alike: "I make fun of you because I like you. The more I make fun of you, that means the more I like you. You should feel special." Yes, I'm serious. Exact. I wonder why this is sometimes. Why can't people express it without doing the act whose sole purpose is meant for the pure opposite? I let people know I care about them by being a friend to them however I can. It's odd....
And then, as I opened that bathroom door, I found another example of how little I was thought in this apartment. There, cowering behind the toilet, was a small black and white kitten, sharing much of the same markings and design as Bo. I closed the door immediately to not let the other cats get in, and quickly jokingly said "Where's Bo?" ...you know...like he was shrunk...or something. Please keep in mind that all this realization about what's happened only occurred to me pretty recently, so during the day, I wasn't much offended by this. Only now is it that I'm offended.
"You're only going to be here for another month, so I thought it would be okay. She was only $5, and she was so cute." That was the argument for Fallon's course of action.
Now, excuse me while this journal will temporarily be my mind's notepad, but I'd like to get off my chest quickly exactly how wrong this is. First all, I was completely left out. I live here too, I have a room here, my belongings are here--this is for now my home. I have lived here almost an entire year, only being a month shy. While not only figuring that I actually have stock here, while also being there roommate (the word does have a meaning, not a title for "that other person that lives in that room"), I also have an opinion. If anything comes into this apartment or changes around here, I should be consulted first. I've only done the same for my roommates too. Anything big or new that I bring into here, I shoot past them first. They live here as well, so it's only courteous. But I have not seen that courtesy returned. They can have their hobbies and collect what it is they like, but for crying out loud, they've literally brought another household member, so to speak, into the house without necessity, purpose, nor getting a unanimous vote from all that live there (that includes me). Neither my leaving in a month, universal love for all animals, nor my usually laid-back attitude should give them free reign to do whatever it is they want to around here. I am another human being, as much as many out there don't want to acknowledge, and I have a mind, a will, emotions, and rights, for crying out loud! What happened to people being even around here?! I am a person!! Acknowledge it!!
I plan to bring this issue up with my roommates later on. Not now, though...being that...it's 5 in the morning as I type this. When I first came here, like I said before, I hoped to gain another family. I didn't want to just get someplace else to stay. But that's all that this place has become. I'm a stranger here. An outsider. Ryan and Fallon sit in each others' arms, while they view me with ostracism. I can't even use the tv out in the living room without some sort of stigma attached.
Once I went out to watch some tv while Ryan and Fallon went out for some reason. They were playing some game, but they put it on pause, planning to return to it later. I turned the tv back on, switched it manually to some other channel, and started watching. I was willing to give them the tv back when they returned anyways. They came back, we said "hey", and I gave them back the tv. There was a problem, though. The tv doesn't normally go to channel 3; it needs the remote. And now the remote wasn't working. I was blamed for that and given the cold shoulder for the next couple days and was spoken about in an unkind, disgusted sense. For what? Leaving my room to watch tv. It was even bluntly said "You have a tv in your room! Why'd you need to use this one?!" So apparently it was assumed that I was paying rent for just this room and not the whole apartment. Yeah, sure...that's fair. Wait, no, it's not.
...and on a quick side note, I'd like to point out an incident that occurred recently. I went into the living room to watch a dvd, but as I sat down preparing everything, Fallon came down the hall and flatly said, "Mikey, off the tv now." I told her I was there first, but how she responded was that it was her tv and her Playstation 2. Since when did ownership matter? What happened to us all being in it together?!
Sometimes I wondered exactly how much they cared for me, as far as how I was doing as a person. Back around December, I think, I developed a really, really horrid flu. I woke up for the day feeling bad, went out with my dad a little bit, and eventually it hit me hard and I had to go back. I immediately was bed-ridden, and found all strength left me. I felt like I had to throw up, but I couldn't. I was cold, clammy. I could barely even manage to stand up. I was tired beyond tired, yet I lied there still awake. For many, many hours I lied there, wanting to sleep, but unable to. Daylight turned into black night without me noticing. Then...there was a knock at my door. It was Fallon. "Mikey, the sink's plugged up with that black thing. Get it out." I would like to point this out, though: they knew I was sick. Really sick. But help offered? Maybe an offer to go out and grab something to help? No, no, none of that at all. Who would dare think such an absurd thought! You're fine, I'm sure. Now get up and clean the dishes that you didn't dirty up!
See what I mean about not being taken seriously? Not being acknowledged as a person whose opinions matter? Now, with the incident I just mentioned, I actually did get up and tried to unclog it, but I felt too weak to continue and just went back to my room to lie motionless for a few more hours. Food didn't sound all that great to me, and the water I had made me throw up. Wheee.... Also, I would like to point out that that system of doing dishes ("rotation" of the three of us) has since been abolished, because I next-to-never use the dishes, and when I do, I just clean up right afterwards. If everybody did that, it would be fair for everyone. I'm glad that's been accepted now.
Also, I would like to stress very strongly that these instances are not representative of my roommates' typical behavior. They normally are pretty understanding people and are pretty cool to hang around with. And, from the time when I first moved into here till now, there has been a lot of progress made. I'm treated more like a member of this "family", if you could call us that. I'm included. I guess that's the word I was looking for. I'm invited to do things, I'm asked to be in conversations, I'm even offered food they're willing to share. The food and invitations aren't all that big a deal to me when compared to the invitation just to join them for whatever. Maybe sitting in the living room talking. Or gathering around Fallon's computer to look at something. Or maybe even have my creative input considered seriously for a collective project of sorts online. Just being accepted and included is something that I was looking for when I moved out of my parents' place originally; it is only recently that this has actually become a reality. I suppose they're realizing the full definition of "roommate" too.
That's not to say the whole time I was there being something of an outsider in the apartment was all their fault. For the first few months after I moved in, I found myself staying in my room a lot. I found that I wanted to be left alone a lot. Then whenever I was out of my room, I might do something wrong, at least in their eyes, and be scolded for it. What happened to simple understanding and forgiveness? Also I didn't like the belittlement I sometimes faced when both of them were together. They like to have fun by making fun of people, and, being "Mikey", I got to be the prime, sole target of this. So I stood in my room by myself, doing whatever on my computer, maybe reading, just...occupying my time in my room...by myself. I remember sometimes an entire day would pass without me leaving my room once. I just felt like such an outsider there. In this little clique of two, I was the one that didn't fit in anywhere. If they talked to me, it sometimes felt like I was just somebody who was staying there and they were the hosts. I didn't feel right. It wasn't my home. It wasn't "home". ...I...still sometimes feel that way, but I won't go into that.
I remember the day this began to change, though. It had been months since I had moved in. Months. And those months were filled with me doing what I could to let them know my appreciation of them as my friends and friendly affection towards them, but these were never reciprocated. Ever. I'm serious, ever. Usually it was just a "thanks Mikey", or something to that effect. By now I was miserable. What started slow now was getting into full swing, and I was miserable there. Even they were able to tell it too, though not much of an effort was put forth to address it, much less do anything about it. I remember Shira had first come over only a few days before, and stayed the night over. When she and Fallon went back to class and Ryan went off to work, I remember being there home alone with the couch-bed unfurled in the living room with the blankets disoganized in a disarray of quilted designs and patterns. I sat on the edge of the bed then layed down on it to see how comfortable it was. I thought a lot then. I thought a whole, whole lot. I thought mostly about how I felt while living there. I thought about never really receiving anything unrequested or unprovoked...and by that, I mean a simple "hey Mikey, want to go do something" or a "Mikey, hey, check this [website, whatever] out". I was thinking about my uninclusion with them, I suppose you could say.
You might say "why didn't you just ask them", but that's the point. I remember in middle school receiving a daily journal question asking "if you could receive a compliment from somebody every day, but they had to be paid to do so, would you do it?" My answer was no. Compliments are meant to be given sincerely and honestly. If not, then they are worthless. That was the case with there. If I were to ask to be included more, it wouldn't really be worth anything. It would be like the stereotypical "annoying little brother" asking if he could go along too ("could I please? huh? huh? could I? could I?"). Just because I was then "included more" wouldn't mean anything. It would just mean I would be there more while they did whatever. If it wasn't sincere, it wouldn't mean anything.
In other words, they didn't showed they cared.
This feeling just ate me up inside. I lied there on that bed and found myself actually starting to be brought to tears. For months I had been there. Months. Everything in my life had been turned upside-down, and while it was calmer then, it wasn't normal. And through that, I lived someplace where I was never shown I was appreciated. I was never shown they cared anything for me. I was never shown...anything affectionate at all. I was just staying in that room at the end of the hallway...a stranger amidst the couple that lived in the apartment. While Bo and Mo lied by my head, I lied there and found myself sobbing to myself in the silent apartment. Then I let out a silent prayer. "God, please have them let me know they care about me...."
I'm surprised that people underestimate the power of prayer.
A few days later I was sleeping. Like usual, right. I remember being somewhat awake and looking at the clock, seeing it was after 3. I wondered to myself exactly where Ryan might be, seeing that he wasn't back from work yet. Fallon was out at college, so I was alone at the apartment. I didn't have to work that day, so I closed my eyes and drifted back to sleep. I didn't have anything else to do...nor did I care much. Sleep just sounded all right to me....
A rustling around of heavy plastic, wires, and boxes startled me from my sleep. I opened my eyelids halfway and saw Ryan perched at the head of my mattress. My Dreamcast (video game system) was hooked up to my tv amidst a myriad of tv and game wires and miscellaneous clatter on my floor.
"Psst," I whispered.
He whirled around, somewhat startled, and looked at me. "Whatcha doing?" I mumbled.
"Well," Ryan started, "Tandie (Fallon's friend) burned us a couple Dreamcast games. I was just going to try them out."
This shocked me. Ryan had actually gotten me some games. I never asked him for them. I never requested he do anything for me, he just...showed up at my bedside with games. Games for me. No, no, Fallon wasn't included with these games. These were fighting games. One-on-one fighting, all three of them. Extremely anti-Fallon. These were for us. He got them for me.
We spent the rest of the day (what was left of it) playing against each other in Guilty Gear X, admiring the detailed artwork, the unique gameplay and moves/technique system, as well as character details. We went head-to-head in more ways than one in Capcom vs. S.N.K. 2, with me choosing most Capcom characters and him choosing most S.N.K. characters. And for Super Puzzle Fighter 2-X...heh, he just left that to me. Fallon eventually came back later and the day went normally, but later on, as most things do, the full meaning and impact of what happened finally came to me, and my heart nearly broke with gladness seeing that they did care for me. They actually did care about me....
Since then, things have gotten easier. It wasn't an immediate change from then, but it was a start. It was something. And it felt great.
It shocked me a little time later when I received the normal note on my computer/door/whatever listing the expenses for the month and what I needed to give Fallon, money-wise. Expenses, expenses, bills, rent, electricity, water, telephone/internet, cleaning supplies (no food on there...I can't afford food like they do. I live off ramen and sometimes a chicken sandwich I brought back from Wendy's. I made up my mind to not mooch off their food if I didn't make any contribution into purchasing any of it. ...besides, it seems the food I do buy for myself, if left out, gets consumed in a surprisingly very, very short amount of time...and no, I did no consumption of it, but I'm digressing now, aren't I), but there on the bottom of the sticky note was "Cheer up, Mikey. It makes me sad to see you so upset. If you ever need to talk, I'll be here. -Fallon" That was something very, very uncharacteristic of her towards me. This was the first time since I had been there that I had ever heard anything like that from her...or either of them, actually...directed towards me. It made me glad.
This only continued as some time later I even remember Ryan asking me flat-out as he saw me one morning (yes, morning) if there had lately been anything going on that was bothering me, because when he saw me the previous night, I looked...well, bluntly, "like crap". This was because of two nights of no sleep and a crazy day at work, but that can be saved for another time. But just the fact they were wondering what was going on with me helped me inside. All that time slowly sinking into depression while there, and now they were finally actually...well, being active and actually sympathetic towards me about it. It...made my heart glad.
And now we almost could be considered having grown somewhat closer together...and all it did was start with that simple prayer.
Well, that tangent was longer than I imagined it to be. I don't even quite remember what I was originally talking about...well, specifically. Um, I suppose I'll just say that we went out and had lunch together, we took Magen back to her place, we (sort of) collectively decided to name the kitten "Edward" ("Edward likes piyokos!" ...that Ed, for you who know about that show ;) ), we watched a little tv, I borrowed Ryan's belt since I couldn't find my own, went to Inman's for a game of Dance Dance Revolution, went to work, finally closed, came back with a spicy chicken (whoo...), then went online. Today I didn't go to the fair. Saying that today means the same thing as "I didn't go to the fair this year". I suppose I'll do what everybody is saying to do instead, and go to the Lake County (next county over) Fair instead. "They have all the same things, don't they?" ...no...and it's the principe! ...or I'm just being lacsidaisical and spoony about it. Hm. :\
While online, a few interesting things have occurred. A mutual friend has come back after a long absence (what's up, Reed! :) ). Ian is doing okay once more...well, past the initial damage. And a fellow by the name of "Zombie" has been asking me questions about God...in a pretty slow manner, actually
A~nd I think that might be it. That basically sums up teh day...and, um, a lot of other days too. Right now it's 7:01 and I feel like taking a shower. My friend Dillon (a.k.a., "Pastor Dillon") is going to be picking me up at 8:45 for church. Later on I'm going to give him a couple salads I mooched from work. I mean, the guy's always treating me, because my wallet's normally empty; I have to do something, don't I, eh? Heh heh, man, he's a really, really awesome guy. So full of life, so full of love, so into God, so in love with the Lord, a special passion in his heart for souls and their salvation...man, he's probably one of, if not the coolest person I've met. He's just so full of love, and he definitely makes you feel like he cares about you and you belong, because he does.
Well I'll finish abruptly and definitely non-standard English-ly (shh, it's a word! ...well, to me...okay?!) and without a conclusion or anything like that, I'll just say thanks for putting up with my ramblings, and my postings won't normally go this long. I just needed to give you folks some background and history on what is going on with me. This journal is about my life and the people in it, both the positive and negative of them and me. And to all mentioned in my journal...sorry if you're offended by what I put down sometimes, but I want you people to know I honestly care for you, and I don't want you to think I'm bashing you or making fun of you or anything, but rather that even you do make mistakes and bad choices and hurt people in life, and if you do and it applies to me or I think it noteworthy, I'll mention it. But I do try to keep the really, really bad ones anonymous. But anyways, the day is starting, so I'll take my leave. See you folks later, and God bless!