Late night talks

Annie Zavitz and Allison Ma walking to the Lakefill. Photo by Danny Vesurai

Allison Ma, my roommate, is from Shanghai, China.

I’m from Missoula, Montana.

She has a younger brother.

I have an older sister.

We have the same Myers Briggs Personality Type and shoe size. 

We’ve bonded over our mutual interest in journaling. We fawn over each others’ pens, notebooks and handwriting.

We often refer to each other as soulmates.

The biggest difference between us is that she goes to sleep at 3 a.m. and I can barely stay up until 1 a.m.

But going to sleep hours before Allison has enabled our friendship to grow in ways I never thought possible.

I talk in my sleep.

I’ve known about it since I was about 11, when my mom and I were on vacation, and she told me that in the middle of the night I had asked for her phone number.

Obviously, I can’t tell when it happens at home. But sharing a room with Allison has opened a door for me that I otherwise might not have explored until college.

There was a solid week where I would wake up every morning and Allison would have written a little list of all the things I said:

“No please, you’re making me stressed.”

“Wait, so he was like Twitter?”

We’ve even had a conversation while I was asleep. It wasn’t very long, and Allison only said one thing, but apparently it was enough for my subconscious mind to respond to.

“Wait, what?” I asked into the void.

“What?” she responded.

“I don’t know, it’s gone now,” I said, before flopping back onto the bed.

The first time it happened, she hesitated and told me that I had talked in my sleep. Now, we’ll get to breakfast, and I’ll ask, “What did I say last night?”

At one point, I remember hearing someone say that they couldn’t imagine being best friends with their roommate. They said casual friends, at most, was best. But I can’t imagine not being close with Allison.

We do spend time apart, of course. One of us will go out to lunch, or we’ll be in different workshops. But every time we see each other, without fail, one of us complains of missing the other, and we end up laughing hysterically.