This is what it says on the tin. A countdown to: My housemates moving out, and new ones moving in. I am staying put in my cosy attic room of this beautiful Edwardian townhouse, while my friends move on. One is buying a house for the first time with her boyfriend with whom she is madly in love, to settle in a perfect little area near shops, parks and schools, to eat romantic meals off the unfinished floor in something rough and ready that they will make completely their own. She will spend even more time making jewellery and being herself. The other two are finally moving in together alone, in what sounds like a perfect little flat avec balcony, fairly (though not enough) nearby.
I am staying put, despite my contrary plans of earlier this year, and other friends are moving in here with me. I am excited, but tonight it hit me just how soon it is all happening, and I could not help but slip into sentimentality. I must grieve the loss of the three people I am currently closest to, before I never have this wonderful set-up again. At least, not with them. I know what is coming will be good, but it will be so different.
In two weeks, I won’t stop halfway up my stairs in deep conversation with the girls, eventually sitting down and taking my bag off, accepting that despite my OCD/autistic tendencies, this moment of connection and friendship is worth more than my sleep. Rocky will never run up my stairs again. She probably won’t even come past the bathroom again, which is the first door on the landing. Cat’s light won’t be on when I come in from work, and we won’t get those delightful random-chance catch ups before conjoined evenings of tea, homework and regaling tales of our pasts that are unknown to each other. I will not hear Calvin come in with his music playing in his headphones, pat-pat-clank (broken tile in the hall), make himself a drink and then head upstairs, ignoring Rocky’s desperate pleas for his attention so that we can pretend to be asleep when he enters the room we’re in. He will not be there to humour us.
Where in fuckety are my kitchen scissors? Maybe I won’t miss these bastards after all.
Rocky, Cat and Julia came to meet me in the bar at my work. We had drinks and laughed a lot. Julia set her bag on fire. Rocky and I came home and sat on the stairs together, cracking up at the outtakes on my voice recorder from when she tried to tape herself reading a piece of comedy she wrote. Calvin didn’t find it half as funny as we did. It was one of those had-to-be-there type things that will entertain only us, but will entertain us forevermore.
They have been gone just over a week now. The house is pretty bare.
It is done. The first of my old housemates dissipated over a month ago, and a few weeks later, the last joined them on the other side of the city. The house is now full again with my new housemice, and a doggy who’s keeping me company as I finish off this post. The place feels homelier already. I am grateful for the art on the walls, the mess everywhere, the lights on and the live television. Everyone is really chilled and down to earth, and we all look after each other. This is the best situation I could hope for at my age. Of course I miss seeing the oldies on a daily basis, but hopefully this will just push us to make more effort to create social time for each other.