First off: I need a roommate. Not right away, but May 1st shall see a new chapter in my living situation. If you know anyone who would like to live in a fairly large, no-frills apartment in JP, steer them my way. Oh, and it's the cheapest place in Boston, hands down.
My current roommate Adrienne is great. We get along quite well. She's an arts educator, and when we are able to hang out in the apartment together we have no shortage of conversation. But she's met someone, they've fallen in love, and are moving in together. I'm happy for them, but wish I didn't have to go through the stress and annoyance of finding a new person to share my place.
When I was interviewing Adrienne for the room, an interesting bit of conversation occurred. I informed her that I've never had a lease on the apartment, and that she wouldn't need to sign one, a bit of information which she was very enthusiastic about. Her enthusiasm raised red-flags for me and I asked her about it.
"Well," she explained, "It's good in case this doesn't work out, if we don't get along... if you're creepy..."
I assured her I was not, in fact, creepy. I try to be a decent guy, abide by the rules, all that. But it got me thinking.
What if I am creepy?
They say that people who have body-odor issues don't realize it, because they are around it all the time and can't distinguish their stink from fresh air. When I was a freshman in college a fellow dorm-dweller earned the unfortunate nickname Stinky Elvis, due to his BO and prodigious sideburns. I tried once to be friends with him, but he stank up my dorm room. He didn't realize he smelled bad.
I've known creepy people, too. Bad News Gary was one of the creepiest dudes I've ever met. He was the genesis for me leaving a job, he was that creepy. But I'm sure he had no clue about the fact that he made people's skin crawl. Even now, years later, I'm skeeved out by him. To Bad News Gary, though, each day was like any other. He left in his wake a sea of people with the sudden, strong urge to take a shower, and he had no clue.
So it stands to reason that I could be creepy. I could be a weirdo, and not even know it. That is scary as hell.
I've never had the urge to kill anyone and dress myself in their skin. My sexual piques and proclivities tend to be somewhat vanilla and definitely self-contained. I've never stalked anyone. (Does Twitter count?) So I think it's safe to say that no, I do not stink, and no, I am not creepy.
I am, however, paranoid about both.