Hi Steve,

Maybe you're wondering why I've chosen to write you this message on toilet paper and gently slid it under the closet door, square-by-square. Yes, I realize "Toilet Paper Thursdays" were a point of contention between us, and I once considered this subject off-limits, yet your "alternative" lifestyle has made it so I have no other choice but to inscribe this message via the medium of two-ply--and hope to god it doesn't bleed too much before you see it. This dollar store toilet paper may be perfect for hanging throughout the place like festive streamers, Steve, but that might be all it's good for.

When I agreed to rent out my back room, I chose you as my tenant despite your lack of professional references and abundance of t-shirts telling me to KEEP CALM and (DO SOMETHING). I was willing to be lenient because you reminded me of a young me--a dream-chaser who now lives his life fully fulfilled, having achieved my one true goal. Only a select few thousand of us are chosen to be assistant managers at Staples, and it's a role I don't take lightly. I was young once, too, and tried my hand at a number of paths: college, trade school, the Air Force, and so on. Yet, even before failing out of all these, I knew I was only lying to myself. Now, I have a higher calling: Making sure none of our employees work so many hours that we're obligated to give them health insurance.

Steve, you gave big city life a shot, and it didn't work out. And I'm sure those two weeks in Austin were transformative. Setting out to be a busker with no apparent musical ability or talent takes guts, but showbusiness is a harsh mistress. The thing is, Steve, we're a long way from Austin, and while I can sympathize with how much you miss a more metropolitan backdrop for your young life, the multiple leaflets and signs I see for this so-called "Keep Our Apartment Weird" campaign are troubling. I'm not sure how they do things in the big city, but here in Tyler's apartment, we follow the impartial orders of the chore wheel. And, in answer to your question from last night, yes, I would tell Jimi Hendrix to scrub the pans, especially if he tried and failed to make mac and cheese pizza as often as you.

Steve, make no mistake that I understand where you're coming from--after all, I'm also interested in the arts. That's why I always make the suggested minimum donation when visiting our local museum, even when the security guard isn't there. But these "art jams" you've been hosting nightly offer nothing but a host of sweaty 20-somethings with dilated pupils watching adult-style cartoons and asking "Does he know?" every time I cross the living room. Steve, I appreciate you saying "Don't worry, he's cool," but I've had to shoo away several of your friends fixated on my vast collection of Magic Eye books as early as 6:30 in the morning. I'm sure your doctor has told you as much, but optical illusions should be used in moderation.

Steve, we may need to check with the good people at Webster to see if the word "weird" has changed in recent years, because I'm not entirely clear on your interpretation. Andy Warhol was "weird." Pablo Picasso was "weird." But did they leave a trail of dirty laundry behind them while remaining thoroughly unemployed? I'm no art history major, but I'm guessing they achieved notoriety through sheer gumption and sticktoitiveness. Would they choose to build an ever-growing pyramid of beer cans in their bedrooms? Would they use ordinary house lamps to dry mysteriously damp underwear? Google didn't provide any definite answers, but I can tell you the answer is probably "no."

I hate to say this, but I'm afraid I've reached my breaking point. And while I appreciate the fact that you've installed several cinder blocks to reinforce your "beeramid," I'm afraid they're the cause of my current predicament. Yes, I may have overstepped my boundaries by hanging up the Snuggie you wear so often in your closet, I had no idea this work made of concrete, aluminum, and fruit fly egg pods would collapse against the door, trapping me inside. And while Toilet Paper Thursday may indeed be my savior, I'm still unwilling to budge from my stance on your "Keep Our Apartment Weird" initiative. My only hope is that these discarded ramen flavor packets last me the long weekend you're at Bongo Camp.

– Tyler, Your Roommate

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