Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Chip fat and hope

I met my new potential landlord in the lounge of his luxury hotel and we drove over to see the property in his brand new BMW. A laptop sized screen on the dashboard invited me to control the in-car climate. The new potential landlord had stains down the front of his white t-shirt, "he'd been working in the kitchens today" he said. The smell of over fried food in old, over used oil filled the car.

He let himself into the house by reaching through the hole in the front door, "the glass got broken yesterday" he said. I waited in the hallway as he searched through a hundred keys to open up my potential new room; I could see through a doorway into a dingy lounge. A fat man with a beard sat at a wooden table in the centre of the room, no television or newspaper in front of him. "Hello" I said. He didn't answer, just stared into space, his hand was on the table and he was rubbing his thumb and fingers against each other.

"Here we go" said the potential new landlord and he opened the door. The room was small and dingy. The window faced onto a stained grey wall so there was no need for the filthy yellow net curtains to be there. The woodchip wallpaper was peeling and the furniture looked like it had been rescued from a skip. "This isn't what I'm looking for" I said, and left.

I walked down the road, wondering what the fuck I was going to do. A sign gleamed out of a steamy window in front of me - Acommodation. A dented brass doorknob opened the door to the glass porch; peeling blue paint and full of plants and large pieces of tree tied to the walls. No answer from the doorbell so I pressed up against the glass panel in the front door and looked into the gloom. I could see an old painting at the back of the hall, a portrait in oils of a pale woman, more plants and a box of records shoved under a wooden bureau. I felt that if I walked into the house there would probably be a clock ticking somewhere in the background and all the rooms would be filled with books I've never read. This is a place I could be comfortable.

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