It’s 8:00pm on Wednesday, September 26th and I’m naked. I’m naked a lot here, actually. With clothes sweat-clinging to my arms, legs, and stomach, the first thing I want to do whenever I get home is take them off and dry under the fan. Thankfully this is possible since my temporary housing situation has me living alone.
But the truth is that I didn’t want to live alone. I would happily relegate my nakedness to a bedroom for the sheer comfort of having someone to greet when I come home. For this reason, I rejected all eight of the musty studio apartments I saw today and decided to hold out for a place with a person in it.
It’s 8:00pm, and it’s time to go see another place. I don’t want to go. Besides the annoyance of having to reapply clothing, I’m convinced this living situation wouldn’t work out. Why? My would-be roommate (yippee!) used to work for PETA (yikes!).
For those of you who don’t know, PETA is an animal rights organization that is known for its controversial tactics. These include throwing fake blood on people, advertising pictures of people in cages, and targeting children with messages like “Your Mommy Kills Animals.”
While admittedly only a marginal animal lover, I know I’m not alone in finding these tactics a bit extreme.
Reluctantly, I pull on some jeans and t-shirt, grab my bag, and hop in a rick.
When Anu opens the door to the apartment, my eyes flicker wide. Mulberry curtains lifting in the breeze, glowing paper lanterns, and a banana yellow accent wall hug me gently as I step inside.
After handing me a glass of water, Anu invites me to take a seat on the large floor cushions. We begin chatting and I learn that she is from Kolkata (where I studied abroad in college), has lived in Chicago, and shares my love of the TV show, New Girl.
After an hour has passed, I suddenly remember my concern. “So you used to work for PETA?” I ask with trepidation.
Anu’s response startles me. Though she cares about animal rights, she explains, she realizes it’s not everyone’s focus. I can relate insofar as I realize that not everyone is going to care as much about human trafficking as I do. She also explains that she’s totally cool being around and even cooking meat; she just doesn’t eat it herself.
In the next hour, we discuss mutual friends and Indian men, and then take a tour of the place. As she’s showing me around, I notice a shift in the way Anu is speaking. “So this will be your dresser…When you move in we’ll want to repaint this…”
“Anu, you just said ‘when,’ are you inviting me to live with you?”
“Well, yes, I suppose so.”
“Well then I accept!”
Birds sing, the sun shines, and everyone does the happily ever after dance.
Who would have thought my musty sweaty naked day would end up with a gorgeous new place to live?