fools and kings & W1L 015: Write one leaf about taking out the trash.

Something about the rustiness of this sweater always makes me want to pair it with royal blue, even though I know there's probably some kind of conventional attractiveness decree stating that I should wear this sweater with earth tones, but, um. My blog is gray and pink and green, so conventional attractiveness can bite me (alien boy).

Sweater: secondhand, thrifted. Top: can't tell and don't remember. Skirt: secondhand, gift. Tights: Forever21. Oxfords: Payless. Rings: estate sale.

W1L 015: Write one leaf about taking out the trash.

This is an unedited version of my original response to this prompt.

Like 90% of college students, Alice has a roommate. Her roommate has pink sheets and a pair of furry pink slippers and a photo collage involving glitter, speech bubble stickers, and overexposed photos of her and her friends above her headboard. She is in charge of taking out the trash. Like 90% of college roommates, she never does. Despite their beginning-of-the-year agreement to keep all food trash in the kitchen, their wire wastebasket is currently overflowing with granola bar wrappers, clumps of hair, glass Starbucks bottles, empty white Parmesan Goldfish bags, a Ranch-smeared salad container, loose staples, balled-up tissues, and dirty cotton balls smeared the precise faux-bronze of her roommate’s face.

Alice occasionally Febreezes the trash bin because it smells more offensive than does waking up in the morning, when the air in their tiny room is thick with the smell of sleep, and sweat, and feet, but she says nothing to her roommate. She thinks that if it really bothered her that much, she would have felt compelled to say something rather than silently Febreezing her discontent.

In the room next door, Elena rolls her eyes every time she hears Alice’s socked footsteps in the bathroom, followed by the telltale sound of compressed air being released in a swishy motion, and the soft tink of aluminum tapping tile as she replaces the can on the bathroom floor. Elena secretly thinks that Alice should take out the trash if it bothers her so much, but Elena is in charge of dishes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and she operates under the assumption that the dishes will get done regardless of if she is the one doing them, because somebody will need a clean plate eventually, and wash her own, thereby freeing her of responsibility and the threat of harsh detergent that will ruin the soft hands her boyfriend loves to touch.

Elena’s roommate, Carrie, thinks that Alice needs to take the trash out of her brain, because Carrie thinks that not speaking up is a symptom of settling, not of not being polite, or not being bothered enough. Carrie thinks Alice is an idiot for Febreezing her trash bin instead of getting on her roommate’s case. Carrie also thinks bras and women’s razors are the creation of chauvinist pigs, and that Holden Caulfield is a whining loser who deserves to be shot by a squadron of soldiers wearing people-hunting hats and wielding AK-47s.

Alice’s roommate sometimes cries herself to sleep, because she failed both of her biology midterms, because her boyfriend broke up with her the night before both of them, and she is struggling with all of her classes, and she hates the weather, and she hates the city, and she hates the boring, nerdy people, and she hates her major, and she hates her life because she followed her boyfriend to this school and most of all she hates him.

Alice’s roommate also sometimes has sex with her boyfriend while Alice is in the room, because she loves him. Alice sort of wishes there were a Febreeze for her ears. And eyes.

Elena kind of thinks Alice’s roommate is a slut.

Carrie thinks Alice’s roommate is a bimbo and a disgrace to women everywhere and will singlehandedly destroy the environment with the amount of makeup she rinses down the sink every night. But she also kind of respects her for taking charge of her sexuality.

Alice just wishes her roommate would take out the trash once in a while. And maybe wash her feet.
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