One of the most obnoxious things about Number Four was that she was a total copycat. I've already talked about how she would follow us into the kitchen and how she didn't take medicine because her friend was a Scientologist. But there was more. Much more.
In general, her slovenly ways were enough to creep us out, but this was amplified by the fact that she stared at us. All the time. If we were doing anything in the same room she was in, she would watch us like we were a tv show. Often this led to her doing the same thing we were doing. If we were reading, she picked up a book. If we got a snack, she got a snack. If we started watching tv and knitting, she grabbed her knitting too.
Oh, and that was a whole nuther kind of weirdness, her knitting. I learned how to knit from my previous roommate Nicole. I never got more advanced than a simple knit stitch, but I can make a pretty scarf for you. So I taught Pamala, Orly, and Number Four how to knit too, with varying degrees of success. Pamala gave up quickly because she can't sit still long enough to knit more than two rows at a time. Orly enjoyed it, but only if she could use oversized needles.
Number Four was a different story altogether. She learned quite well alright. She also purchased the most hideous color combinations of yarn you could imagine, and some you can't. There was a type of yarn she liked in particular that had gradations from one color to another. Most of those were very pretty, shades of blue and green, or pink. Number Four chose one that was brown and orange to make a scarf out of. And then she decided to use very small needles, which, whatever, if she wanted to spend six months making a scarf, that was her business. The problem was this. When she would knit, she would wrap the yarn really really tight around the needles and when she was rubbing the needles against each other to pick up a stitch, the needles would make this creaking noise, almost like a door hinge. It just added a new level of creepiness that she was that tense when using pointy objects.
Then there was the blanket. Oh God, the blanket. I need to take a minute.
The yarn she chose for the blanket was another of the color gradation type, but this time she pick one that changed from purple (again with the purple) to green, with shades of aqua thrown in for added hideousness. She got some sort of knitting needle wire circle contraption that looked like a torture device to make this blanket with, and of course the needles were small. So in addition to the creaking needles, there was this growing nebulous blob of purple shot through with green and aqua that lived under our coffee table. Just lurking under there, it's hideous colors pulsating, waiting to smother us.
Given her affection for horribly clashing colors, you would imagine that Number Four's side of the room would have been a sight to behold, but you would be mistaken. It was incredibly boring and unimaginative in a nearly monochromatic faded blue color scheme. Her sheets were blue. Her comforter was blue plaid. Her "decorations" consisted of a weird blue novelty lamp (think lava lamp but with blue glitter instead of lava) and a poster of Van Gogh's Starry Night. Which, I might add, she only purchased after she saw that Pamala had that exact same poster hanging in the living room. I'm still confused about that. I mean, we already had one poster of Starry Night, and yet she went out and purchased another one. On purpose. She did things like that with frightening regularity.
For example, I had a beta fish when I lived with them that just would not die. This fish was seriously seven years old. And it never ate it's food. I don't know how this thing lived. Anyway, somehow we learned that Number Four had never had a pet before. It always freaks me out when I learn that someone never had a pet as a child. I just don't understand it. So she was asking me all these questions about my fish, and I was telling her how the thing just wouldn't die, which made it really easy to take care of. Wouldn't you know that a few days later, Number Four bought herself a beta fish. She spent about a week trying to come up with a name for this new pet, finally settling on calling it Fish. Yeah.
The most bizarre copycat moment of all though was when she copied a behavior of Orly's. See, Pamala and Orly were like seven year olds sometimes. Orly is disgusted by feet, so Pamala would chase her around barefoot, trying to stick her feet on Orly. Pamala is something of a prude, so Orly would break into the bathroom when Pamala was showering, or wander around topless. One day Number Four was talking to Orly about how it would be really funny if she walked up to Pamala "and just went like this!" and then yanked her top up, flashing Orly from about two feet away. I saw it coming and was able to look away, but Orly had no chance. She got full on flashed by the one person she was grossed out by the most in the world. Did I mention that Number Four was wearing her Circus Pants? When I knew it was safe, I looked back over to check on Orly and she just looked stunned. You could have pushed her over with a feather.