Wednesday, 29 November 2017

#327 Further west

10pm. The train back from Barnes to Waterloo. I'd first taken this line back in 2006 to attend a house party in Syon Lane. It seemed very exotic at the time. Who were these strange people, living such a vast distance from the city? What time did they set their alarms for? How much were their train fares? Now, I risked becoming one of them. I was looking further out.

A month had passed since I'd started searching for a new room. I'd messaged pretty much every advert within zone two. My body had become more used to sleeping from 3am until 11am but I was fed up and irritable.

Air B&B had seemed like a realistic alternative but during the last 48 hours, I'd more or less abandoned the idea. It had dawned on me that living out of a suitcase without knowing where the next booking would be was actually quite scary.

For three days now, I'd commuted to The Barbican and sat trying to pretend that the high ceilings and colourful lighting made me feel better. Meanwhile, I'd been spamming messages to dozens of room advertisers. I'd started to get rude with the ones who replied without properly reading mine.

In theory, I could carry on like this for a long time. There'd be more adverts to apply to. I could take my time. Why compromise and risk being somewhere else I didn't like? Because I felt stressed out every day and risked becoming ill. Because I'd been messaging solidly for three days and this was the only viewing I had arranged. Because I continued to hemorrhage cash that I'd spent ten years saving and might never make back. Because in the heat of the rental market's competition, if I really wanted to find somewhere, I might have to.

Yet I still didn't want to. I got offered the room in Barnes tonight. Inexplicably quickly. Without meeting three of the housemates. This was all completely commonplace. I couldn't bring myself to do it though. To move in with just anyone, at short notice. Near-impossible as the odds of finding somewhere seemed, I would keep searching and searching. My discontent and frustration would get worse before they got better.

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