Disaster & Responsibility

I live in Olympia, WA. I go to school at The Evergreen State College, which for all intents and purposes is in Olympia. At the time of writing this there is eight to ten inches of snow on the ground. As a result classes and the campus as whole has been shut down since Monday, Martin Luther King Day. I did not have class all week and my scheduled class for tomorrow, Saturday, has been cancelled as well. At first the snow was rather fun. I went out into the woods here on campus, Evergreen owns a rather large piece of land, most of which is forested. Being out in the woods was nice, got to strap on my gaiters and jog around in the six or seven inches of snow that we had at that time. Watched and heard a few trees collapse from the weight of the snow.

That was three days ago. Ice began to form on the top of the snow and in the trees. As a result, last night we lost power on campus. Sitting around in the dark watching your roommates get drunk and feeling the heat bleeding out of the building is not as fun as tooling around in the woods. Beginning to realize that snow is more of an inconvenience now that I am not in grade school. Snow days were fun, got the day off from school and got to hang out with friends. Now I have things to do during the day. It is now my responsibility to keep myself alive, not my parents. A big part of staying alive is making sure you have something to eat. I hadn’t gone to the grocery store in a few days and supplies were running low. Today I decided to go into town around 3:15.

That turned out to be a mistake. I originally had it in my head that I’d go get groceries. I took a bus to a store and that place turned out to be closed. So I then got in my head that I want to go to the movies and see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo again, great movie by the way. I managed to march the half mile or so from where I was to the mall. I knew it was going to be closed the moment I saw the shuttered Best Buy and the utterly empty parking lot. But I held out hope that the theatre at least would be open. It wasn’t. After sending out the obligatory profanity filled SMS messages to the three friends of mine who have the misfortune of being the people I am inflicted upon whenever anything, good or bad, happens to me.

After the cinema turned out to be a wash, I went over the Safeway near the mall and I got some groceries. I then spent the next 30 minutes waiting for a bus to get home. The bus eventually arrived and we were stymied by an obstruction on the road back, so the driver took a detour. The entire trip turned out to be a big mistake. I could’ve waited to get groceries and I would’ve saved myself a lot of misery if I had just stayed home and kept playing Fallout 3 like I had before i left. To be honest, I was angry at everyone and everything. Listening to cKy¬†probably didn’t help calm me down. I knew my roommates had plans to drink themselves into oblivion again, which means the apartment was going to fill with liquor bottles and beer cans, just like last night and the night before that. The recycling bins were full and I dumped them all out in the bins, leaving the apartment door unbolted so I could just kick the damn thing open when I came back.

After that was done, I realized that there was weeks worth of dishes strewn about the kitchen sink. I have noticed that every year I have been here at Evergreen, it seems everyone I live with is incapable of cleaning after themselves. Usually they always have meal plans and thus don’t generate as many dishes as they would if they didn’t. I am guilty of this too, I don’t always clean up after cooking something, in fact a good quarter of the dishes were from me. My issue is that rather than cleaning them, people seem to think that by putting them in the sink and filling them with water that they will clean themselves somehow. I used to always try to keep one sink clear, the apartments here have two sinks in the kitchen with one tap between them. I have the unfortunate desire to keep whenever I happen to dwell relatively clean, based on my own standards. I am sure my mother would find my standards abysmally low. But relative to what I see from my peers, it is unrealistically high.

I so spent the better part of the next 30 minutes cleaning other peoples’ messes. Unfortunately for me, some cretin had got their hands on my scrub brush for dishes and doesn’t know how to clean a knife with it properly. They succeeded and carving a swath out of the bristles, which greatly reduces the brushes usefulness. If this wasn’t the second brush that this has happened to it wouldn’t bother me as much. Again, my choice in what my iPod was injecting into my ears was not the best for calming down. This time it was Lamb of God. I still cannot fathom why people are willing to just wait until someone else cleans up after them. I am just venting now, but it does bother me that some people seem to be heavily reliant on others to clean up after them. I am sure my roommates, past and current, would not be particularly pleased about this assessment of them. But one, as a whole they are generally good people and rather pleasant to be around. And two, I’m sorry if I upset you somehow, but I still feel like I do quite a bit more cleaning than you. And yes, I am aware that I do not ask for help, so this is all just whining.

In the end, I decided on the bus home that I’d write something about my day tonight. I didn’t realize I would have the rambling anecdote about the dishes, but I found this a bit cathartic. I doubt much will change in the future, but that doesn’t matter. As a whole my experiences with roommates have been positive, slovenly behavior aside.

I am starting to realize that I am going to have increasing levels of responsibility as I transition to the next part of my life. I have had almost five years, starting in June of 2008 until now, of slowly increasing responsibility. I haven’t had a job, I just have school for most of the year and then in the summers I either spent time with friends or I am assigned work by my parents. Last summer I had an internship for a month, but beyond that I didn’t have much to do other than milling about the house and doing whatever tasks were given to me. In a few weeks I will have graduated from college. I will then have to grow up I guess. I will have to start taking care of myself. I am sure in a year I will wish that I was back here, living on campus, only having to go to class, do homework, and keep myself fed. The period of my life where I have more hours in the day to do as I please than hours where I have something to do is closing. The snow is a good example of that transition. If this was 2008 or 2009, I would just find the snow to be exciting and fun. Now it is still that, but I also see it as an inconvenience. Something that interrupts the flow of my day. It feels like it is the twilight of my adolescence.

People tell me to delay growing up, yet I get the feeling they can’t wait for me to do so. I don’t know how to feel. I still don’t know what I am going to do with myself. This site exists to help me figure out, if nothing else I will keep writing and I might be able to sell this skill. ¬†For now, I will try to keep writing here, get my school work done, play Xbox 360 when I can, and figure out what I am going to be when I grow up. I think I will brave the cold and see if I can buy some chips. If that doesn’t pan out, I can always brew more yerba mate.

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