How to Spend $40

by Avery Oslo

If you have a roommate that goes out every night in five-inch heels and who smells faintly of that burned smell cheap hair straighteners leave on split ends, prepare yourself to part with $40. You’ll know you need to part with the cash when every night in the past week you’ve found a different pair of boxer shorts roaming in your shared bathroom, wiping dirt on your towels, and “accidentally” walking in on you when you were changing.

You knew you had to do this when you caught a pair of striped Calvin Kleins eating your leftovers and backwashing into your carton of juice. When he saw you, he grinned, and pieces of your juice-soaked pierogies fell out of his mouth. He brought the rest back to her room, not even realizing that he’s just robbed you out of tomorrow’s lunch.

Next time, just force a smile and plop down on the couch to suffer through a few faked noises. Touch the $40 in your pocket in anticipation. Eventually Mr. Leftovers will tip-toe back out of her room wearing a sheepish grin and clasping his belongings to his crotch. Politely hold the door as he leaves: your quarrel isn’t with him. Once he’s gone, slip into her room like a ninja so she doesn’t wake up. Brush the condom wrappers off of the nightstand to clear a space for two twenty-dollar bills.

Consider adding a thank-you note from him.

Several works of AVERY OSLO‘s have appeared in places like Dew on the Kudzu, Alice Magazine, The Dead Mule, and Thirteen Myna Birds. She’s currently working on two YA novels and can be reached at You can also follow her tweets at

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