Empty

Afraid.

No. That isn’t the right word.

Insecure.

No, nor that either.

Lonely? Alone? Well, yes, kind of, to the second.

Lost.

Only in as much as the place is HUGE. No, not really. I’ve lived in places that are much, much bigger. Yet it’s almost as if I could be lost here at any moment. As if it is possible for me to become disconnected from the real world. From reality.

It echoes. And, yet, there is no background sound. Even the sound of the trams passing along the street at the end of the road don’t make an impact to the silence of the place. Some people talking in the street – and yet it seems separate from the place. It’s still, for some reason, NOT background noise. There IS no background noise. There’s the feeling of utter, utter silence.

I contemplate putting some music on to play in the background but don’t as if it would, by doing that, emphasise the fear, insecurity, loneliness, sense of being alone and lost that I already feel. And yet none of these things adequately sum up what it is that I feel.

The dogs are no help, even if they are in the room with me. Right there, at my feet. Yet we seem small in this one room, not least the whole flat.

Later I try to explain this a bit. “We’re not using the flat,” I say. “We haven’t got a kitchen we can use. We can’t even make a cup of coffee.”

That’s only partly true, of course. We could do it, if we want. But the kitchen is still half-finished, so is not a “complete” room. It’s a room that I pass through. That isn’t “lived in”. Therefore it feels little more than an unfinished corridor.

In addition, there are few pictures up. We don’t have the rugs back yet. We don’t have curtains up. These things deaden the silence. Make the absence of sound more manageable. F, of course, would prefer no curtains; no rugs; few pictures. But I can’t have windows without frames, walls which are completely bare, floors which are just too hard. I need some soft touches. Things that blur the edges; make things rounder rather than so square and angular.

This will take time. Not only do we have to get the things but I have some convincing to do. The rugs are easy. These are for the dogs. The pictures too, not too difficult. The curtains, more so. But, still, he hasn’t said “no”.

After we got back from the bar, he tried putting the television on. We connected everything but we get no signal. As if the aerial is not connected to the aerial socket.

We both agree that we’ve never had these problems living somewhere before. The buzzer from the front door doesn’t work; the bell at our door doesn’t work; there was no gas connected; the aerial; the boiler; the kitchen; etc., etc. Such little things but they just make it “not quite comfortable” – it all seems like so much work.

But until all these things are done or fixed, the flat remains a kind of large, echoing void. In need of some human touch to make it real. To make it our home.

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