Home is where the fool is

06May09

Home. Where you can relax, talk with your mouth full, shout at the telly and wear slippers that should have been left out for the binmen a good six months ago. Where, ideally, you shouldn’t feel like an utter, utter idiot.

I should explain. Let’s go back to Monday. A bank holiday and the 500th week of looking for a third flatmate. A phone call answered with a sigh. Yes? You want to come and look at the house? Yes, hour and a half, yes, looking forward to it, yes, what’s your name, yes, here’s the address. Desultory. Whatevs. Pfft.

Ninety minutes later I opened the door to shoulders and a chest that went on for, roughly, ever, topped by a pair of twinkly, crinkly blue eyes. Oh lawks. Australian, carpenter, funny, laidback and hot. I mean hot. Like, were-you-sent-by-a-vengeful-god hot. He’s in my house. Looking at a bed. Like actually in my actual, actual house. I tried not to squeak. Maybe I succeeded.

My female flatmate – never exactly garrulous – completely clammed up. Oh good, that’ll leave the airwaves clear for any bleats, shrills or chirps that I might accidentally emit. But flattie and I, acting as one, brilliantly covered our erupting skittishness by assuming the air of undertakers in painfully tight shoes. I gloomily observed that those were the stairs, sepulchrally noted the bathroom, sadly pointed out the washing machine (shut up, oh dear God shut up, he knows what they are)

Finally, the room. In ill-advised preparation we had polished the floor and then thought it seemed a bit bare, panicked and put a rug down. The place was as skiddy as a bloody ice rink. Crap, what if he breaks his neck? I know, I know, I’ll just stand on the rug and weigh it down. Brilliant. But of course he wanted to look around. Disaster. As is normal, I went with him to point out the features; perhaps less normally, I had to stay creepily close in order to anticipate his return journey, so that I could dart ahead and make it back to the rug before he did. Why didn’t I just tell him to watch his footing?

Twenty-four hours later he texted to say he’d decided to move to the opposite end of the tube line, a good 10 miles the far side of the city. I don’t take it personally, but was it something I said?

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