In fact, I’ve been incredibly lucky in my room-mate. He’s been unfailingly kind and accommodating, since my first day, when he made a point of welcoming me and showing me around. He seemed such a sweet boy, so gentle and so at odds with traditional masculine tropes that I wondered, at first, if he might be gay. This turned out to be far, far from the truth, as we will see.
He has also been astonishingly tolerant of my snoring. This morning he told me, in forgiving tones, that he’d got to sleep around 1.30am because of it. On occasion, he’s had to sleep in the lounge. I’m still waiting, apprehensively, for him to reach the end of his tether, but so far there has been no sign of it. He has an older brother, and they shared a room as children. Bunkbeds foster tolerance in the worst of us. It also helps me that Dylan fears the dark moods that descend on him when he’s alone and so tends to be grateful for company despite its distastefulness. We are fucked up kids.
I’m still troubled by the snoring. It makes me sad because I’m causing trouble to someone, and testing their patience, without being able to do anything about it. I seem biologically designed to be irritating and dislikeable, and it makes me beholden to someone and reliant on their good nature. I’m forced to be grateful simply because they’re willing to tolerate what I am. And I truly am grateful, but how galling it is to be tolerated, for people to congratulate themselves on their virtue, just for putting up with me. I know, I know, I’m repeating myself…
Surely I wasn’t like this when I was ill? I barely slept, after all! Is my increased corpulence, my greater heft, leading to this nasal flatulence, this adenoidal eructation? Gone is the waif-like anorexic’s lightness of touch. Is this the ignominy of the corporeal, the indignity of corruptible flesh weighing heavily on my sleeping frame?
Jo tells me, though, that I’ve always been this bad. She’s just used to it and Dylan isn’t. I don’t find this very reassuring.