Once upon a time I finished a lease for one of my favorite friends who left to join the Peace Corps. One of the new roommates was a friend from school, and the other one was inherited. Make that two, and only two if we don’t also count the two gigantic cats with scarily human eyes (named Itty Bitty and Kitty Witty — I’m not even making this up or creating ridiculous pseudonyms for them!). Itty Bitty and Kitty Witty’s owner was Dawn. Let’s call her Dumpster Dawn. Dumpster Dawn’s boyfriend also lived with us, only he didn’t pay rent, which they rationalized because they were getting ready to move out of the house and into a stepvan, or maybe Dumpster Dawn’s Dad’s Volvo, which they were going to modify to run off of used fryer oil.
They also bought very little food (you know, saving up), but they had no qualms about eating food others had purchased. They would get high and eat mine. They would have giant sell-everything garage sales in the front yard each weekend, bringing their goods back into the living room to store for the rest of the week. There was cat hair everywhere. And not just cat hair — there was just hair everywhere, mostly the clippings from Dumpster Dawn’s oft-shaved head.
They were talking once about how much they’d saved for their stepvan adventure. Despite all of the cost-cutting, it didn’t seem like a whole lot, and they seemed to be leaving something major out of the budget… I asked how they were going to afford to eat. It had been considered — they would dumpster dive. “You would be surprised at how much good food people throw away,” she said. I’m sure I would be.
Anyway, while I’m glad it was a short lease with them, I hope they’re doing well. Both were extremely creative people — people who not only had great ideas, but had the physical manifestations to prove it. I admire their desire to go off the grid, protesting money, basically. It’s a nice idea in theory, but I don’t think I could rely on other people’s kindness (or their trash or their french fry oil) to live comfortably. It’s true: people do throw away good food. They also throw away bad food, and sorting through it is (I would imagine) quite a job in itself.