When it comes to lifestyles, there is no greater disparity than between my roommate Jasmine and myself. On any given day, we pass each other like two vastly differently shaped ships in the night, nary a trait to be shared.
Jasmine lives an extremely clean life. Her body is a temple. Not one of those inner city churches with graffiti all over every surface and AA Meetings in the basement. A pristine Catholic Basilica with a highly paid janitorial staff and a really perky butt. She does juice cleanses and runs daily no matter the weather. She is a part-time yogi and I’ve legitimately never seen her wear anything but yoga pants. I’m not even mad about it. She just doesn’t have time to change outfits in between healthy life choices. Once, she stood on her head in the living room for a really disconcerting amount of time. She has more than one pair of athletic shoes and buys scarves that absorb sweat. On purpose. Because she needs that sort of thing.
My body is more like a corner diner. It’s full of surliness, coffee, greasy food and sometimes rowdy drunk people. I am all round edges and french fries dipped in chocolate shakes. My biggest gripe about our home is that the bathroom is on the second floor and it gives me no choice but to exercise for short bursts on the reg. I own twenty pairs of sky-high stilettos that I’ve barely worn and I may have bought a pair of athletic shoes once upon a time, but made no effort to keep track of their whereabouts. One time on a visit to California, my friends decided last minute that we should go camping in the mountains so due to my general lack of preparedness and different size and shape than most people, I rocked a skin-tight skirt and plastic flip flops for the duration. Including while climbing up large piles of boulders and blaming my wheezing on the thin air.
Right after Christmas break, Jasmine returned from a couple weeks at her parents’ house with a drink carrier holding three different colored cups. It was a three day juice cleanse. She explained that she was so full of grossness after eating treats during break that she really needed to flush her system and get back to that whole temple situation. The juices were composed of raw foods that contained garlic and other noxious flavors and she had to drink them cold and could do no chewing for the duration.
Whenever I feel like I’ve been eating badly for a long period of time (usually when my digestive system loudly lets me know) I come to strange conclusions like, “I should eat a burger. I haven’t had red meat in like two weeks. No wonder I feel weird!” Today at lunch, I realized I hadn’t eaten anything green all week so I decided to get a salad. A Cobb salad. Doused with bacon bits, ranch dressing and black olives. Mostly bacon bits, ranch dressing and black olives. And boy did I feel better. Clean eating.
When I got home from work, I was busy in the kitchen, slaving over a gourmet meal of boxed spiral Macaroni and Cheese when Jasmine got home from presumably running a marathon for Greenpeace. I was spicing up my dish with some grated Parmesan cheese and tiny black flakes scraped from the bottom of the pan while she prepared her standard meal of steamed vegetables and rice, doused in a gallon of Sriracha. Then she opened the refrigerator and squealed in delight at the prospect of an addition to her dinner. I assumed she’d pull out some sort of cheese product, as cheese tends to make me squeal, but instead it was a bag of mixed greens. She poured most of the bag onto a large plate and drizzled an essence of vinaigrette around the perimeter. She was legitimately excited about a plate full of leaves.
We ate dinner together in the living room while I chose the TV shows to watch. She only catches bits and pieces of storylines because she’s typically busy making sure her 21-year-old heart pumps literally forever instead of cultivating a butt-groove in the faux-leather couch. We laugh at punchlines on “New Girl” and I explain the backstory of Coach as she spears the last of her salad and bolts out the door to voluntarily walk her friend’s dog.
That was two hours ago. I’m still stuck in my butt-groove trying to figure out if I need to use the bathroom badly enough to get up and walk up the stairs.
Flaca y Gorda. Limpia y Sucia. Jasmine and Bettie.
I need to get on her level. Or at least a few floors down. And I might take the elevator.