95: “What ads are you people answering?!”

Dick had begun to pick up on the fact that maybe his roommate wasn’t as on the up-and-up as he’d previously thought.

“You’ve just begun to pick up on that?” Miles repeated incredulously when Dick mentioned it one night while they were out for beers with Oscar, Ramsay, and Robin. “I’ve been saying that literally since you moved in with him!”

Dick supposed that was true, but he wasn’t willing to give Miles the satisfaction of being right. So he merely grunted. He wasn’t feeling particularly charitable anyway because he had the distinct suspicion that drinks had only been organized, by Miles, in an attempt to make Dick more social and to force him into making new friends. It was difficult because Dick actually really liked both Ramsay and Robin, but he resented the fact that Miles was trying to help him make friends, like he was some sort of maladjusted kindergarten student. To be fair, he kind of was, but he refused to admit that as well.

“What do you mean?” Robin asked Dick casually, picking at the nachos and generally ignoring the fact that Miles had said anything at all, which Dick greatly admired.

“I don’t know exactly,” Dick shrugged. “He’s just…off.”

Beside him, Miles fumed indignantly in his seat, but the rest of the table continued to ignore that as well.

“It’s probably nothing,” Oscar assured him and Dick nodded, sufficiently reassured.

It was not nothing. It was very much something. As Dick discovered a few days later, coming home from the grocery store to find two extremely strung-out people lying about in his living room, his roommate Willie was a meth dealer. It was an alarming discovery to say the least. He may or may not have dropped some of his groceries. It was all a blur. Willie looked at Dick like he was the crazy one, as if it was totally reasonable for Willie to be selling hard drugs to strangers in the middle of their living room at 2pm on a Wednesday. Dick begged to differ. Of course, he didn’t say anything in protest out loud for fear that he would anger his meth-dealing roommate.

“That didn’t feel like a good call,” he said to Miles, Robin, and Oscar when the four of them met up later for dinner that night. Miles gaped at him in shock. To his credit, Oscar looked quite shocked as well. Robin, however, appeared to be totally at ease.

“How does this keep happening?!” Miles demanded, even more incredulous than he had been the last time Dick spoke to him about Willie. Miles looked around the table frantically. “What ads are you people answering?!”

Dick frowned, not following. Robin looked at Dick and shrugged.

“The same thing may or may not have happened to me with my roommate, who I also found online,” he explained cavalierly. Miles looked about ready to have a stroke.

“Your roommate sells crack!” He shouted at Robin.

“To be fair, he only used to sell crack,” Robin corrected. “Now he’s had some sort of bizarre religious awakening and he works at Cell Phone Emporium.”

“Maybe one day your roommate will also work at Cell Phone Emporium,” Oscar said to Dick, who wasn’t sure he could wait that long. In the meantime, he would be living in an apartment that was being used as the hub for a meth dealer. Ultimately, he found that concerning.

“You should move,” Miles told him firmly, kind of like he thought he might not be taken seriously if he wasn’t very stern.

“Uh, yeah,” Dick agreed, thinking that had been fairly evident to begin with. Miles looked startled, then pleased, and then extremely vindicated. He rounded on Robin, who merely shrugged. Dick gathered he hadn’t heeded Miles’ responsible advice.

Dick began searching for somewhere else to live the next day. He answered several ads online and then went to see a couple places. After about a week, he found a suitable two-bedroom apartment that was vacant. It had just been renovated and the landlord had already found one person to live there, but was looking for another. Dick figured he would take his chances with the roommate, who he’d yet to meet. On the one hand, it was a risk and not one that had worked out especially well for him the last time. On the other hand, he figured it was pretty unlikely that his new roommate would also turn out to be a meth dealer.

“And yet I know two different people who have accidentally moved in with drug dealers,” Miles pointed out shrewdly when Dick told him about his new apartment. It was a fair point, but Dick still didn’t want to give him the satisfaction so he said nothing.

Next, Dick had to tell Willie that he was moving out. He didn’t know what he’d been expecting Willie to do, but he didn’t care at all.

“I’m moving out,” Dick informed him one evening.

“Okay,” Willie replied, totally unbothered.

“Okay,” Dick nodded. This was followed by an somewhat uncomfortable silence wherein neither of them made eye contact with one another and Dick tried to work out if it would be rude for him to go to his room. He wasn’t sure how long he needed to hang around. It seemed unlikely that they would discuss it further. Willie ended up surprising him, though. Just as Dick had decided it would be fine if he left and retreated to his bedroom in peaceful solitude, Willie restarted the conversation.

“Is it because of the drugs?” He asked. Dick blinked for a moment.

“Uh, yeah,” he answered eventually. Willie nodded.

“Makes sense.”

Dick nodded as well and then finally went to his room.

“He’s surprisingly self-aware,” he said to Oscar, Robin, and Miles the following night. Miles didn’t look impressed.

“Just because he’s a drug dealer, he can’t be self-reflective?” Robin retorted. “Drug dealers are people too, man.”

Miles looked even less impressed by that. Dick decided he had grown quite fond of Robin. He was even fond enough to look past the fact that he had been essentially set up on a chaperoned play date with him by Miles. It was fine, though. Dick had a sneaking suspicion that Miles would end up regretting that.


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