I started this blog in the bowels of January, a few days after I had moved into my single occupancy city centre apartment. Little did I know back then, that a mere six months later, literally TENS of people would be reading my daily musings. It certainly gives one pause for thought and reflection – mainly about why I am not using this time more productively. That thought is dismissed, as I enjoy this process.
Back in January I wrote about the strange and creepy individual with whom I shared an abode for the first two months of my Dublin residency, before I sourced my own place. Flatenemy was the nickname I bestowed on him. And a stranger, more delusional and aggressive person I have never met – either before or since.
The alarm bells should have rang, back in October when he offered me the room via a Skype interview, having never met me, and without any need for me to pay a deposit. I could move in a fortnight later, on November 1st. As I had only two weeks to find accommodation I was desperate and jumped at the opportunity. Located in Castleknock the apartment was spacious and clean. I was paying 600euro per month for a box room. I felt this was rather excessive, but, as already mentioned I was not in a position to haggle in terms of price. The clock was ticking. The race was on.
Castleknock is a very well-to-do part of Dublin, from where pretend bad-boy and middle class hero Colin Farrell hails. If you have a family and a car, then it is an absolutely perfect place. Dublin’s answer to Wisteria Lane – a leafy suburb where all the Yummy Mummies go to yoga in their SUVs and Daddy works in a corporate job in town. Or as a dentist.
This is Desperate Housewives country though. Mummy’s prescription pill bottle needs refilling on all too regular basis. Daddy has his eye on that attractive new dental hygienist in the office (which is how he met Mummy). It’s a slippery slope.
If you don’t drive then you are abandoned in this land of twitching curtains and resentment. It’s no coincidence that Castleknock was the location of that grisly murder of a landlord by his tenant some years ago.
I hated it.
The apartment was lovely. But why did Flatenemy pretend to be the owner? He was Swedish, and had lived in Ireland for six months. Yet claimed that he was the owner of our apartment. I never questioned him about this, but my first question would have been ‘What bank is going to give a mortgage to a foreign national who has been in the country a wet week?’
Unless he paid for the apartment in cash? In which case, why would he need a tenant?
Decorated in that bland IKEA style, recognised by renters the world over, a quick google search revealed that the apartment was leased. He was lying about owning it. But I was new in town. I decided not to rock the boat. My new place in town was not fully confirmed yet but highly likely.
Flatenemy had a wife from Thailand. Or so he said.
‘Where does she live?’ I asked.
‘Thailand,’ said he.
‘Is she moving to Ireland?’ said I.
‘Are you moving to Thailand?’
‘Well we are not really married.’
So an imaginary wife as well as an imaginary mortgage.
And he kept asking me whether I had a girlfriend. I am not in the closet to anyone. In fact sometimes I think I am positively flaming. But for some reason I wasn’t about to share details of my life to this guy. Call it a self preservation instinct
Flatenemy had the ensuite bedroom, but liked to get up ten minutes before I did to use the main bathroom, leaving me standing outside waiting.
He left notes for me telling me that he had found a grain of rice on the kitchen floor and that I needed to take more care to keep the place clean.
He had no friends – of course he didn’t – meaning that he was always at home – working on his hobby – which was to become a stocks wizard. If he invested two thousand euros, and got the required return on investment for his next ten consecutive deals he would be worth two million.
‘And how is that going so far for you?’ said I.
Not well apparently. Such a shame.
Most troubling was his creepy presence in my bedroom. I would arrive home to see him with a duster cleaning the gleaming surfaces. I would go into my room and get the eerie sensation that things were not how I left them. Didn’t I leave that magazine on the floor and now it was on the shelf? It was most unsettling.
On the plus side the whole freakish experience inspired me to write my first short play which I performed in the Pearse Centre in February.
The whole Flatenemy situation came to head in January, a couple of days after I had signed my lease for the city centre apartment.
I gave him the promised four week’s notice. That is when the shit hit the fan. I described the fallout in the very first post on this blog. ( Here )
Since that time I have not seen or spoken to him. For some inexplicable reason he emailed me a few weeks after I had left asking to meet up. I deleted the message and blocked his email.
Waiting at the bus-stop yesterday evening for my regular bus to go home, the heavens opened. Not carrying an umbrella I was getting soaked. A bus pulled up. It was not my usual bus – it would take me to town but via a much longer route than normal. It was pouring however, and I decided to endure the additional ten minutes.
I paid the driver, looked towards the rear of the bus.
And there, sitting like a lord, holding forth to some unfortunate looking young women was Flatenemy. I could hear his braying laugh from the opposite end of the bus.
He had not seen me. But time was of the essence. Staring at my feet and raising a hand to my face I sprinted up the stairs, not once glancing at the rear of the bus to see if he had seen me.
Why I behaved like that I do not know. I had nothing to feel guilty or scared about.
But for some unidentifiable reason I wanted at all costs to avoid this deranged fruitloop.
Mission accomplished I hope.