Moon Song’s swan song

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Clara, one of my roommates who’s lived here for a year, moved out last week. She was easily one of the best roommates I’ve ever had. Equal parts hilarious, brilliant and chilled out. I will never forget how awesome it was living with her and knowing her.

It’s pretty unreal when you can put out an ad on a service like Craigslist or Kijiji and wind up meeting someone who isn’t a terrifying sociopath. When Scott and I needed a third person to move in — after our previous roommate Julie moved out to go travelling — we knew several things: our roommate had to be a girl, she had to be very patient, she had to like staying up late, and she had to be able to dish out the sarcasm and snide remarks that so constantly get floated about in this house. Turns out she was the perfect choice.

The whole adventure started when Scott and I were trying to determine precisely what we wanted in a roommate. We wanted someone who wasn’t afraid to converse with us and be more than just a person who shared our space. We wanted someone we could be friends with. We also wanted someone who liked to have fun every now and then, like go out on weekends drinking, or stay home chillin’ till late at night watching hilarious movies. So we put out an ad stating those things. We got several responses, but Clara was the first one to respond. We invited her over to view the house.

It was the end of August, and the sun was setting over the building downtown, casting an orange glow into the living room. Clara Moon Song (for that is her name) came to the door, dressed in a black halter top and mini-skirt — a deliberate strategy, we later found out, to win us over. We showed her her room, introduced her to the cat, took her through the house and then spent the next hour on the couch drinking wine and chatting. She had lived in Edmonton off and on for four years, and was in town taking car of her brother, who’d been injured awhile back (an injury which caused some brain damage). She wanted to live in the same neighbourhood as him, and our place was ideal.

We liked Clara immediately. Smart, confident, funny. The perfect roommate. We told her we had a few other people interested in the house and we’d let her know if she got it. This was, of course, a lie. But not an altogether evil thing to tell her, as Scott and I needed to discuss whether or not we agreed she should live with us.

It wasn’t much of a discussion. More like vigorous nodding.

I phoned her the next day and told her she could move in whenever she wanted.

Over the past year, Clara became a dear friend, confidante, and drinkin’ buddy. I got endless joy bugging her, making fun of her and annoying her. And boy, could she dish it out better than I could. She was so much fun to have around. Her last day at the house in Riverdale was Canada Day. I cried when she left. In front of about 20 people. But who cares? Our dear friend was leaving us.

I got an email from Clara earlier this week, telling us how much she missed us. I responded thusly:

The house isn’t the same without you, Moon Song. In fact, I’ve closed your bedroom door and there seems to be an unspoken understanding between Scott and I that no one is to enter that room. Meanwhile, the dishes keep piling up, and the backyard’s a mess. We’re waiting for you to come back in August and clean it all up.

I’m kidding. We’ll make Vinny the Husky do it.

Farewell to my Moon Song, who was always kind and equally mean when I needed it. I’ll miss you. I already do.

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