“Call me Alex!”, he said that while standing up just next to the bed that he was probably occupying naked from the waist up, and smiling with a childish smile. I thought he was over-friendly, but his voice was so loud and firm, that I could not think of an appropriate semi-sarcastic response which which I could use to distance myself from him, without being rude (“OK”, “If you insist”, etc.), so I just shook his hand and started a regular conversation, asking him how old he was, for how long had he been staying there etc. To my surprise, although still very friendly, he wasn’t at all eager to answer my questions, and it even seemed that some of them he did not know the answers of. So unusual were his reactions that for the first few days I had the suspicion that he might be “really insane” - a fact which understandably made me uncomfortable, especially given the fact that with both of us being in the same institution such categorizations were far from objective - maybe I was insane and he was the normal one, and he seemed insane to me thus.
Alex had a huge scar on his left knee which I noticed immediately when I saw him and which made me want to immediately distance myself from him even more. An urge which did not dissolve even after I learned that he got it in a trivial way (sports incident) and was even strenghtened by my enlightenment, as if it weren’t the his scar, nor his cheerfulnes which crept me out but his hair, the way he wanted to shake hands, and the other numerous ways in which he looked just like me. “So what do you do for fun?” I asked, consciously trying to distance myself from him by emphasizing our differences, talking about my weird hobbies which I was sure would be to him most alien “I like to read”, but he just gave me a thumbs up and changed the subject leaving me with no choice but to make friends with him. I usually picked my friends very carefully, never approaching them until they have passed some of the elaborate mental tests which I have devised for myself like imagining them in hard situations and how would they escape from them or imagining us hanging out together and thinking if we look cool, . Recently I started abandoning this practice, but not because I didn’t want to my friends comform to certain criteria, but because I just wasn’t too bad at judging the people around me and I was sometimes willing to take a chance. But not in such cases as Alex’s as he was clearly not a person whom I could interest in science, neither hard nor soft, which meant that (although he seemed accepting) he could not be a person who can be anything more than my roommate.
“And who are you?” Alex’s voice were so loud that it got into my head and made me think about all the memories of my of things that I did that I thought identified my personality. My first conscious memory - me pulling up the door of my child bed and using it as a staircase to climb high enough so to reach a box of crayons which my somehow I knew were standing in the drawer next to it. My acceptance in the Sofia Mathematics College where I had been studying for the last 10 years. And things which I wanted to forget but could not, like my first “Poor” mark which I got shortly after my admission in the same school, the first girl whom I felt in love with and who ignored me. Recently the memory that I wanted to forget the most but I actually remembered best was that time when I entered my class while intoxicated. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t get rid of that memory althought the occasion was completely uneventful, the single occasion in which my condition could affected my behaviour during those 45 minutes being that the teacher asked me a question which I got wrong and which I might have gotten right if I was sober, perhaps it was because of my obsession to always have controll over my behavior and, if possible, over everything around me. Perhaps it was this and not my obsession with mathematics which was the defining characteristic of my personality. Perhaps if Alex were indeed interested in who am I, I would have told him that story highlighting the fact that I felt terrible when standing on my desk drunk, although there were virtually no consequences. That would be if he was really interested in me as a thinking entity, but he of course wasn’t - he just wanted to know my name. And regarding the fact that I was a control freak: althought I hated to admit it, if he wasn’t a moron, he would have probably already gotten it by now.