Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Wish You Were Here

Back when we first moved into Tufnell Park Towers, I was in the final weeks of writing my dissertation. Naturally then, I was taking inordinate strolls around the new flat, rather than sit at my computer toiling away at the drudgery. One of my favourite trips was to the kitchen and then the fridge, which could be then examined for tasty things to put in my mouth. This trip had the added bonus that, should I not find anything worthy of my mouth in the fridge, I could justify a further trip to the front door and then a stroll to the shops. On one such trip combo, I noticed I’d been sent a postcard which lay on the doormat and, seeing an opportunity for continuing my adjournment from work, I set about rooting out some Blu Tack, and stuck it to the fridge door.
"That looks nice," I probably thought.

Some time later, I came home one day to be confronted by then-Housemate Reggae nodding purposely at me.
"I’ve got something to show you," he said proudly. I was automatically wary. "I noticed you’d put a postcard up on the fridge, and thought it was a good idea. So come and see."
I followed him to the kitchen, and found that the fridge was now covered in postcards.
"It looks good doesn’t it?" Reggae announced, just falling short of placing his hands on his hips.
"But who are they from? Where did they suddenly come from?" I asked. I leant forward, and peeled one of the postcards back to examine the back. It was blank.
"Reggae," I said. "Please don’t tell me you have put up postcards you bought yourself."
"It’s great, isn’t it?" Reggae continued. "Now when people come round they will think we are really popular and have friends all over the world."
"Well, three very persistent friends across the world," I muttered; Reggae had seemingly only been on three holidays, so our collection consisted of cards hailing only from Vilnius, Johannesburg or Paris, with about five from each.
"I think it looks really cool," Reggae said, slightly hurt, carefully smoothing down the corner of the card I’d lifted.
"Well, it certainly is enough to make me shiver, but I think you should take them down," I said, slowly shaking my head.
"What’s wrong with it?" Reggae gasped.
"Aside from the fact there will be no space to put any real postcards?" I asked. "Well, it’s just a bit… desperately sad."

The postcards remained though. It wasn’t my place to shatter Reggae’s illusion that he was perceived as some sort of international jet setter amongst the hordes of people who would flock round to examine the face of our fridge to gain insights into our life. They made me cringe every time I went to the fridge, but after a few months they became part of the scenery. And, like a lot of his junk, when he left they stayed behind.

Last night, Housemate Louise and I were cooking when one of the postcards became dislodged and fell to the floor.
"Those postcards are starting to fall off you know," Housemate Louise noted. "Who are they all from, anyway?"
"Er… most of them are sort of from… nobody," I muttered, embarrassedly. "A remnant of Reggae; he wanted to be thought of as popular as well as a great thinker."
"It’s fucking desperately sad," she said, smoothly tearing them off and stuffing them in the bin. "Well uncool."
I breathed a sigh of relief. Just like that, my kitchen had all of a sudden become much more bearable a place.

6 comments:

Chris Cope said...

Now you have a place for the Christmas card I sent and which you received several months after the fact.

Monica said...

Aw. I collect postcards too, but over the years people have gotten too lazy to buy a stamp and mail them to me, so they just bring them back from the trip and hand them to me blank. I guess I am a loser too.

Huw said...

If other people are giving them to you, I think that's quite alright Monica. It's the whole buying them yourself and passing them off as being from other people which is the way of the loser.

Tim-tambolini said...

I'm curious to know how many Housemates you've actually had?! And what is the reason for them moving on?! Do they move in with other people because they end up finding you distastful (I doubt that's it)? Do they move in with a significant other? Do they just move away from your particular city? What's going on?

Huw said...

I've had four seperate housemates since I've lived in this particular flat. None has stayed for less than a year. I think, for people my age and in this city, that's a normal flatmate turnaround.

Jona said...

So does this mean you have room for real postcards now? And would you like us to start sending you some? If so, mail me your address ;o)