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Ex-roommates

18 Apr 2014

“You’re going to discover that conversations are best at 4 am. The heavier the eyelids, the sincerer the words. Those are the talks you’ll remember. It’s ok not to know the answer and silence is not awkward. It’s shared, so share it more often than not.” —Jeff Stuckel

On the second day of October in the year of twenty-fourteen, I woke up and saw a ray of sunshine peeping through my window curtains. It was 7am. I thought about you and wondered whether the stars and the moon over there would be just as pretty as the ones that I saw last night. Thinking about you made me smile. I hope you too will smile at 7am but I know you won’t—your mouth will be too busy making grumbling noises and your hands will blindly search for the snooze button on your tiny square alarm clock—I pray that you won’t hit the off button instead. You overslept through your 9am class way too many times.

The kitchen beckoned me to come fill the house with the scent of coffee. I routinely followed what felt natural: opened the bottle of coffee bean grind, put it in the coffee filter, poured water, and switched on the little nob. Then my hands reached for the whole grain toasts in my fridge—I took two out and popped them in the toaster. I glanced at the clock on my wall, 7:10am; you’re probably having dinner with friends on the other side of the globe. My breakfast time, your dinner time—the world is too funny of a place sometimes. I giggled at the memory of having to slap your butt to get you off bed and feed you breakfast. A funny yet familiar smell nudged my nose. My toast turned black. With a sigh, I scratched out the burnt part then gobbled it down with my black coffee.

I realized I was running late because I was daydreaming too much. Your slow morning pace has rubbed off on me. “What’s the point of rushing?” you’d remind me, “You just end up forgetting everything because you forget to relax. Just take it slow.” I brushed my teeth, washed my face, dried it with a towel, took ten minutes to be indecisive about my outfit, stuffed my backpack with whatever belonged there, and headed out the door with keys in one hand my phone in the other. I put on my earphones and tapped on the little icon with video camera next to your name on my contact list. Thank God for technology.

I held my phone tight as I listened to the dialing sound. The words “pick up” echoed through my head as you picked up the call on the tenth dialing sound. Yikes, I counted. I wonder what kind of impatient freak that makes me.“Hello, hello!” I greeted you as I waited at the side walk for the light to turn green. I stretched my left arm so you could see the view and my face at the same time.“Hey you, heading to school? Dude, I just had the worst Chinese food down town. I miss Taiwan so much. Send me them danbings please!” you complained with the frown that I am so familiar with yet can only now see on my tiny phone screen.

“I feel very happy this morning.” I said after asking you how your Americanized Chinese food was and how your day was. “I feel fabulous just because.” I shouted, forgetting the fact that I was on a crowed morning bus. Some eyes turned toward me but most were glued to their own phones and books. “You always feel great in the morning,” you retorted. “You’re such a morning person. I hate you.” you complained.

“What is this nonsense, you love me so.” I winked. Then we said our good nights and good mornings and settled the fact that night owls and early birds attract each other.


Evenings make me exhausted. The evening sky is beautiful and the glistening city lights replace the stars but all these beauty is overwhelming and I am so ready to sleep by 10pm.Evenings also make me overly reflective and overly emotional. I miss how your brain just suddenly wakes up at 10:30pm and starts asking me the deepest and most mindboggling questions I could never answer with my caffeine-free night mode. I miss giving you a hug before I drift off to the world of dreams. I miss giggling about the stupid tiny things, like you accidentally growing a ketchup mustache.

This long distance thing works well. I am a morning person and you’re a night person. We seem to be in the right time zones. You will never see me sleepy and incoherent at night and I will never see you grouchy and fuzzy in the morning. I will never tell you all the bad stuff from last night because I want to share with you what my new day has in store for me. You will always tell me about the wonderful things that have happened during the day.

This long distance thing is killing me. I never get to tickle you awake and see your drool filled mouth and your thunderstruck hair. You never get to hear my incoherent confessions during our heavy eyelids talk sessions. We will never share that mutual silence that we know that can never be awkward. The beautiful silence that acknowledges the fact that we feel safe by just knowing that I know you are there and you know I am here. I miss that peaceful silence that hums us to sleep.

It tickles my mind that soon you’ll be living the same date as I just had. It’s 11pm. As the moon shines through my window curtains, I ask myself questions that you would have asked me if you were here. Isn’t it weird to think about the fact that someone who shared a day in the same space every day for three years is now having completely different days on the other side of the world? That was a really lame question. I’m still working on coming up with open ended crazy questions. I’m just so sleepy, dearest night owl. Goodnight, and see you later tonight.