I signed my lease without meeting my roommate. It was not the first time I had done something like this. I liked the apartment, I liked the price, so I figured I would like him. When I visited the 2 bedroom in Brooklyn, his friend gave me a tour, mentioning that my future roommate was traveling in China. He would be back in 6 weeks. I did not ask many questions about the purpose of his trip – it did not feel appropriate to pry. So, I settled in and awaited his return, eager to learn what had brought him to China.
When my roommate returned, we met for the first time – our personalities connecting instantly. To celebrate his return to the States, he decided to throw a party at the apartment, inviting all of his friends. I was also invited to the celebration. However, I had made plans with other friends that night so I told him I would join the festivities later.
At 2am, I returned to the apartment and the party was still in full swing. While I was sleepy, my roommate called out for me to come meet all of his friends. The music was blasting, the alcohol was flowing and the dancing was heating up the living room. As I cracked open a bottle of beer, I sat back on the couch to take it all in – the sights and sounds of my new life in Brooklyn.
My roommate’s trip to China came up in conversation between his friends. I listened to learn more about his journey. It turned out he went there often – every few months. He worked a lot in New York City, saved up money and returned to China for study. How nice, I thought of his time away, imagining him meditating with a Buddhist monk. “Would you like to see what I learned?” he asked the group. I nodded along with his friends.
Suddenly, my roommate was spinning through the air in a back-flip turned sideways with a leg kick like I had only seen in the movies. After rotating in the air, his leg barely grazing the couch despite the fact that he was within centimeters of it, he landed in the same spot.
A thunder of applause erupted from his unexpected audience. I took advantage of the opportunity to clap in order to close my mouth which had dropped open in utter shock. I knew at that moment that I would never miss rent and every bill I paid would be on time. Otherwise, my roommate could potentially destroy me in an instant because it turned out he was not going to study meditation at all- he was getting certified as a Kung Fu master.