Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Second Gear

There's a definite rumble of traffic outside my window right now. I find this unusual, but I'm coping with it. Stoically. Or I have no choice. Either one.

I'm not used to the noise of traffic outside a house because the house I grew up in was an end-of-terrace in a very quiet side street nestled in a leafy residential area. And it was a cul-de-sac... in any given fifteen minutes, you would be lucky to have one car moving on either side of the road. Except when the local school let the children out, in which case our road suddenly became a car park for competitive mums and really annoying childminders.

None of the other roads I'm familiar with have been particularly noisy either. The house in which I rent a room now is also a quiet cul-de-sac opposite a school; my parents' new(ish) house, called SH, is a few streets away from where we used to live but markedly quieter (nearly silent, were it not for the cat); even when I went to university, living in hall was louder than the street on which my eventual digs were situated.

We are house-sitting for my grandparents. This time last week, we were still house-sitting for my auntie, uncle, and two cousins (the preppy teen girl and the Lego fanatic who attends Hogwarts; just as we were about to leave, my grandparents asked if we would sit here for another two weeks. Of course we would. I can't afford rent.

It's a nice house - nice and big. I'd have you all over for a party. The noticeable difference, however, is that it's on a main road. Traffic uses it 24 hours a day, and living here comes with the occupational hazard of being kept awake by a particularly loud car every few minutes. Memories of staying here in my childhood - in exactly the same room I sit here typing this post: a spare room with the same bed I slept in, the same wardrobe that's always been here and wallpaper that hasn't been changed since about 1495 - come back to me when I think about it. The rumble of traffic was as strange then as it is now.

Leaving aside the obvious environmental concern for the moment, though, I do quite like the sound. We're opposite a pub, too, which could really be annoying with the lairy drunken gits (I almost got run over outside there once, ironically by the one girl who everyone in the sixth form wanted to do - she either didn't notice me or didn't care; probably both), but it really isn't. The machinations of the general public show obvious signs of human habitation - which I like. In my auntie's house, the tiniest clunk put me on red alert, fearing burglars or worse: I'm told that it doesn't reflect well on you if you let people come in and steal your relatives' stuff, and even worse if you get yourself murdered as well (blood's hell to get out of a carpet). Here, the sounds are always that of people outside, and any sticky situations that one could get oneself in are those that one could potentially get oneself out of again, through the simple expedient of walking through the door.

I'm not saying where we are is perfect - far from it; it's big and loud and I've no idea where the iron is - but I reckon I could get to like it here.

And I can't wait to have sex here, opposite the pub, with the main road outside and quiet neighbours. It will be awesome.

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