It has been a strange week – ups and downs, highs and lows, overs and unders, and any other appropriate and deep sounding opposites.
It started on Monday – as weeks tend to do. I had arranged with Flatenemy that I would move the last of my stuff from the apartment. There was nothing major left to move – all the requirements for comfortable living, as well as all my clothes, toothbrushes and insulin had already been installed in my fabulous new apartment in town. All that was left to collect was some items that weren’t essential, but were useful to have – a spare quilt and pillow, a laundry basket, some shoes and books.
I arrived at house and Flatenemy was not at home. I won’t say that I timed my arrival to ensure that he would not be home from work. I had not arranged to meet him at any particular time – I merely said I would call over on Monday. But I cannot tell a lie – I knew he wouldn’t be there at that particular time. I collected my stuff and hobbled to the busstop with the last of my possessions and made my way to town.
With the keys of the old flat in my pocket.
Now as this is the very first post of my new blog,I won’t explain the psychodrama that was involved in living with Flatenemy for the first 2 months of my tepid return to Dublin. Let it just be said that when the opportunity to get my very own place presented itself, I grabbed hold of it and stapled myself to it.
Rent on the old flat was paid until January 31st,so in my naivete/cunning (you decide which) I thought this meant that the keys could be returned on or around that date.
While on the bus I received a call. From Flatenemy. I rejected it and blocked his number.
When I arrived home I sent him a mail telling him that he’d get his keys at the end of the month – if he needed them sooner he needed to tell me the date he needed them by and I would return said keys when he had paid me the balance for the remaining days left in the month.
Now I understand that this is not the kindest of behaviours. But I am not Donald Trump (for starters despite my receding hairline I am vehemently opposed to combovers). Flatenemy would get some innocent young bumpkin from the continent into that apartmenr in a Limerick minute, but he wasn’t going to profit off me in the process.
Flatenemy did not agree with my perfectly reasonable (if self-serving logic).
He left a voicemail the next day – he sounded slightly strangled, telling me I was being childish and needed to return his keys immediately. I deleted it. I was going to be all Joan Collins about this – I am paid to the end of the month. I am a busy career boy. I don’t have time for trivialities like insane flatmates who wander about my bedroom when I am not home.
The next morning I arrived at work at 8.30am. The friendly Polish security guard called me over as I entered to tell me that he had received a number of phone calls from what sounded like a lunatic, demanding to speak to my manager, claiming that I was a thief and he needed to speak to me immediately.
Oh shite. I went to my desk and checked my hotmail see a series of increasingly deranged emails demanding that I return the keys to him, that he was going to call the police. And that he was calling over to the office to see me.
The phone rang. It is friendly Polish security guard, telling me that he has just hung up from a crazed, violent sounding weirdo. I tell him to put him through to me if he calls me again.
My heart is racing. He doesn’t know where I work does he? Oh shit – I had to provide him with proof of employment before I moved in.
He wouldn’t actually call over though, would he?
He probably would.
I sat myself down, and took out my quill and composed the most legal sounding email I could think of, utilising every quasi-threatening, but pleasant phrase I would think of – the words ‘Threatening. ME?’; ‘harassment of my good self in my place of business’; ‘call the police on you’; ‘standard rental practice is to keep keys until the date the rent is paid’ and ‘you fucking psycho’ were used on the email.
It seemed to work – he replied saying he would pay me the balance and I replied saying I would send him the keys.
I was all a flutter for the rest of the day.
On Wednesday I got the lovely news about the play I wrote being staged at the end of next month. My intention was to be the star – that was why I wrote it in the first place. I was all Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney about the whole process ‘Well if they won’t allow me to be in their show, I’ll make my own show thank you very much. Pass the pill bottle please.’
However as I wrote it, it made sense that I direct it. And if I am to be a dictatorial director then it’s probably best that someone else star in it, so I can see what it looks like. And that seems to be moving in the right direction.
The story is not remotely autobiographical. The main character in the play is called David, and my name is not David. I am very excited about the the prospect though. I will be a playwright and director (even if said play is only 15 minutes long, I wrote and will direct that baby, in its several performances. Thank you very much).
I may write at some other point about what working life has been like since my return to the motherland. But not right now. It is too complicated and tormented.
On the plus side it is Friday now, and I bought a new hob for my cooker in Power City in Coolock this evening.
It is being delivered on Monday/
I plan to boil an egg to celebrate.