Johnny America


Ad­ven­tures with My Room­mate: My­Space Man, Part I


One night, af­ter spend­ing hours up­on hours in a friend’s dorm room, I waltzed in­to my room at rough­ly eleven p.m., a time that nor­mal­ly finds my room­mate tucked snug­ly in­to bed, and in­stead found her awake and alert, talk­ing on her cell phone in re­mark­ably chip­per tones.


“Oh, no —no, aww, naw, I’m not cute, no,”

“Aww, you’re so sweet, but you’re the on­ly one who thinks I’m purty.”

And, af­ter a belch (my room­mate burps con­stant­ly, and nev­er ex­cus­es her­self): “Oh, good­ness. You think every­thing I do is cute.”

My eyes rolled; my eye­brows reached my hairline.

There is a par­tic­u­lar voice that (some) girls use when they talk to males that they find at­trac­tive on the phone. I re­fer to it as the Cute-for-Boy Voice. My dear room­mate was em­ploy­ing just that voice.

“I just think it’s so won­der­ful that we’re get­ting along so well,” she cooed, squeez­ing a pil­low be­tween her (siz­able) stom­ach and right fore­arm. “It’s like we’ve known each oth­er forever.”

When she fi­nal­ly hung up — sigh­ing rap­tur­ous­ly — I had changed in­to my pa­ja­mas and was sit­ting in my desk chair, think­ing about the best way to as­suage my curiosity.

I de­cid­ed to take the oh-my-god-let’s-be-girls route.

“Who was that?” I asked, my tone as sug­ges­tive as I could make it, my eyes glow­ing with Interest.

She wom­an­ly-smiled. “Oh, just a boy,”

“A boy?”

“Mmhm. I met him on MySpace.”

In a tone that cer­tain­ly sound­ed less shocked than I was (my room­mate has al­ways seemed de­cid­ed­ly sus­pi­cious of re­la­tion­ships that do not be­gin in church par­lors): “My­Space?”

“Yeah,” she re­spond­ed, click­ing her Hawai­ian-pat­terned cell phone in­to its charg­er. “He’s won­der­ful.” Her tone was dreamy; her eyes were glazed.

“That’s great,” I gushed. “What’s he like?”

“Well,” she said, warm­ing to the idea of telling me — telling any­one, re­al­ly — about her new boy, “He’s just so won­der­ful to talk to. You’re go­ing to think he’s too old, but — he’s twenty-one.”

“Too old?”

“Oh, wait — it’s you. You don’t mind.”

She seemed to had re­mem­bered that this was her Cor­rupt and God­less Room­mate that she was talk­ing to. I de­cid­ed, for the sake of re­search, to let that re­mark slide. I in­stead con­tin­ued my in­ves­ti­ga­tion: “Where’s he from?

“A town near me — about forty-five min­utes away.”

“Ah,” I said, nodding.

“He’s got a lit­tle boy,” she con­tin­ued, busy­ing her­self with typ­ing up a clever night­time away mes­sage — “time 4 sleep, good nite, sweet dreamz, leave some luv” — and avoid­ing my eyes.

“A lit­tle boy?”

“Mmhm. A lit­tle car­rot top.”

“And the mother?”

“Oh, well… it was an accident.”

I bet the kid ap­pre­ci­ates that ter­mi­nol­o­gy. “Well, yes, but — ”

“My moth­er’s both­ered by that.”

Nat­u­ral­ly. Her moth­er is a deeply re­li­gious — and, more im­por­tant­ly, deeply pro­tec­tive — woman. My room­mate’s fam­i­ly is noth­ing if not rigid­ly moral.

For my part, I was more both­ered by I‑met-him-on-My­Space than I was by he-has-a-lit­tle-boy. Af­ter all, il­le­git­i­mate chil­dren are noth­ing in the face of shady in­ter­net interactions.

Less than two weeks lat­er, they had reached the I Love You phase of their re­la­tion­ship. At this point they were talk­ing night­ly, for hours, and I was won­der­ing about the cell phone bills. Even­tu­al­ly she re­al­ized that cell phone min­utes are not lim­it­less, and she start­ed hav­ing him call her on the room phone.

They were mak­ing plans to meet soon: In­ter­ro­ga­tion-By-Par­ents fol­lowed by a din­ner and a movie.

Her moth­er is still disapproving.

Read Part Two

Filed under Non-Fiction on May 11th, 2006

Care to Share?

Consider posting a note of comment on this item:


Previous Post


Next Post


Join our Irregular Mailing List

For very occasional ramblings, word about new print ephemera, and of course exciting investment opportunities.