I live in a 5 bedroom house where we we all have rooms and share a common area. Encounters with housemates is rare. Today I ran into Bill in the hallway. I had not seen him for almost a month. It dawned on me that we all live these exceedingly private lives and though we share kitchens and bathrooms; we rarely have social interaction or visit. Never has someone knocked at my door and said,
Hey! You got a minute to talk about things?
Instead each person is in an orbit of their life and travels that orbit in singular determination. This creates a bit of discomfort when you first encounter a housemate and I think both persons are not expecting or requiring the resulting discussion.
We stumbled on for words and for those words not said. Kelly, the new housemate, fits in well the way we all live. She is a private person as well. She has been living in the master bedroom for about two weeks or so I think. I may have seen her twice. Others come and go in their monastic ways. Holidays and weekends come and go. Their lives are taken up with entering and leaving the house and if a chance encounter happens; the result is that nervousness and discomfort that comes from two people not really wanting to share.
Its a strange thing this happenstance encounter. I also fit in well. I come and I go. I don’t make demands. I do the things I have to do. There are some unwritten rules when you share a room in a house. Basic things. Like,
- Don’t make feeble conversation in the hallways unless you have a point to make.
- Clean up after yourself.
- Wheel out the garbage cans and take them back in.
- Don’t block a car in the driveway.
- Be sure you know the wifi key. New people will ask for one thing only and that’s it.
There are probably more things and I know them. The others in the house have different things. They know them and I don’t. And that’s okay. Because our encounters are only happenstance.