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Season 2, Episode 6: Pimento Melroy Queen of Monsters

A Long Bad Night

The first night in the new apartment is not going well for you. Pimento's been watching videos on your new computer for hours and has brutishly denied your reasonable request to lower the volume. Not only that, but the content seems rather strange...  

You climb down from your loft bed to have a peek inside the living room where you're hit with a cloud of unsavory cigarette smoke. You didn't know Pimento was a smoker, yet here she is smoking butts at your new desk. Even more worrisome, however, is what she's watching. 

It appears that Pimento is taking a Masterclass in evil laughter. You would never have thought evil laughter was a sought after skill, but then you've been wrong before. You watch in surprise as Pimento receives individualized instruction on how to throw her head back and cackle wickedly. Not surprisingly, she's quite good. You dip out before she can see you.

Meryl in the Mist

Needless to say, you don't get a good night's rest under the strange circumstances of Pimento's presence. The next morning, you awaken early to a veil of steam wafting up to your bed. You sit up in your damp blankets and catch a most unwanted eyeful of Pimento in the shower. (Perhaps the bathroom loft bed was not a thoroughly thought out design plan?) You turn to face the wall and wait out your discomfort.

Smelling Smoke & Seeing Red

An hour goes by and finally Pimento finishes her shower, but what's this? You climb down your dappled gold ladder and at once you're inside of what now seems to be Pimento's signature smoke plume. You had hoped she was just stealing the odd clandestine cigarette last night in the living room, but this behavior is decidedly more brazen.

You find Pimento luxuriating at the kitchen table with her coffee, a whole carton of minty smokes, and a fresh pizza. There's a cereal bowl full of ash on on her lap... Wait, is that one of the new ceramic bowls grandma just bought you?

Oh No She Didn't!

Oh yes she did. You tell Pimento in no uncertain terms that smoking is not allowed inside the apartment. This isn't the 1990's. But she claps back and tells you to stuff it, giving you a real hard look at who you're dealing with. Pimento is quickly turning into the house guest from hell.  

  The Dark Side of Pimento

"You wouldn't want me to tell grandma I was feeling unwelcome here, would you?" Pimento snaps. You're taken aback by the maniacal look on her face, but then you remember her late night studies. You try to conjure up some radical acceptance, fast. Okay, you think to yourself, so Pimento likes to sit around smoking cigarettes in her towel after a long shower. Maybe I can deal with that... You head to the living room to get some space, but she stops you. "Hang on!" she barks. "I've got people coming. I'm going to need you to clear out!"

When a Boundary Is Called For

"Wait a second!" you begin as your anger finally rises. You're no pushover, after all —you're Meryl Melroy! "I won't be clearing out of my own apartment, Pim, and I'm not going to let you call the shots around here.You're staying with me!" But cousin Pimento only puts her best evil laugh into practice at the sound of your last straw. "Good luck with that!" she sneers.

Pushed Out

As the day progresses, Pimento's friends gather in the living room with an array of pastries and a bong. They cast their TikTok videos onto the television and you can see it's going to be a long day, a long night, and maybe a long slow unraveling of your sanity if you have to share a space with the smoke and chaos grandma has unwittingly brought into your life. 

Away from the Maddening Crowd

So you fetch a beach chair and sneak over to your old bedroom, AKA apartment 3. You get a little misty eyed just looking at the door. You note that you didn't have a door back when this was your room, but grandma put in doors with secure locks for her prospective tenants. Luckily, apartment 3 is not locked, as though it knew you were coming. 

Meryl's Room of Respite 

You take a sigh of relief as you sink down into the beach chair with grandmas's rabbits. The grey one seems to like you. She nestles in your lap. You savor the smoke-free peace, and then you take out your phone. This seems like a perfect moment to call a friend and fill them in on the latest happenings in your life.  

An Epidemic of Loneliness

And there it is, the sudden realization that you have no one to call. How did you get here? Your growing isolation has been slow, but steady. The roommates all left and went on to do other things, it's true. You stayed behind, too hooked on the comforts of home to seek your own new beginning. You lost touch with friends and found yourself avoiding social activities altogether. You became a rampant plan-canceller. Things started to get a little Grey Gardens on you; you can see that now. Then grandma burst in with all the changes, misplacing you entirely. Now here you are, starting over whether you like it or not. 

Suddenly you remember good old Gene, your first roommate. Wasn't it just the two of you in the house for a while, you and Gene against the world? You realize how much you miss that zany work-from-home, good-time gal-pal who was always just there. You're decide to give her a call.

Somewhere in a Coffee Shop Across Town...

Gene's phone vibrates as she's about to bite into a greasy fried egg sandwich. 

Making the Connection

You're nervous at first because it's been so long. Why did you fall out of touch with Gene anyway? You start off cautiously with a little small talk, but soon you end up going deeper, apologizing for not taking her seriously years ago, for taking her friendship for granted. She says, "No worries," and talks about how she's been single since the mess with Vlad. She says she's been happy on her own, taking time for herself. It feels good to connect. You feel like a person again. 

A Squatting Situation

As night falls, you can't bring yourself to go back upstairs, so you settle into apartment 3 with a favorite book. Soon you feel sleepy, contented that you reached out to someone when you felt lonely. It's been years since you've seen each other, but you're looking forward to getting to know Gene again. As for the situation upstairs, you try not to think of it for the time being. You focus on your soft blanket and the bunnies and just being present here in apartment 3. 

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