My Last Shared House

To recap, I’d been living in London for…probably two years? Can it really have only been two years? I crammed a lot in. Maybe three years. And I lived in about five shared properties. Always awful. But I couldn’t afford my own place because I was working sporadically at various low-paying jobs. To get your own place would cost an absolute minimum of about £550/month. And that would be for a shitty studio on the outskirts of the city. For shared properties, I was paying between £200 and £300 a month, usually with bills included. Bills aren’t included when you have your own place, at least in my experience.

So I got this place in Kingsbury in North London. I could swear that I also lived in Queensbury, which is a neighbouring borrough, but I don’t know. Maybe I just worked in Queensbury for some job. Because I’m familiar with the name.

This was a house. There was an Australian guy, another Australian guy and his German wife, a Polish guy, and me. So it wasn’t too bad. Five people in a house. It was a two story house. Compare this to the 20 people who lived in that squalid house owned by the Hasidic Jews.

When I first got there, I was doing data entry in that property management company that I talked about in the previous article. And the single Australian guy mocked me for that. That’s a good way to introduce yourself. He was a teacher, by the way. So was the other Australian guy. The German woman was some kind of exercise instructor. The Polish guy worked in IT.

I was paying £75/week or something. The room was tiny. It only fit a bed and shelves. When I viewed the property, it had really nice shelves but when I actually moved in, those nice shelves were gone and replaced with shelves that were clearly built by the landlord or some other total amateur from bits of scrap wood. There was also a really, really dilapidated wardrobe.

But whatever. I’m just fucking sick of it. I’m sick of having to move all of the time and I’m sick of these shitty shared properties.

I did the data entry job for a few months and then I quit. I wasn’t working for about three months. But I had money because whenever I wasn’t working, I’d go and claim benefits. And this place was actually done properly. I was on the lease. The landlord knew I was there. So when I went to claim benefits, I just gave the documentation and that was that. They paid your rent and they also paid you £72/week or whatever for your day to day expenses. It was fine.

During one of these periods where I wasn’t working, the married Australian guy asked what I’m going to do for work. I said “Nothing. I have money and I’m getting benefits.” He said, “Won’t you get bored, though?” I said, “No.” It’s true. I have no problem not working. I enjoy not working. I can do it all day, every day.

The other Australian guy moved out shortly after I moved in. I think that it was coincidental. And a South African couple moved in. They lived downstairs. The rest of us lived upstairs in what would be bedrooms if this was a being operated as a normal family house, which is what the place was built for. This is what they do in London. They take family houses and convert them into shared properties. So even when I get my own place, it’s just a section of a house. From the outside, it looks like a normal family house but inside, it’s been divided up into four or however many apartments. It’s shit.

I actively avoided everybody. And I know that they were offended. And I understand them being offended. And I wish that I wasn’t like this. But I just hate it. I hate not having privacy. I hate people knowing my business.

I met up with a Chinese woman during this time. She was a few years older than me and had two children. I was becoming increasingly desperate. This was during a period where I wasn’t working and she kind of offered me a job at her home-based import business. She would import shit from China and then sell it. She also had a regular job in an office. And she showed me pictures of her children. Their father was white. That’s typically how these things go. I don’t know. We went out a couple of times, I think, but it’s an embarassing story so whatever. It didn’t work out. I don’t think either of us were particularly interested. It was just mutual desperation.

I was in the property for two years. I went out with loads of women. Usually just once. They were from every country in Asia. Mostly China, though.

Actually, there were a few non-Asian women. I went out with a fat Spanish woman once. I don’t remember anything about it other than her saying, “You’re not enjoying this.” Again, it’s just because I was really bad in social situations.

There was a white English woman. She was very pleasant and we had a nice time but I just wasn’t into her. I saw that she had a baby a few years later. Good for her.

I also went out with a 6’1″ German woman. Same deal, really. And by that point, I was just making a game of seeing how much bullshit I could say to people. So I’d make up ridiculous stories of things that I obviously didn’t do and just try to run with it. Because this was after meeting like 50 women and it never going anywhere. So I just stopped caring and just went on these dates to amuse myself. But yeah, I think that she had a baby a few years after I met her too.

But generally, my dating experiences got a lot better after I stopped caring. Almost nobody wanted to go out on a second date when I was actually desperate and trying to make things happen. But when I stopped caring, virtually everybody wanted to go out again. Unfortunately, I didn’t want to go out with them again. So there’s something to be learned from this. Women can smell desperation and they don’t like it. Also, my social skills got better, the more I went out.

Back to the house, after taking a shower, I would hang my towel up on a hanger. It had clips on it so I would clip the towel onto this hanger and the hanger was on the curtain rod of my window. I would hang it there to dry, of course.

It was summer. And it was hot. So when I’d wake up, I would be a little sweaty and I would wipe my face on this towel.

I do that one day and then I pull back and see a huge spider on the towel. It was the size of my hand. This was like somebody’s pet.

I panicked. I can’t crush it. It’s fucking huge. And I didn’t want to get my flatmates involved because I didn’t talk to any of them. I didn’t want to involve them only when I’m in serious trouble.

So I got my can of bug spray and I sprayed half a fucking can on that thing. It scurried across the curtain rod and then fell behind the dilapidated wardrobe. And there was an audible thud when it hit the ground.

Then I just sat there, on my bed, for like two hours concentrating my focus in the vicinity of that wardrobe, checking for any signs of that spider. I didn’t see it again.

I never went back to look for that spider. I never moved the wardrobe to retrieve the body. Fuck it. I don’t see it, so it’s fine. Let somebody else deal with that.

I’ve got more to say about this place. I was there for two years. But I’ll bring this exciting saga to an end another time.

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