The Worst Punk House in West Virginia

Cody

This TV thing with Camilla is just the last straw. This would be such a great house if she wasn’t here. We put on some awesome shows, and it’s mostly chill. But she’s selfish, and she gets away with it because she’s kind of cute. Small, and blonde (when she’s not putting different colors in her hair), and she plays it to the hilt. Check this; she can stand in front of Oglebay Hall in her punk boots wearing a Converge T-shirt and look all helpless and a FRAT BOY will actually LIGHT HER CIGARETTE for her. One of those Neanderthals who parade six abreast around the WVU campus after football games in matching jackets pounding their chests, screaming, and punching street signs, and normally they’d as soon smack a punk into the bushes, even a girl punk, as look at them. But all Cam has to do is drop a book and one of these assholes will pick it up, walk her to class, and hold the fucking door open.

So we had this show last night, pretty normal except the turnout wasn’t great. It was raining and it’s getting close to finals. So without asking the rest of us, Cam tells this one band they can sleep on our floor. Now we have traveling bands stay over all the time, it’s just hospitality, but these clowns are from fucking BRIDGEPORT right up the road. They just didn’t want to drive in the rain. So fine, they crashed on our floor. I stepped over them this morning to get to this stupid biology class, because that fascist Professor Ransom says I can’t skip or be late one more time or I’ll flunk. I’m still litigating that history incomplete from last semester and I don’t need more trouble. Anyway, when I got home later I felt like something in the front room wasn’t right, but I didn’t really pay attention.

Later I come downstairs and it hits me: The fucking TV is gone. We have this cheap flatscreen, looks like it came from Kmart. Ryan found it in the trash up the street back in September. It had a broken cord, but we’re all pretty good at repairing stuff if I do say so myself. Jorge even built a PA system out of spare parts. So we fixed it up, and we’ve been pirating cable from next door. After the novelty wore off and fall semester got heavy people weren’t watching it much, but I like to tune in and chill out sometimes, you know? Everybody has their special thing.

It turns out Cam just GAVE that TV to those hillbillies from Bridgeport. Josh across the street said he watched them put it in their shitty van with Cam waving goodbye in the driveway.

I’ve had it with this prima donna bitch and everybody who sticks up for her. I mean, okay, she isn’t a bad housemate in some ways. She always makes sure the bands get fed (I bet those Bridgeport hicks got a nice tofu scramble before they left). She’s usually chill about doing stuff in the house. Say there’s dishes in the sink. Ryan has to do them IMMEDIATELY and then sterilize the sink because he’s a germophobe and God help you if you touch “his” bar of soap or leave the toothpaste tube on the back of the toilet. Rebecca is a slob who will just let things pile up until the food scraps turn to concrete and ants are swarming in the sink. Jorge’s never here because he has like seven jobs and a girlfriend but he’ll leave an IOU if it’s his turn and then clean the whole kitchen when he gets home. Cam is the only one who just does stuff and shuts up. Like she’ll wash the dishes or at least rinse them off.

But she hogs the bathroom and tells us to “shush” when she’s studying instead of just wearing headphones like a normal person, and I can tell a lot of the bands think SHE’s the driving force here, booking shows, when it’s really all of us contributing. Okay, so she’s usually the one who sweet-talks the neighbors into not calling the police (including that time I shoved that dude who got in my face). But she uses her sugar for more nefarious purposes, let me tell you. She gets away with murder.

Speaking of, I’m so boiling mad about this I’m actually fantasizing about killing her and throwing her body in a dumpster behind the Clarksburg Hardee’s. Nobody would suspect us because we’re all vegan or at least vegetarian. I say “us” because I want to believe, deep down, that everybody else is as sick of her act as I am. I gotta go walk this off before the others get back. There’s gonna be hell to pay.

Rebecca

I don’t need this shit right now. It’s the end of the semester so the library is a fucking circus, and even though I’m only taking two classes I’ve got to study and finish this one paper. We had our final show of the year last night and I just want to settle down and work, and here’s fucking Cody screaming about his stupid TV until his face is purple and I just can’t.

Technically it’s everybody’s TV, or maybe Ryan’s since he found it, but Cody’s the only one who sits in front of it watching Game of Thrones all the time. And he says Camilla just gave it away, which I don’t believe. Now, Cam and I get along, but I know how she can be. I almost wet myself last weekend while she was in the bathroom dyeing her hair lavender. I mean, she doesn’t have to be in the bathroom while it processes, right? But she was using the time to “exfoliate” too, so by the time she gets out I’m ready to go pee in the yard.

But she’s a good person, and if she gave the TV to the Port Rats there had to be a reason. And besides, I’ve had it with Cody, and I think his obsession with her is unhealthy. Just last night, before the show, he was accusing her of always showing off to the bands and seeking all the glory (PROJECTION MUCH?). And he’s getting ruder and more uncooperative with all of us. I’d really rather he didn’t come back next year. He fits every description I’ve ever read of sociopaths, psychopaths, and narcissists. It’s a wonder they haven’t found one of our bodies in a Clarksburg dumpster.

It’s hard enough dealing with depression without this asshat always telling you “Happiness is a choice” and “You’re depressed because you’re a pig. Clean up and you’ll cheer up.” He went off on me last week and insisted I had ALL of our coffee mugs in my room, dirty. Okay, I had one in there, maybe two, but did it ever occur to him to look in the fucking cupboard instead of whining like a three-year-old that his favorite cup wasn’t on the counter? Nope, he just yelled like a madman and punched the door.

I think it’s significant that Cody is the only one here who doesn’t work or have loans, and he doesn’t understand the pressure we’re all under. Jorge and I are only part-time this semester. Jorge works more hours and is taking one more class than I do. Of course, he’s the first to admit that his library job is significantly cushier than mine. He works the reserve desk, so all he does is hand people stuff, make microwave popcorn in the back office, and occasionally unjam the photocopier. I’m a shelver, so I’m dragging big carts of books around all day. It’s good exercise but hard work. And then yesterday Cathcart has to pull one of his surprise inspections in my section, when I’m re-doing it for the SECOND TIME because some shithead decided to “own” the female professor teaching Pre-English for Illiterate Johnny Jockos 101 by removing all the books by women authors and scattering them around. And then Cathcart went nuts because (a) I missed a Virginia Woolf the asshole had hidden inside the botanical display and (b) he’s a paramilitary goon (I may do my senior psych project on him if I don’t do Cody). I don’t want to get busted back down to the basement dungeon working right under Cathcart’s nose, so I agreed to work this weekend even though I need to study. I signed up for four classes in the fall and if I can’t even pass these two I don’t know how I’ll manage. Anyway, fuck Cody, fuck Cathcart, and fuck the patriarchy. I just want to sleep.

Jorge

I’m on break at the bar but only for five minutes, so no time to proof  this poli sci paper I have to hand in. Jake says the crowd may thin out later because some people are actually studying instead of going out, so maybe I’ll do it then. Or go over to Maryam’s after we close. There’s some kind of drama going on at the house. Cody and Ryan have been texting me all day, blowing up my phone, so I finally turned it off.  Cody’s ranting about Camilla again, and something about “his” TV. Rebecca says he’s been “decompensating” lately. If that means being an entitled asshole while also developing a kind of creepy serial killer vibe, she’s right.

We need to decide soon about next year and whose names are going to be on the lease and if we’ll stay together, so I’m feeling edgy. We’ve had ups and downs, but this is a really great group. We’ve put on the best punk shows south of Pittsburgh and had a lot of fun. Like that show back in October. We had Atomic Peasant from Ravenswood open for fucking Lee Bains III & the fucking Glory Fires; it felt like half of Morgantown was there, and we had a bonfire afterwards. You live for nights like that. And we pulled it off, man. We created some shit.

 

I give a lot of credit to Ryan. He’s sort of the dad for this bunch. He’s thinking about transferring to Fairmont State because his brother is going there. If he leaves, I’m not sure the center will hold.

I think we’ve worked well because we’re all so different. It’s not just that I wouldn’t want to live with a house full of Codys, but even all Rebecca or all Ryan or all Cam wouldn’t be right either. Somehow we all have complementary talents and abilities. It’s a shame somebody has to fuck it up. I guess I’ll find out later just who.

Ryan

I can’t believe I just yelled “I’m pre-med, but not pediatrics, you obnoxious man-baby” at one of my roommates, but here we are. Cody’s working my nerves.

Cam and I sat up for a while with Kyle and the other guys from the Port Rats last night. We felt bad because not many people showed up, and the donations were off because everybody’s broke by now. Kyle was playing around with the TV and I just said, “You want it?” It’s pretty fritzy because of the pirated cable, and those neighbors are moving out at the end of the semester so that’s probably the end of it anyway.

But Cody’s got it in his head that it’s all Cam’s fault. Rebecca’s been warning me that he’s headed for a psychotic break over Cam. I don’t think it’s anything that complex, but considering his other behavior lately this crap is a bridge too far.

Okay, I probably should have texted the others that we gave the TV away. But Rebecca is always losing or forgetting her phone, and Jorge shuts his off sometimes when he’s working, and Cody would have gotten mad anyway. I did put a note in the kitchen, the old-fashioned way, but Rebecca didn’t notice and dumped some books on top of it so nobody saw. In retrospect I should have put it on the fridge with the show fliers, but again, Cody would still lose his shit because he’s Cody.

I feel like it’s my responsibility to stay here and keep this thing going. I was talking to people last night about how this might be our last show ever, and everybody was like “But what will we do? Who will take your place?” And on the one hand, screw it; people want shows that bad then they can organize them. On the other, it’s nice to be needed, and we have developed a lot of skills and contacts and have gotten some pretty big names in here to play. That’s hard to walk away from. It’s like I have two families, and I have to decide which one to be with.

More immediately, I think Cody needs to either sit down and take a really hard look at himself or just go live behind a dumpster in Clarksburg and save people the trouble of dealing with him. He’s scaring the women, not to mention annoying the fuck out of them. Cam brushes it off more than Rebecca. She may look like one of those Junior League types who belong on a homecoming float, but she’s tough and smart, and so is Rebecca.

Camilla

A lot of stuff has come to a head the past 48 hours.  Cody stomped out after Ryan yelled at him and was gone all night. This morning, he sort of apologized to me. That seemed like a big thing from him, so I was trying to be cool with it, but then he whined about that frickin’ TV ALL DAY and where was he going to watch GoT on Sunday. I told him he could go to a fucking bar or to the student union for one of those viewing parties the incels from Ye Medieval Enactors Society have, and he got mad again and said he wasn’t coming back here for fall. I think he forgot that Rebecca and Ryan were in the kitchen, and Jorge was just coming in, and they all started applauding.

Ryan is still on the fence about whether he’s coming back. We’d miss him a lot. On the other hand, it might be nice to have an all- or mainly female house. Jorge’s not around much, but his girlfriend is super nice and she might want to live here. We could try to get some female-identified bands like War on Women to play.

I try to be nice and get along with people. It works most of the time. But some people are just impossible.

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