I’m on my way to Victoriaville (Victo); I accepted a new position as intervenante sociale (closest job title I could find was Social Worker). My main duty will be the integration of immigrants in Victoriaville (approx 5% of the population). I will be working in different high schools, organizing intercultural activities such as sugar shack, workshops, soccer matches, etc. I also have a special project to accompany young immigrants (16-25 years old) by helping them in their career path. Most immigrants (parents and children) don’t understand our school system; my job will help them out figure out different opportunities available to them and making sure they don’t drop out of school.
I had convened with my new roommate that I would be there on Sunday afternoon. I was to share this beautiful new condo (flat) with a 37 years old, single guy. Few of my relatives and friends were already listening to wedding bells. As one cousin told me: Who knows, Victoriaville might be where you find the man of your dreams. Ok, well, I’m just going there for a job really. Boy, were they far from reality.
I arrived at the house around 2pm. I hadn’t even finished taking off my coat (yeah winter hasn’t left us yet), the new roommate was saying to me: I don’t really know anyone in Victo (he’s originally from a Montreal suburb). I just came out of jail and I felt lonely so taking a roommate seemed like a good idea. Did I just hear him say, he’s coming out of jail???? At this point, I’m wondering what to do? Head back out? To go where? It’s not as if I have many options. I have one friend in Victo and I can’t get in touch with him as his phone is off to repairs. So I slowly get into the house. It’s beautiful, exactly like in the pictures. He’s bought me an inflatable queen size bed and satin sheets. How can someone who buys satin sheets be dangerous? To be totally honest, I wasn’t scared. He told me he did six months in jail for drug trafficking. He then went on to tell me all about his life in prison, repeating himself often. I then realize he was drinking quite a lot. He told me he only drank on his day off aka Sunday’s. I calculated he drank 8 big bottles equivalent to 1.18 liters each at least. As the day went on and he talked, talked and TALKED about all his mishaps, he kept drinking, never missing a beat. He then went on telling me he had been caught drunk driving so he had to have a breath alcohol ignition interlock device put into his car for the next seven years or even life (so obviously been caught more than twice).
He’s had a rock and roll life. He told me about his car accident that left him almost paralyzed. How the doctors had said he would never walk. Going on, showing me pictures he had from the accident and him at the hospital. Then, he told me about his cancer (thyroid gland), how the doctors had given him three months to live. How, he went the States for the surgery, because our Health system was shit. Of course, everyone can afford 75K for the surgery. He talked a lot about money. How he had paid cash his 115K flat, as he couldn’t get a loan because of the jail sentence. Let’s be clear, I’d only been there for 2 hours and already, I knew all about his life. I was dizzy with so much information. To make sure I didn’t forget any of this, he repeated him over and over. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t care less. I was started a new job the following day, this was so far from what I imagined my day would go. I mean, I’ve had my share of flat sharing; I’ve had great roommate for the most part (with one or two exceptions and no, I won’t be naming any names), but this dude top it all out.. He was getting drunk and he started being racist. He asked what exactly was my job? And then went on saying: be careful what immigrants you bring here, we don’t want any niggers around here. He was so drunk; I didn’t see a point on correcting him and I just wanted to have peace and quiet. I finally managed to go to bed around 10 pm. I had to close the door so he would stop talking to me! The only good news was that he told me his work shift was changed to evening so I wouldn’t have to see him all week. At first, I thought I was going to stay the weekend in Victoriaville. After that first day, I knew I wouldn’t. As soon as Thursday came, I went home to Montreal. I came back the following Sunday. Once again, I thought he wasn’t going to be there as he mentioned going to Trois-Rivières to visit a girl he had met on online dating. No such luck, he was there and I had to hear the same stories over and over again. This was going to be a very long day. I did managed to tell him, I had to concentrate as I was filling my income tax. In the end, I went back to my bedroom and closed the door. He did managed to tell me how he was in love with the girl from T-R, how she was going to sell her house and move in with him, in his 115 K flat. How they both had similar wages and how comfortable they were going to be, how the sex was great (too much information). Did I mention they only had dated twice before making this decision? What kind of person sells her house and move in with a total stranger after 2 dates? I overheard him talk to her on a few occasion and to be fair to her, he did sound legit. Not like when he talked to me. He did tell her he was an alcoholic.
In the end, his company told him, that they were sending him to Sept-Îles (13 hours from here) for a 4-6 months contract. She changed her mind. I guess, her friends made her realize how crazy it was to sell her house and move in with this guy she hardly knows. He does have a good job and salary, a beautiful home, but he’s fucked up as hell. Definitively, he has psychological problems and he needs someone to listen to him. I definitively didn’t want to be that person. I had just moved to Victoriaville. So I found another place to live. Luckily, a friend of a friend told me I could go stay with them. She invited me for dinner and when I told them about my mishaps, her boyfriend gave me his car keys and told me to go get my stuff and sleep at their place. I couldn’t believe how these total strangers would trust me just like that. I went back to the place, got all my stuff together and moved out. I stayed one night with this couple. I had previously met a girl in the car ride share that knew someone who was looking to rent a room. I went to see it, it was ok and she accepted my offer of $250 per month. The girl drove me to my new place the following day. What a nice couple!
As for my new place, the bedroom is very nice and I also have access to the baseman (where the kitchen and toilet is) however, I don’t have a stove, which means, I’m limited with my cooking. I also have to go across her quarters to go to the baseman. For now, it will have to do. Is still better than sharing with the other dude!