I’ve had my last meal.
I’ve taken my last stroll around the headland. Seen the lights twinkle. Heard the sea slosh.
I’m going to watch my last movie.
Have my last shower.
Climb the stairs and struggle to sleep for the last time in this heat, in this flat.
Tomorrow, like an obedient puppy following his bed, I’ll be a Drayton-drip, no longer a Southsea-skank (I’ve been one of those since I was 18, thank you very much).
It’s been ten years in this flat.
I’ve set out to do so much, some of it I’ve achieved.
These walls have seen my entire funeral career.
Friends have been made, some have grown close.
Friends have been lost, one of them like a sister.
I’ve had a breakdown and rebalanced.
After slicing my thumb open on a glass, I fainted for the very first time like an ungraceful sack of shit in the hallway.
I’ve locked myself out and broken back in too many times to count.
From sofa to Sainsbury’s to sofa is 8 minutes, depending on riff-raff.
I’ll miss the sea. I won’t miss the tourists, but I’ll be a tourist the next time I see it.
I won’t miss the drunks, that’s for certain.
I won’t miss the bird that screams at night and wakes up all the other birds, who makes me wish I had a shotgun, but a loud BANG would wake up more birds and I’d never get to sleep.
I won’t miss the neighbours slamming doors, shaking the building with their washing machines at midnight, stomping the stairs. I will miss the pleasant chats with the new couple in flat 2. I’ve waited a long time for pleasant people, but I’ve suffered Dave and now I’m moving.
I’ll always remember Dave. I can still see him in skin-tight lycra with slobber in his beard. I’ll never unsee him naked playing his guitar. I won’t get passive-aggressive notes stuck to my door anymore. I enjoyed our weeklong public argument. He thought I was playing loud music and waking him up at 3am when I wasn’t, it was the students next door.
For more than one person, this flat has always been an unusable shithole.
- The kitchen is two counters and a sink, a hob, and on oven you’ve got to keep moving.
- The living room is a tiny little rectangle with enough space for a TV, a freezer, two swivel chairs, and my fat arse.
- The bedroom is small and two-tier with downstairs, the dressing room, and upstairs, the sleeping nook with enough height for a double-bed, a body, and a nose.
- The bathroom is a bathroom, reasonably sized. Although, I did spend 9 years thinking the shower didn’t work. Shaun turned it on and I haven’t had a bath since.
- The hallway, again, is a hallway — it’s maybe a touch narrow.
For me, it’s been sanctuary. It’s been home. It’s been the place where my bed is, my sanity also. Insanity, too. I should take a photo of the dent in the wall from when I threw my phone at it. I’m going to miss that dent. It’s a good dent. It helped me rebalance.
Anyway, enough bullshit…
I’ve loved hating living here — it’s been a blast!