Lost in knitwear »

A friend in need is a pain in the arse

  Mon 5th June 2017

Wednesday
There are Syrians in dinghies tonight hoping that that's Malta over there, but relativism isn't any use in quashing one's own moaning.

The worst thing about not knowing where I'll be sleeping from Saturday night is not the consuming worry that that causes, but the amazing realisation that my closest friends are reluctant to have me littering the settee for a few days. I find it difficult to ask for help as it is, and the slightest hesitation in it being offered is reason enough to make me swear never to request it again.

Everyone is "sure it'll work out." Everyone except me knows I will be fine. Everyone thinks someone else can put me up for a bit. I'm being passed around like the unwanted parcel, and the music isn't stopping.

I keep wondering if it's me, whether I am making an unreasonable request, but I would never leave a friend to fend for themselves, saying "it's a bit difficult". People whom I've known for two hours, and internet phantoms I had never met before I opened the door to them, have had my settee when they've needed it.

Something has shifted. I can't, at the moment, think how we'll resume the status quo ante. And in this way, completely unexpectedly, I find signposted my way out of love with Wendy.

Kitty and Wendy did today say that they could lend me the money for a deposit on a room or flat, which is kind of them, since they hardly earn anything; they've also offered to loan me the £50 I'll need to put down immediately should the property guardian place I'm looking at this morning be offered to me. With this new-found backing I have requested viewings on seven places, but it's a nerve-wracking schedule, to start looking for somewhere to move into on Saturday, on Wednesday.


Thursday
I went round to see the property guardian place. It's a two-bed terraced house on a steeply sloping street in a middling part of Lancaster, where a diacritical mark is a bad result in one of your GCSEs. It's in a mess, a dead shoal of post on the mat and smears of paint pot samples on the walls attesting to abandoned decorating. The real draw though is the little south-facing garden out the back, which needs Prosecco and cricket commentary and barbecues -- and alas -- Wendy, with her untouchable summer dresses and their untouchable hems.

A few days ago Donna no.2, whom I don't know at all well, said that I could move into hers for a while. She rings to withdraw the offer, as her son's up. I asked Wilma again, who said that I could stay for the weekend, then a few hours later said that the thought of my being there was creating so much anxiety that she can't accommodate me.


Friday
Thursday's was a long shift; I got back at half past midnight. I woke up at midday, having slept right through my appointment to see a flat which was fixed for 9.45am. Trina arrived, and we hauled my more than a thousand vinyl records down from the second floor and into her car, and installed them in her mum's house outside Southport. We went to the pub and sunned ourselves with Prosecco.

Walking back to the station, I get on the phone and upset Wendy. I downgraded my request to asking if she could keep my clothes at hers for a while. "Yes," she said, "but you'd have to wait until G--- [the fuckwit lazy ex] has left." Her mention of that name and how yet once again I am to be kept in quarantine from him, poured fuel onto my bonfire of instabilities and resource depletion. "It's OK, it's OK, I'll find something else, don't bother," and put the phone down.

Her response was perfectly reasonable and helpful; mine, an insulting over-reaction, but I have run out of reasonableness at the moment. I apologised to her later, saying that I am "stressed to fuck at the moment, and unfortunately I'm visiting this on the people closest to me." We're meeting up on Thursday but some of the lustre has gone. And why would I try to get it back? "...and I love you too x". Which means not a fucking thing.


Today, Monday
I spent the weekend working mainly, and staying at the girls' house. Made several mistakes on the till during this posh reception at work, then cocked up a couple of orders. I am worried, worried, worried, and missing the chips off someone's order assumes inordinate importance. Will I get sacked? And what then? "Please give me another chance Terri. I'm ever so sorry the till's out and that that couple didn't get their chips."

I had arranged to couchsurf with someone on Sunday night and tonight. I left to go to her house. Looking like a bag man with a couple of shirts, a computer and a little bag with my undies, a razor, and a toothbrush, I bump into Kirsty, boyf, and the girls in the street. They all burst out laughing. "It's funny for you, but not for me."

The couchsurfer isn't in. No answer on the phone or text. I sit down on her step and have a little sob. Absolutely out of ideas now, I ask Kirsty if I could come back and stay for the night. I am humiliated, my secret now out with the girls. The cat curled up with me; my back ached from my unaccustomed labour.

A day off today, and this morning, I am pulled off the dinghy: Seriouscrush emails, agreeing to my desperate request (phrased more insouciantly than that) to stay at my old place for another week; my employer cc's me into an email confirming my employment status with the agent for the new house; and Seriouscrush informs me that she'll send back my landlord's reference today.


An advert on spareroom. Note the characteristics of the local paternal vegan landlord: the micro-management of your footwear, and to watch television is aberrant in ways akin to those that condition wanking, although I bet Dennis and Geoff like to get a New Private Window out at night. I'm tempted to set up a subscription to Mayfair for myself, then, after a careful perusal to ensure that there are no images unsuitable for a shoeless vegan, repackage it in transparent plastic, and deliver it each month to the Father of the House.

Local readers will note that Our Father has mistaken "his" property as a "converted Victorian Post Office" when in fact it's the old Victoria Hotel. I used to buy speed in there, and comparing the length of the lines I used to stick up my nose after my purchases there with the much shrunken ones of the greatly improved amphetamine available to one and all now, it makes me wonder how much belly fluff of a chav I sniffed in the 90s.

At least he's honest about the fees which will soon be illegal. A pedant would point out that quoting agent's fees without VAT included is already illegal, but it's the way that you'd find no-one to join you in a night of tinny lager, Iceland pizza, and Gogglebox, that really puts me off the place.

6 comments

Comment from: isabelle [Visitor]

Fucking hell, the vegan house sounds like utter hell. I expect they never lose their tempers and more than likely speak in HRI, beginning each sentence with , ‘So’.
I won’t be all sunny side up with you, it sounds like desperate times. I’m sorry, I hope you find somewhere soon x x

Mon 5th June 2017 @ 20:44
Comment from: [Member]

My situation is pretty dire, but not so abject as having to be interviewed by a bunch of self-congratulating people who bring a new meaning to anally retentive. No way.

When people assure me that things will be OK, it makes me clench, because I wish they’d share their confident knowledge of how that will be so, with me. It’s their use of the future tense that bothers me. There have been times lately when I’ve thought “yes, but what about tonight?”

Mon 5th June 2017 @ 20:56
Comment from: Homer [Visitor]

I second all reservations about that house. My god, they all sound so desperately EARNEST. The Simpsons clip where a middle-aged eco-warrior gets into an electric car “powered by my own sense of self-satisfaction” which then zooms off at top speed cones to mind.

There is a great deal of joy to be had in a takeaway pizza out the box in front of Take Me Out. The eco-wazzocks are missing out.

Mon 5th June 2017 @ 22:55

People say ‘things will be OK’ more for their own benefit than yours. They mean well but it’s a big leap to have someone move in for an indeterminate amount of time. They’re scared. This is the worst kind of luck. Keep us posted. Don’t just fall off the map.

Tue 6th June 2017 @ 11:38
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Yes Homer, I think that house would be stomach ulcer central. Bet they only shit once a week.

Exile – I would only be there for two or three days at a time, but still people seem horrified at the idea of me sleeping in their houses. It’s really undermined a view I had had of my friends.

Wed 7th June 2017 @ 22:29
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

People, as a whole, fucking suck… the breadwinner once told me i was the hardest man she’d ever met, unable and unwilling to accept help, she’s right of course and that’s because if you need help you’re most likely fucked, the ones you think you can count on will be the first to flee and it usually ends up being the kindness of strangers that get you through, hence i’ve been lucky enough to not have to ask for much, i’m hoping things turn for you my friend, kind souls deserve the benefit of the universe, call it lucky breaks or good luck or what not, and while i think fuck all of the so-called silver linings i must admit i’m happy to see some of the luster wearing off Wendy, the cold and hard truth may not be the most comforting but when you realize what it is it’s strangely liberating… hopefully this makes sense, a few restless nights and too much ganja makes me daft sometimes…

Thu 8th June 2017 @ 16:55


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M / 53 / Lancaster ("the Brighton of the North").

"Looby is a left-wing intellectual who is obsessed with a) women's clothes and b) tits." -- Joy of Bex.

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