I’ve got a friend here named John. He’s one of the guys from my old school; a great man all-around. Yesterday in politics class, I overheard John talking to three other people about getting a house for next year. That’s what people do at Queen’s: First year students stay in residence, and after first year students rent houses in the Kingston area. Not all students follow this pattern, but the majority do.

Anyhow, I heard John talking to these three other people about renting a house. I had mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I’ve been about as passive as possible on the topic of house-seeking. I’ve never brought the subject up, nor have I shown any interest when I’ve heard other people speaking about houses. Since I’m leaving the school next year, there’s no point in looking for housemates. Obviously.

With that said, somewhere deep down I’ve been hoping that someone would approach me and say "Hey Mr. Danese, I’ve been thinking. You’re an all-around decent human being. Do you want to live together next year?"

I’d have to turn them down, obviously, but for the past month I’ve been hoping that someone would ask me. Just so that I would know that someone does care whether I stay or go. You know what I mean?

So I felt a little bit dejected when I heard John talking to these people and not even involve me in his plans when I was sitting right beside him. (It’s funny. I make it difficult for people to involve me in their plans, and then I feel dejected when they don’t go out of their way to involve me. I’m weird that way.)

But then today, John told me quietly that he was actually planning on going into residence again next year, and he asked me if I wanted to be his roommate. I said that it sounded like a good idea, but I didn’t give a definite answer one way or the other. Then he asked me not to tell the three people who he had been talking with yesterday about getting a house about his plan.

That one made me feel guilty. John picked me over his other friends. He basically said "Hey Mr. Danese, not only are you a great human being, but I would rather have you as a roommate than these three other friends of mine." That’s huge. I’m honoured.

But I have to say no.

I mean, I don’t have to say no. I could say yes and stay at Queen’s for another year. Doubtless next year would be a lot better than this year with John as a roommate. Doubtless I would make a ton of friends here with John as my roommate. For whatever reason, I have no difficulty making friends with him around. A large percentage of the friends that I’ve made here are people I’ve met through John.

But no. I am Gibraltar. I must stay the course.

So basically I have to reject the only person who went out of his way to include me in his plans for next year.

Nothing’s ever easy.

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