This is me right now:
I’m even doing that award little dance. Only in a less hot way. I feel so weird about this song, by the way. The first time I heard it was I like … holy fuck, Patrick, what are you doing? From The Bachelor to this? This song about twu wuv and redemption. But it’s perfect, so perfect, sweet and – as ever – completely queer. We’ve come a long way, Patrick and Wolf and me. He’s another one of my John Grants, expressing things I need expressed.
So, yeah, I think I’ve actually bought a house. Something I’ve been trying to do for about a year now, and succeeded in doing almost by accident. There long saga of The House On Poet Road is somewhere in the depths of this ill-kept blog but basically there was a house I liked, then there wasn’t, then I was a broken man. We kept looking in a half-arsed kind of way between then and now until it felt like we were standing still on the motorway of flying-past houses, none of which we were able to flag down.
To be fair, this bit of the south east has a completely nutters housing market. It’s the sort of place where the money you would spend on a two bedroom hovel would buy you, basically, a mansion north of Birmingham. And it’s not going to get better any time soon. But, hey, you make your choices right? Also buying a house is weird because it’s so unspeakably expensive that there’s no point compromising on anything. You don’t want to lay down scary proportions of a million quid on something you’re so-so about. And we had a bunch of immovables on top of that like not being fucked with DIY.
By August I’d basically given up everything: pride, hope, joy, you name it. If we liked a house, I was offering asking price, oral sex and the souls of any of my unlikely children, and we were still being turned down. Because that’s how completely insane the house market it is. We were being outbid on asking price. Anyway, we found this place, and the owner was having to move North to take care of her ailing mother (a sad story but beneficial to us … and how bad do I feel about that?) So I banged my money on the table (metaphorically, I’m not wandering about with hundreds of thousand stuffed in an old sock) and … yeah … we were outbid. So I went a bit higher. And we were outbid. And I went a bit higher … and yeah … I gave up.
Cue: H and I in Edinburgh, in the cafe in the Gilded Balloon, bitching about a terrible play about arse-fucking we’d just seen. Don’t ask. Okay, you can ask. It was called The Surrender, based on a book of the same name, and we’d gone because we’d had nothing else to do at one o’clock in the afternoon. It was supposed to be subversive I generally find things that are supposed to be subversive deeply banal. So, yeah, it’s about a woman who likes to get fucked up in the arse. Um, yes? And? Some people enjoy that. And what’s really weird it’s just about getting fucked up the arse by this one dude. She claimed it took a special, mystical kind of man to be able to do that. To quote H, as we were leaving: “No, it doesn’t. Just ask, love, and we’ll give it a go.”
Oh yes, so there we were, post-arse-fucking, and my phone rang. Unknown number. And it was the estate agent, telling me the other people had dropped out, and did I still want to the buy house.
“Hell to the yes,” quoth I.
And put in my offer at asking. Aaaaand so we acquired a house. Or, at least, we’ve done everything we need to do to have a house except, y’know, complete. And it’s scary as all hell because it has required me to hand over literally all the money I have in the world, acquire life insurance so that if I die, H isn’t, y’know, completely fucked, sign a lot of paperwork and let the flat so we didn’t end up having to pay rent and mortgage.
I have so many terrors right now I can barely count them. There’s the whole “if this falls through we’re kind of actually really homeless” problem. There’s the “um, this house is slightly more expensive than I originally budgeted so we can’t afford any furniture” issue. But, like, really. How much do you really need a fridge. Or a sofa. Or tables. There’s a mild, utterly baseless paranoia that I might just randomly die. Although, if you ask me, life insurance is just an invitation for your partner to murder you and make it look like an accident.
The house itself, by the way, is lovely. Full of light. With fireplaces. Also, the surveys assure me, connected to a public sewer and very probably not situated on contaminated ground. I honestly have no idea what surveys are meant to actually tell you. I mean, as far as I can work out, it’s basically so you know you’re not living in the bad bit of Sim City, where the player hasn’t figured out how to connect you to the electricity and water grid yet, but it’s all couched in this opaque legal language so who the fuck knows? The place is late Victorian which means it has … character. The character of a histrionic and vulnerable person. I’m pretty sure we’re going to end up nurturing this thing through the winter, and hoping the roof doesn’t fall off, but dammit. Light and fireplaces. Priorities, right?
I was very much in love with The House on Poet Road. I am not in love with the new place, even though it is better in every conceivable way. Which makes me basically Lynton from A Civil Contract. But I think it’s mainly because I’m too scared for love right now. I still can’t quite believe this thing is happening.
Also the whole business is an exercise being a fake grown up. We had to go the solicitor’s office yesterday to sign the papers. For some reason, we were both having a “sorry, so fucks available” day which meant we rocked up at this quite posh building to do this quite important thing, involving a ridiculous amount of money, looking like we couldn’t be trusted to open a can of beans on our own.
The thing that makes me feel like the biggest failure as a grown up is my inability to manage my washing. Like, what is with this? H has the same problem but doesn’t care. I care. I care deeply. I feel if I was a proper mature human, I’d be able to look at my clothes, assess none of them will be clean in a couple of days time, and do something about it. As opposed to look at my clothes, discover none of them are clean and embark on increasingly convoluted adventures to what-to-wear rather than, y’know, do some washing. H generally identifies wearable clothing by … picking it off on the floor and smelling it. I don’t do this, thank God. I move worn clothes into the laundry bag. But it’s like the laundry bag is a black hole out of my conscious and subconscious mind. Because once clothes are in there, they do not exist. They are dead to me. Opening it is this incredible voyage of discovery: oh yes, I own socks, and shirts, amazing. Like a couple of weeks ago, I actually went to Tescos in a tux because I literally had nothing else to wear.
But the worst of it is our laundry-aversion-grown-up-failure-ness has synched up so in perfect harmony we’ll recognise the existence of the possibility of washing clothes, and simultaneously attempt to wash all our clothes at once. Which leads to a lot of nakedness and arguing, and a house that smells of damp socks for days after.
So we’re both at the end of our non-laundry cycle which meant we both looked terrible. H was wearing this pair of jeans so old that the seams had started fray all the way up the inside of the legs. All the way up. Holy God. And a T-shirt stolen from me which said “OMGWTFLOL” in big pink letters. As for me, we were talking explosion in a quirk factory. All the silly shit from when I was a student and is still lying in the bottom of my wardrobe. When were in the waiting room, other clients – most of whom were in suits – were actually edging away from us.
And these were the people who bought an actual house. Such as human grownups own.
I feel like someone from the Bureau of No Seriously What The Fuck is going to turn up at any moment, and revoke my licence.