|Illustration by Onnie Cleary|
I hate sharing my house. I don’t mind sharing with Grizelda, she’s like family, but the idea of a stranger moving into my daily routine is freaking me the fuck out. Sydney’s real estate prices are threatening to rob me of my privacy and dignity. If you saw me first thing in the morning you’d understand about the dignity.
I’m not very good in the mornings. I tend to walk around in a daze, bumping into walls and trying to remember how to switch the kettle on. For the first hour of the day, for no discernible reason at all, I am largely disabled. Grizelda waits until I have half-drunk my first coffee before attempting to talk to me and I appreciate her tact and understanding because I know it is rare.
When I bought a new desk I spent six months researching desks; going into shops and sitting down behind them, imagining how it would feel to sit there every day, what it would look like brought into my home, where everything from my jar of pens and stack of notebooks to my external hard drive would sit. Now that I am showing people aroundThe Peach to see if they want to move in I get to spend about half an hour with a person before deciding whether or not they get to share my life. This is not ideal.
In a world where people did not go insane over property Grizelda and I would be able to afford The Peach all by ourselves, just the two of us. And the cat. Last week I was reading a budgeting guide for the modern man, printed in 1960. It suggested that spending more than ten percent of your income on a mortgage was stupid. If I lived in The Peach by myself, rent would account for one hundred and ten percent of my income. I used a calculator and that’s what it said, don’t doubt my maths. Real estate junkies have now officially inflated prices past the point of stupid. Well done.
Five times I have given someone a tour of The Peach, answering their questions about my temperament and living style politely. On the inside of me head I’m screaming, "It is none of your fucking business, stupid stranger bastard!". I’m losing myself in translation from inside to out. They all say I seem very calm and easygoing but I am not calm. And I am not easygoing. I am going to hate you if you fuck with my shit. And I don’t even know what constitutes fucking with my shit. It could be as simple as using my pink teapot without asking, misaligning my shampoo bottles on their rack or leaving your dirty cup on the coffee table. It might not be anything like that at all. It might be interrupting a sentence forming silently in my head, or talking to my friends, or not talking to my friends... These things are harder than expected to predict.