Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who ran WikiLeaks with Mr. Assange until the two had a falling-out in 2010, accused Mr. Assange in a memoir of staying for several months, uninvited [...]
Mr. Domscheit-Berg added that Mr. Assange had refused to flush the toilet during his entire stay.
JULIAN ASSANGE, YOUR SHITHEAD ROOMMATE: CHAPTER 1.
By Jon Bois
A friend calls you up: “Hey, listen man. There’s this buddy of mine coming into town, his name’s Julian. I know this is sort of coming out of nowhere, but you have an extra bedroom in your apartment, right? Is there any way he’d be able to crash there for a while? He’d definitely be able to chip in on rent and stuff.”
You think about it for a moment. It would be nice to cut down on the bills a little. “Yeah, what the hell, man. That’s fine. Julian, right?”
“Yep. He does computer stuff, forgot what exactly. I’d put him up myself, but I uh... Thanks, man. I appreciate it. He’s in town Wednesday.”
Two days later, you arrive home from work to find the door to your apartment completely obscured by furniture, the front porch littered with bulging garbage bags. You peer around a wardrobe and see a man listlessly pressing a coat hanger into your deadbolt lock. “Hey, man. Are you Julian?”
“Yeah. You weren’t home, so I figured I’d just try to jimmy the lock thing.” You look closer. He has not bent the coat hanger in any fashion. He is simply trying to fit the rounded top of the hanger’s hook into the keyhole, his face set in a determined grimace.
“You any good at picking locks?” You reach in your pocket. “I, uh, have a key for it.”
“Oh shit!” Julian grabs the keys out of your hand and tries every key on the ring, one by one. “It’s the one that says ‘Kwikset’ on it, if you want to look on the...” Julian does not answer. Finally, he finds the right key and the door unlocks. Julian waves you over. “Listen close.” He locks and unlocks the door again. “Hear that?”
Julian turns and looks at you with a wide-eyed grin. “Paydirt!”
“Thanks for letting me crash here, man,” Julian says as he dumps his garbage bags full of clothing and miscellaneous items onto the spare bedroom floor. “I was staying in Madrid before I came here. Before then I was in Tokyo. And let me just say, I think you’re a hero for living in this town. I don’t know how you do it, living in a place like this. You’re just so brave.”
“Now. While I was waiting for you to get back from the ...” Julian tilts a hand and looks you up and down. “ ...factory? I went ahead and started reassembling my furniture on the porch. I gotta stay busy, man. I’m just that kind of guy. Wheels always turnin’, m’man. Everything’s in motion for me, you know? A mile a minute. That’s how I operate.”
The two of you walk back to the front door, which is almost completely blocked by the wardrobe. It’s an enormous, massively heavy piece of antique furniture, built of lacquered oak with bronze fittings. It’s far too large to fit through the door, and you can barely even squeeze past it to reach the porch. “I think we might have to go ahead and break this back down, Julian. Looks too big to move.”
“Nah, man.” Julian shimmies to the other side and shoves the wardrobe from the top. It tips over, crashing against the building and smashing your porch light fixture. “Was that one of those old light bulbs in there? Looks like it. I just greened your routine. Alright man, I gotta take a superdump.” He leaves the wardrobe in its tipped-over state and walks to the bathroom.
A half-hour later, Julian re-emerges, arms spread out. “Hoooooo! Damn. I seriously had to tighten my belt an extra notch after that. That was like pulling a pork roast out of the oven. Spent two days braisin’ in m’gut, came out all hot and steamy. Didn’t have to wipe, either. Perfect shit. That toilet must’ve been hungry. Clean plate special.”
You smell the air. It’s absolutely putrid. “Swear to God,” he says, “there are three major pleasures in life. Clean shits, Perrier, bonin’. Gummi worms too. You got any Perrier?” He walks into the kitchen and opens your fridge.
With a pinched nose, you reach in and flush the toilet, only to hear Julian cry out in protest. “Aww man! Dude! I wasn’t ready for that yet! I didn’t get to take a picture or try to set it on fire or anything. Ahhh balls, man.”
Julian stands in the doorway, running his hand through his hair. “Man, listen, I know we didn’t really talk about that yet, so I’m going to be cool about it. But that was a flammable dump. I knew it by the way it came out. It seriously would have caught fire in water. Fuckin’ Bikini Atoll, swear to God I bet there are like a dozen indigenous fisherman bacteria in there that would have just gotten fucked, kid. Plus, water conservation. Save the planet.”
You’re not sure how to respond to any of that, so you say, “Hey Julian. I’m gonna run out to the store and pick up some stuff. Back in a bit.” You take a walk around the block, in part to escape the stench that permeates the entire apartment, and in part to collect yourself. You dial your friend.
“Dude, listen. This Julian guy is nuts.”
“Yeah, he’s pretty eccentric.”
“He won’t flush the fucking toilet! He got pissed off when I did!”
“Yeah... that’s one of his things. I mean, after a while you can just go in behind him and flush, and he’ll sort of just accept it.”
“Why didn’t you tell me about any of this shit? And I mean, how long is this guy going to need to stay here?”
“Hold on, I just saw a... guy driving a motorcycle. Gotta go.”
When you return to the apartment and squeeze past the tipped-over wardrobe, you find that Julian has left. You notice two signs on his bedroom door. The first is an aluminum road sign that reads, “KEEP OUT” and is held to the door by a single, crudely cut strip of packing tape. On the floor lies the roll of packing tape, your good kitchen knife stuck to the mangled and twisted end. The second note is written on a bunch of post-it notes stuck on the door that form a crude square:
Hey dude. Had to leave this dump for a little bit. Fucked off to a coffee shop for the night to free the people. Anyways, there’s this jam I’ve been listening to lately so I put it on. Hope you dig it.
Bros, Silly J
Julian has connected his laptop to what he earlier referred to as his “surround sound system,” but what is actually a pair of large guitar amps. They’re so loud that from the other side of the door, you feel vibrations in your chest:
Julian has used a custom script to endlessly loop a YouTube video of a 60-second Remy Martin commercial. You twist the doorknob. It’s locked.
You sit on the couch and try to watch TV, spraying Lysol occasionally to mitigate the terrible stench. Julian’s speakers are too loud for you to hear anything else. After an hour, a solution comes to you. You open the fuse box. There is no individual switch for Julian’s room, just one that turns off all the power in the apartment. In desperation, you shut it off, get in bed, and drift to sleep in the smelly darkness.
You wake up at 3 AM. Julian has returned. The Remy Martin ad is playing once again at full volume. You stagger down the hall and peek in Julian’s room. He is bobbing his head to the beat, doing the macarena, and sashaying around the room, pausing occasionally to toast two empty champagne glasses against one another.
Julian turns around. “It’s a party,” he says. “It’s a celebration for Nelson Mandela. You want in?”
END CHAPTER 1.
Jon Bois is an editor at SB Nation and the co-founder of Progressive Boink which is a fun place to hang out, especially if you’re going to be on the internet anyway. Why not give it a whirl? You can also follow Jon on Twitter if you’re into that: