To my dear roommate of the past 12 months,

As this year comes to a close, I regret to inform you that I remain firm on my decision to not renew my half of the lease. I realize that this came as a great shock when I gave you two months’ notice, and it is true that we have created memories and bone bruises together, some that will last a lifetime. However, my mind is made up and I am already in the process of finding housing elsewhere.

When I first moved in with you and slept on the living room floor beside the rot-filled refrigerator for $500 a month, I was most tickled by your cat's strength and ability to knock an entire pint glass of water onto my pelvic bone. Had there been room, perhaps I would not have had to sleep with half of my body under the dining room table, but this is New York City, eh? Ha, ha.

We all seem so young in hindsight, when in truth it was only six months ago.

I look back warmly on the time that you were ill and needed care. The bathroom was without toilet paper that week since you needed it at your bedside as tissue, making it impossible to unstick your soiled tampons from the side of the trash bin while cleaning house. What a whirlwind. I also recall fondly the considerate measures you took in not doing the dishes to prevent contamination while you were infirmed. I'm sure it took some careful research and experimentation on your part to determine, therefore, what was likely to spread illness and what was not. I was surprised that throwing your used tissues on the living room floor for your cat to play with was in fact devoid of risk. I therefore thank you for taking the time to ensure my safety.

What juvenile fun we had competing for the same man's attention while he was my boyfriend. A game of cat and mouse indeed, as you called it, in which you were the cat and he was a terrified victim. We all seem so young in hindsight, when in truth it was only six months ago.

We had our fun creating nicknames for one another, mine having to do with the pet rats I sold to an unwitting crust punk couple in Bed-Stuy several months ago. It is therefore reasonable that you suspected I was the one to plant a dead rat in your kitchen last week after I had stopped sleeping in the apartment. I would forgive you, but an apology on your end is not warranted in sight of such an extraordinary coincidence.

It was with a heavy heart that I heard your misfortune did not end with the dead rat. Your boss's bike was also stolen from your courtyard. Again, I understand your first instinct to blame me, as I also ride a bike. I am furthermore one of few who know that you leave that bike unlocked in front of the building outside the drug dealer's apartment on the first floor. It is indeed a mystery who would go through the trouble of wheeling it away without it having so much as a piece of twine suggesting it was someone's property.

Reminiscing has admittedly inspired some doubt in me as to whether or not I should go through with the move. However, the sagging drywall around my window grows heavier with each rainfall, almost as a poetic manifestation of a limited time in my life with such a wonderful companion as yourself. All good things must end. I thank you for a friendship that will undoubtedly live in my memory forever.

Sincerely yours,
Rat Mama