“How are you settling in?”
Every single time I chuckle to myself and tell him not to be silly and that I settled in six years ago… the only difference now is rather than a fiver a day on taxi fair back to mine, I’m only dropping 50 calories as I mince up the stairs and flop into my bed.
I have officially been moved out of number 7 for three days, although I’ve not slept there in six.
The last two visits to the house were the worst, beginning Saturday. Saturday saw me packing all the bits of my tiny life into a van piloted by Mr Tree. All the stuff that had previously adorned the walls and shelves of my bedroom, lounge and dining room were stowed away within their own cardboard prisons, unsure of whether they would be allowed to escape for the next year or not. I reluctantly packed away all the tiny bits and pieces of my life that I had so carefully dotted around my house so as to allow for ample smiles, memory induction and general comfort-clutter.
That Saturday, everything was gone. All that remained in the house were the cast-offs that I was unable to fit into any boxes.
Well, I COULD have fit them, had I not been retarded. I had SO much notice for the move but kept putting it off because it was just far too painful to face. I love that house so much and I thought that perhaps, if I just left it until the last moment something otherworldly would happen and either everything would suddenly and magically be packed for me, or I would be allowed to stay, rent-free for my last ten weeks.
Because of this fabulous lack of preparation, I left the house that day in a state that perhaps resembled some sort of memory-hurricane aftermath… I closed the door that Saturday morning and immediately had to lean on the brick wall that made up the corner of my bay window…. I had to lean, otherwise I would have crumpled into a heap on the street and Tree would have had to have carried me into the van and then carried me into the new house. I leaned and let out a tiny whimper before climbing into Tree’s van and driving off to the new house.
Photos, toys, drawings and ticket stubs, they were what scattered the floor of every room in the house… they were the painful things that I had to approach on Tuesday with ruthless force. Pow and I arrived at the house for noon armed with bin liners, a hoover and cleaning products. I told him that I just wanted everything to go into the bin, no exceptions, and charged upstairs to begin bagging up all the remnants that were strewn about my old bedroom. I knelt and the first thing I found was a stuffed-monkey… a monkey Christopher and I had named ‘Burt Reynolds’ and hung proudly on every door or stairwell we could on a rotating basis. Christopher had won Burt for me at Frontier Days the summer of 2004 during his visit. I cuddled Burt to my chest, smelled him and wept… Pow came in from the spare room with a silly hat on and asked if I was okay. I gave him a thumb’s-up and shoved Burt into a bin bag… suffocated him in his plastic tomb with all the other memories that he would have to live with for eternity.
Every single little thing I passed my fingers across held its own special memory that I replayed in my mind and that broke my heart… the stars hung on the wardrobe, the toucan gravy boat and the bottle of Advocaat. Every single one of those things, upon picking them up, whisked my memory bank to the middle of the ballroom in my mind and performed a heart-wrenching and emotional rendition of some sad production or dance routine that left me feeling weary, weepy and some other suitably sad ‘w’ word that I can’t even think of at the moment.
Pow had to leave early, so I forced him to take one final photo at number 7... the photo that is effectively one of my favourite photos ever...
At the end of the day I left number 7 with my giant lily in my arms and Nick in front of me.
I left the keys on the table along with a letter I wrote to my landlord.
I left the house I had fallen so, SO madly in love with three years ago for the last time.
I maintained my composure without crying purely because Nick is precious and hysterical and I couldn’t help but laugh at the visage of myself holding my giant lily plant, freshly dug out of the garden and placed in a bin liner (the only thing big enough to hold the plant’s giant roots) as though I were some off-beat beauty-pageant queen with the biggest bouquet in the history of the world. I pranced around in the hallway before making my way into the fresh evening sunlight and closing the door for the final time.
Nick dropped me off at the new house, which was thankfully devoid of housemate, we had a cup of tea and he left me to it. I immediately didn’t know what to do… I felt a little lost. I stood in the kitchen that I was so familiar with and stared at the mess the combination of my life and Pow’s had created. I set on to tidying it, did all the washing-up, completely re-organized the kitchen cupboards and transplanted my lily before washing my hands and settling down on the wheelchair in the garden with a cup of tea, my book and chevy for my first relaxed sit-down at my new, temporary residence.
The last three days have been blissful. The house has now been perfectly tailored to suit both of our needs and living with him is one of the best things that I could have imagined.
I spent the two weeks prior to the move fretting over the fact that me moving in with him was either going to be the make or break of our friendship… sure that he was going to HATE living with me and would kick me out within a week.
We exist in a wonderful way that has been described by people as ‘combining two of the exact same people in one house.’ We have restful evenings watching films and creating, nice walks to the shop and just the right amount of time away from one another to make our random antics throughout the house all the more perfect.
My moving-in seems to have been the best thing for both of us. I get to spend as much time as I want with my squishy-face and he gets to have his PA living with him and helping him sort his life out for ten weeks. He seems happier and I am so, so much happier.
He is such a safe place for me… someone that I can really just sit and be completely relaxed and myself with. I love his house, him and my life at the moment. I couldn’t possibly be happier, even if I tried.