Man, how often do I use Arrested Development as my starting image?

I worry sometimes that my roommates think I’m depressed - which would be fine if I actually was depressed, but unfortunately I’m pretty happy and enjoying my life a lot. The thing is, my version of happy and enjoying life makes me look a lot like I’m depressed.

My roommates are a couple of friendly, good natured guys who play sports, go to the gym, work out, dance at nightclubs, and wear men’s fragrances. They are men in the truest sense, in that they do things that Truman Capps does not do. Do you know how much milk they drink? I can practically hear their bones mocking my bones.

I, on the other hand, like watching movies, surfing the Internet, writing, reading, and occasionally having a leisurely drink in a quiet, sparsely populated place with ample seating. The thing is, I can do most of my favorite things from the comfort of my room, and I frequently do. At this time, please feel free to make a joke about me masturbating.*

*By my own estimate, between half a dozen and a dozen of my friends’ parents read this blog, all of whom can expect handwritten letters of apology for that last line.

My door, also, tends to stay closed – my back is to the door when I sit at my desk and I startle very easily, so this is really more of a strategic concern to stave off my first heart attack until at least my early 30s. Also, I have the unconscious habit of mumbling everything I write out loud to myself as I write it – in fact, I’m saying the words I’m typing right now. Boondoggle. Monkeybutt.

So were a roommate to poke his head into my room, he’d see me hunched over my computer mumbling dick jokes to myself until he made his presence known, at which point I’d probably jump so hard I’d hit the ceiling. Closing the door is a much better option than having them think I’m a psycho.

The thing is, this doesn’t exactly look healthy to them. On one of my days off last week, a roommate and I had this conversation as I was walking out of the kitchen with a bowl of rice, headed for my room:

Roommate: So what’ve you got going today?
Me: Oh, y’know. Still just plowing away at that script.
Roommate: Cool. You going to do anything today?
Me: Besides work on the script? No. I mean, I might go to the bathroom later. Still thinking it over, though.
Roommate: Oh… Well, I’m off to work. Have… Fun, I guess.

Now, I feel great about how much work I’m getting done. However, I get the sneaking suspicion that my roommates think I’m spending the whole day lying in bed crying, because from the outside, writing and suicidal depression don’t look that different (and in some cases, they aren’t).

To try and counter this, I make an effort to bro out with my roommates every so often. We’ve gone to some bars and watched some movies, and it’s by no means an unpleasant experience – my roommates are genuinely good people, who I like. The main problem is that there’s some touching going on that I don’t really like.

It’s not the after school special kind of touching where somebody’s stepdad gets arrested, mind you – it’s the kind of touching where every five seconds somebody is slapping somebody else on the chest or the back or throwing an arm around somebody or grabbing a shoulder…

I wouldn’t say that I don’t like to be touched. I’d clarify it as saying I don’t like to be touched by men. And this couldn’t be further from homophobia – it’s not that I don’t like men touching me because I think they’re coming on to me; it’s because I feel like they’re trying so hard to assert their masculinity that they’ve resorted to recreational violence.

”That was a funny joke!”
“I like drinking too!”
“A nude scene in the movie we’re watching!”

As mentioned above, I’m already pretty jumpy, so randomly slapping me or grabbing me is not doing anything to improve my quality of life. For those of my friends who may want to touch me in the near future but are now confused as to how I’ll feel about it, I took the liberty of preparing the following flowchart to help you decide whether you should touch me or not:

The question, now, is how to bring this up with them in a non-awkward way – they don’t know I have a blog, so the passive aggressive option is right out. Again, I like these guys. It’s hard to sit down with people you like and tell them, apropos of nothing, “Please stop touching me.” Hell, that’s an awkward conversation to have with people you don’t like.

It also doesn’t look good in light of the fact that I spend so much time holed up in my room. I can just imagine how they’d explain it to their friends later:

”Yeah, I don’t know what’s up with that Truman guy… He’s always in his room, and apparently he doesn’t like for people to touch him. All I’m saying is, if I smell anything nasty, I’m going in there to look for a dead body.”

And this would be devastating for me, because I’ve worked really hard to cultivate a certain non-serial killer image.

In the long run, I guess I’m pretty lucky – if my biggest complaint about my roommates is that they touch me in a non molesty way, I’m probably doing better than a lot of people.

Also, it’s probably only fair for me to put up with this one annoyance, given what sorts of things I’m doing that must be pissing my roommates off. Last week I had a nightmare where I was being chased and was screaming at the top of my lungs, and I woke up in the morning with a sore throat. I might’ve just been sick, but on the off-chance that I was actually sleep-screaming I probably owe my roommates a little patience.

Truman Capps hasn’t seen any mice yet – lucky for them.