“She stole my albums!” I screamed, over and over, when I discovered that Emily Pffeifer took all 200+ oldies-but-goodies with her when she left, the week before. This included my Rubber Soul; Beatles album, Blue Gene; Gene Pitney album, Bobby Vee, The Lettermen, Janice Joplin at the Texas Pop Festival (!), Roy Orbison, The Beach Boys, Chicago, and more, all gone, gone . She came from Pennsylvania but she was moving to Canada. I had no idea how to find her and get her arrested for stealing my albums.
My adventures with Emily began that cold, snowy night in early March when my sister got a job in another state and had to renege on the rent/roommate situation, the two of us had going. She found Emily within 24 hours because she felt badly leaving me alone with the house in Tesuque, New Mexico.
Emily was in the downtown Santa Fe, La Fonda bar. She heard I was “looking for a roommate” from my sister and jumped at the chance because she was traveling and had no belongings with her other than her suitcase and backpack and her car. She telephoned me and we made plans to meet at the house the next day to see if she wanted to live there. I allowed her to have a month-to-month lease.
The house was nestled in a small Spanish neighborhood up the road in Tesuque from Arts, a local grocery store that boasted, “You Can’t Beat our Meat”. It was an old light green adobe with 3 bedrooms, a bathroom you could lie down in and a kitchen that had so many cabinets I could not begin to fill them all! Behind the house was the trailer home that the owners lived in. The backyard was shared with the owners and their three large, but nice dogs. In front of the house was the arroyo that turned into raging floodwaters every afternoon when it rained but was a road when it wasn’t raining. I had to leave early most days for job in a restaurant in town in Santa Fe because if I waited too long and the afternoon rain began, my little red Volkswagen Beetle couldn’t make it in all that water.
Emily liked the room right away and moved her few belongings into the comfy, sunny bedroom with the double bed and white lace dust ruffle. It was such a nice girlie-room. And it was directly across from the bathroom. I always had to sprint down the hallway from the bathroom to my bedroom but my bedroom was larger, anyway. And I had a front door to the dirt arroyo right in the room! It had originally been the living room but I liked the configuration with it being better utilized. We had a small living room off the kitchen, anyway.
In the beginning, after Emily moved in, I was home a lot. Even though I worked in town, I loved the quiet peacefulness of Tesuque and I enjoyed staying at home. Within a few months, however, I fell in love with a boy eight years younger than I. We couldn’t bear to be apart. He had a small apartment in Santa Fe so I stayed there most of the time. Some weekends we came out to the house in Tesuque where Emily always greeted us with a smile. I never felt like we had as much privacy there, even though I had a door that closed (but didn’t lock).
One afternoon, out of the blue, Emily confronted me in a hostile way. She demanded to know why I didn’t come home very often. She asked if I realized how much that hurt her feelings and that she had “needed me”. She commented on how much I worked and how she didn’t like my boyfriend. It was very peculiar. I hardly knew the woman!
My boyfriend didn’t like Emily, either. He showed me the toilet bowl and how the rim had Emily’s trimmed pubic hairs all around it, all around it. It happened many, many times, too. Emily started staying in her room after her confrontation with me. I came home more often, not to appease her but because I was afraid she was going to rip me off.
One afternoon she declared, with great drama, that she was leaving, much to my relief. She declared that she would pack her car that evening and drive to Canada. I stuck around but I stayed mostly in my bedroom until I heard her car drive away on the gravel of the arroyo. I looked around the house and everything seemed to still be there. I decided I’d strip the bed the next morning before work. I went to bed early and slept that kind of sleep when you are so damn glad someone is gone out of your life!
The next morning I took my shower, got dressed and went into Emily’s ex-room and pulled down the sheets on her ex-bed. On top of the mattress were several bath towels folded, in the middle of the mattress. I pulled them and underneath was the biggest, wettest pee stain you ever saw. I gagged at the smell and flung the drenched towels across the room, involuntarily! I pulled the mattress off the box springs. The beautiful dust ruffle was soaked in urine as well as the box springs and the carpet directly beneath the middle of the bed! The dust ruffle was molded and ruined with the center literally dissolving.
Because I didn’t have time to do anything about it, I threw away the sheets and the dust ruffle and took the mattress and the box springs outside to air and leaned them up against the side of the house. I knocked on my landlady’s door to tell her why the mattress was outside but she had gone to work. I left for work, absolutely shocked at my discovery of Emily’s secret.
When I came home from work, it looked like it had snowed in our backyard. There was white fluff everywhere. As I drove inside, I saw the mattress lying face-up on the dirt driveway with the center eaten out. The dogs were lounging about, exhausted from their escapade of destroying the mattress. The landlady came screaming out of her trailer demanding to know what happened. Oh my. Where to begin. I knew I wasn’t going to get my deposit back.
I went inside to pee and noticed the toilet bowl rim had trimmed pubic hairs all over it. I went inside the now empty bedroom and gagged from the old urine smell, now very evident, from the stained carpet. I went my bedroom, sat down on the bed and glanced at my little glass bowl with my earrings in it. The pair that my son had given me, the first gift he ever picked out for me, the kitten earrings were gone. Emily knew how much I treasured them. GONE!
It was several days later that I decided to listen to my albums. I set up my easel and my paints and looked inside the shelves..... and they were completely empty. She was somewhere in Canada......
Several years later, a friend who met Emily (only once) brought her name up. She asked if Emily had ever gotten over her crush on me. What? Hmmmmmm? She told me how Emily had professed love for me. My friend told her to keep it to herself. Really, I had no idea. Neither did my boyfriend.