Just as I’m heading home I get a message. “Is it ok to have to couple of people back?” Normally, with another flatmate, I wouldn’t even bat an eyelid. But there’s precedent involved here. I’m fine with it though of course. She’s been to a funeral. People are mourning. I get it.

There are no boundaries set up anywhere in the flat when I get home. The whole place stinks of smoke and people are smoking AT me because “he doesn’t allow smoking”.

Everything is up for grabs apart from the Bandol that I specifically told her to make sacred and she succeeded.

“Shall we make a call?” says one of the guests, and I say “There are no drugs tonight here please.” One of the guests is already in a K-hole. Fuck knows what the rest are on already. The guy who suggests we make a call literally actually tries to neckpunch me after I say no. He’s hammered and angry with me for drawing a boundary so he literally neck chops me, (and connects as it’s so completely out of nowhere.) (“Make a call” usually means get cocaine, FYI)

The guy from blogs long past who was cooking in his pants is waiting in a car outside and doesn’t come in. They know him. “Why’s he but welcome?” I get, not knowing he’s outside. He knows he’s not welcome, but it’s not him that’s not welcome. It’s the culture of push until you find resistance and then push harder. It’s about the boundaries. People who are allowed to be disrespectful are not welcome. I’m very relaxed. But don’t fuck with me in my home. My home is my sacred place. This is not a student party house.

I’m witnessing the end result of a human being who draws no boundaries around themselves at all, while people flock to that lack of self confidence and see how far they can push.

I had a few conversations with guests who believed I was a lodger in her flat and had no right to start drawing limits. Fuck this so so much. I’ve had enough. I’m not here to fix her. This work will take years, and I need to be happy in my own home. I’ve got no reason to believe, if I wasn’t here, that the place wouldn’t have been completely trashed in the name of fun. There was one guy gearing up to fall on the TV, trying to organise wrestling matches near it so he could make it look like an accident. The same guy that actually punched my neck because he’s read it’s a kill punch. Ha ha ha cunt. Thank God I derailed him by not caring enough. If he’d seen me caring he’d have thrown his whole bodyweight into the telly and pretended it was an accident. Thank fuck he’s gone. He thinks he’s lost his tie, his favourite tie apparently, and he wasn’t leaving until he found it etc etc etc repeat until dead. The only comfort is he’ll be dead at 50.

I thought it might be nice to reconnect with my upbringing. I feel weird about jettisoning it as irrelevant. Society was important to me back then. Plus she reminds me of my mother, with her priorities and with the way she goes about her social life. But no. No no no.

My association of her with my mum has probably caused me to put up with an untenable situation for far too long. Every time she brings anybody to my flat it’s like the yahoos are out in full force. It’s crazy. And it’s no longer my home when they’re there. It’s untenable. I won’t do it…

I’ve been in a suit all day, filming a corporate video at short notice, involving massive cramming.

I think the most valuable note I got was “be less posh,” but it came after the first scene was in the can, and from the writer. Director should’ve asked me. There was a lot of back and forth about me hearing and repeating a Latin phrase. She says it and I repeat it.

Only now with the spirit of hindsight do I understand that what the director wanted to tell me was “Play it like you don’t know Latin.” Easy if you’re told and now too late I know how he wanted it. He just kept giving me unplayable line-readings.

I forgot to switch off my knowledge. The key with work on camera is usually innocence, but I’m the last minute replacement guy on this shoot. The original guy was an actual Spaniard speaking in his second language. The makers are trying to step away from middle class white dudes doing corporate videos, but frankly in the interests of diversity maybe it’s legit to have one of us still there? I am definitely the only one, if you don’t count the director.

There’s another day scheduled on Tuesday. It might not go ahead because of virus. I’ll find out. God it’s so weird. This unprecedented panic. About a flu. A bad flu. How many of you got swine Flu? Or SARS? Were you washing your hands obsessively? I bet you weren’t.

There’s more at play here, either in international isolationist paranoia, or ramping up the good old fashioned fear of other people that makes the state more powerful.

Either way, don’t take advantage of other people, and don’t let yourselves be manipulated by people who couldn’t give a fuck about you.

Last time she pulled shit like this she vanished for a month or more knowing I wanted to talk it through. I’m wiser now. Time will tell precisely how much wiser…


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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