On Monday I went to view a flat for rent in my local town. Well, I say I - we went. It seemed like a good place to view, but when we got there, the clipped estate agent (all skirt and hair) showed us a minimal room and gave us a price that amounted to about £900 - I had forgotten, when I did my calculations, to factor in council tax and bills. We left after three minutes.
On Tuesday we caught a bus down a long A-road that's near where we live at the moment because I'd had an "emergency viewing" offered for a cheaper flat that had suddenly become available. It took us a long time to get there, and we were confronted with a sleazy man who demanded a deposit immediately on a dark, dank, dirty and minuscule room with a ridiculously high price attached to it. We couldn't leave quickly enough.
And then on Wednesday we walked about twenty minutes to a place about half a mile from here (directly, although the hills and bends in the road made it seem longer). We were shown a double room in a share house. In light of the trouble we'd had for the rest of the week and my parents' constant refrain that we need to move out of the house before they do, we said yes. It's in the same postcode, my friends and family are nearby if we need a lifeline, and it's equal distance from the train station, so I can still get to work really easily. And, crucially, it's really cheap.
We returned home relatively buoyant.
Today we went back there to hand in our deposit and I freaked out a bit. In light of having had a little time to think about our situation, I was positive about moving, and then I realised how small the room is. Despite my mother's continued refrain that I don't have as much stuff as I think I do, I do have that much, and a lot more besides. Plus all Jilly's stuff. There are two wardrobes built into the walls (one of which, probably mine, doesn't have a door that closes properly, and I really want to fix that), and a double bed, under which we can store stuff, but still, there's a ridiculous amount of haulage that needs to be done, and such a small room.
I almost cried. I suddenly felt trapped and insecure. And the weight of having to do all this in such a quick period of time was crushing. As Jilly eloquently puts it, "I really wish we didn't have to move."
While I was at university (first time around), I was in a tiny room, but I managed to arrange it so that everything had a place and, although not exactly roomy, it was OK for my needs. But this is different. There are two of us and a large amount of stuff that needs to be stored. Even if we move out simplistically, with a minimalist approach to what we take (the current plan is clothes, a bookshelf and two small desks - which will probably take up a lot of space in the room even if they are small), it will be a (k)nightmare to arrange things in the room to still accommodate space or make it seem homely. In the barren state it's in now, it resembles nothing more than a prison cell - even more so than the room I sit in at work, and that's got bars on the windows.
I'd like to say I'm confident that we can make the room "our home" - there are two communal lounges, but how welcoming those may be I can't say - but it's incredibly difficult to see that happening if I can't visualise the final product. I may be a dreamer, but my imagination stretches only so far at certain points, and in a very real, very immediate situation like this, I can only really go as far as "scared and confused, naked and alone". Only maybe that third one is optional.
I'm not sure, but I'd appreciate your patience, dear ones, while all this is sorted out.
Although once we've had sex in that room it might seem better.
I'll let you know.