Home Pop Culture A history of the world’s worst room mates.

A history of the world’s worst room mates.



It’s a rite of passage- room mates. Some of us have been fortunate to have room mates whom they have become the best of friends, I on the other hand haven’t always had that experience. If anything I have had the interesting dilemma of having to deal with room mates that most people would have had cardiac arrests dealing with and the occasional mental breakdown. What types of room mates you wonder? The worst kind of course- from room mates that suddenly turned out to be heroin dealers, crack cocaine users and there was even Jerome whom at first I thought was a lovable kid down on his luck only to return one day from a weekend away to find his extended family (and by that I mean his 5 year old, 3 year old and newly born daughter) crying like banshees down the hallway. At first I tolerated it but after the 5th fist fight with the children’s estranged mother I knew I had to move out.

Looking for a room mate or a new place to live is an open invitation to heaven or hell. In a city like New York where anything goes one learns after a while to be both equally open and dismissive about who they run into, let alone whom they live with. For most people it is enough of a compelling reason to spend upwards of three quarters of their income just to know that when they return home it will be them and their own madness. But what about other people’s madness, other people’s foibles and eccentricities? The writer in me has always perceived it as a way of obtaining life affirming experiences from which to draw from and document but then again how many of those life affirming experiences do you really want when the kid knocking on the front door at 4 am in the morning is after Freddy your room mate- the resident heroin dealer?

If you must know one of the most mesmerizing and eerie experiences was coming home to find Jack my then room mate standing over the kitchen stove mixing a quart of baking soda, cocaine into a test tube and carefully swishing it above toxic flames. At first incredulous and later prone to indifference ( I countered that worst case scenario Jack would be frying his own brain in the comfort of his own bedroom) the horror of what was actually going in my house only intensified when I went to use the bathroom. If Jack had given me pause and discomfort then the sight of a homeless man beating off and hitting the pipe while Jack’s dealer Marcie was standing there in front of him fornicating herself was indeed the last straw. I can only remember when Jack was kindly(sort of) asked to move out him retorting that he didn’t think it was such a big deal and anyway he was prepared to share his ‘batch’ with me that night…



  1. Hey Kimberley, there are places you can go to rent-free, support places. Considering how screwed up your situation sounds, you could class it as abuse. It may take a while to get back on your feet, but it’ll be worth it for your sanity. I did something similar last year when my mentally ill housemate decided to go off his meds all of a sudden. I haven’t looked back.

  2. Hi, I just read your article. I am in a hellish room mate situation right now and I have been for over 2 years. I can’t afford to move, but I am so unhappy with my situation, I am considering moving anyway, even though it would mean my becoming homeless! This is my situation…For the first year I lived in this apartment, I had to go to bed at 7pm every night, so that when my roommate awoke me up at 3 or 4 in the morning, I got enough sleep, because she would keep me awake all night long making unnecessary noise and I know it was on purpose. Also, I had to stop using the refrigerator and get my own fridge and put it in my room, because she was eating my food. Most recently I had to fork out money for a P.O.Box because I can no longer use our mail box, cause she was screwing with my mail. The postal inspector said there was nothing they could do about it because she was authorized to handle the mail and there was no way to prove what happened to the mail once it got into the apartment. I am very upset because now it is starting to look like I can not even use the washer or dryer in our apartment! The other day I pulled some things out of the dryer, I found 2 sweaters and a shirt all ripped in the exact same spot, what a coincidence that these clothing articles were all ripped or torn in back of the collar! There are other little things she’s done, but these are the major things. I know that this is not an advice column, but do you think I should get the heck away from her even if I can’t afford to move, though it would make me homeless? Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Kim Bush

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