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  • I don't know how to put this into words; at least, not eloquently.

    One of the most brilliant people I know - a great friend, a considerate soul, and my roommate - has spent the past 5 months wishing that we were not living together. He has spent these months slowly, silently grooming negative feelings towards me, the words I say, the things I do.

    He hid his anger and disdain well. I had no clue that he would withdraw to his bedroom for the winter to escape me rather than the cold. When I asked him if everything was ok and he said "yes, of course", I had no reason to doubt him. I could only take him at his word.

    We're both seniors at a typical, though small, undergrad university. We haven't shared a class together in years because we are both in very different disciplines. In our final semester, we are finally sharing two classes - and my excitement for this exceeded my own expectations. But they shouldn't have! He is insightful, courteous, and persuasive. To test our thoughts and perceptions within the same context... how refreshing!

    There was this day. We were speaking in the living room about the subject matter of this global citizenship course. The senior capstone. And he didn't seem like he was in a great mood. And I, of course, was joking about the current reading material. Providing a devil's advocate perspective. However, I was also being callous, problematic, inconsiderate. And, it was a poor time to talk about this stuff anyways - he was tutoring someone.

    So, when he grew impatient with me, he lashed out. Said my views were rude, immature, incorrect. In class and out of class. And he said these were not his own views - others agreed with him. I was described as a problem student within the course. I was saying things that shouldn't possibly be said by any sensible person. With this coming from the authority of my brilliant roommate, I immediately freaked out.

    I was stunned by this attack - I had no idea that I had acted this way!

    It's only later, after confronting him again, that I found out his views were colored by our living situation. He admitted to being irrationally annoyed with my personality, my way of speaking, my habits. He said it caused him to bring hostile emotions into the situation. And he does not think that it's worth any of his time to try to resolve the situation.

    I can understand that, even though I disagree. It's always worth the time to maintain a friendship. To resolve differences. To find common ground where we can live together in a productive, supportive way. I cannot stop him from counting down the days until the lease runs out.

    What I cannot understand is this: he spends his time venting to others about our situation. About his hostility towards me. About how terrible of a person he believes I am. The quality of my character, work-ethic, etc.

    I cannot understand why he refuses to spend time constructing a solution when he chooses to spend time on complaining about the problem to our mutual friends.

    Et tu, Brute?
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