My living situation. Well… I’ve lived in a bunch of places the last few years—though I didn’t expect to end up back on the same street where my mother died—but I really don’t feel I’ve had a home. Whatever that is.
Been back here two-and-a-half years now and I feel like it’s more than enough. Would it be unfair to call this place a shit-hole? Perhaps. There are worse places. But it is a shit-hole. Maybe not a Premier League Shit-Hole, but still a shit-hole. (How many times can I say ‘shit-hole’ in the space of one paragraph?! Let’s see…) More, it’s a shit-hole I planned and contrived to escape from for about ten years or so. And I did. Twice. First time was when I moved to an even bigger shit-hole called Salford in 1999. Second time, when I played ‘moving home every five minutes’ down South in 2006-07. Both times, I ended up back in the shit-hole ultimately. I think it’d be fair to say this shit-hole is somewhere I need to get out of my life. Badly.
Not that I think the West Midlands per se is a bad place. Living nearer the city would be okay. Rental costs are reasonable all over. In fact, for a piddling little town about a mile square, the rent on this place isn’t exactly cheap; and for a place that’s moderately shabby, has dodgy plumbing and a growing contingent of Chavs amongst the residents (all of whom have never heard the term ‘dog lead’), this is a bit annoying. As if being here isn’t annoying enough already.
Nope, had enough of this town. And a big fat chunk besides.
The other thing is that living alone SUCKS. It’s not only an increased isolation factor—more pointed if you’re struggling to get a job of some sort—but simply the living expenses. Even if you have a moderate-paying job. But especially if you’re struggling on what the government believes is ‘how much you need to live on’. I need a flat or house-mate. Someone I can get along with, at least to some extent, but who also respects private space. Someone who isn’t a Chav Numpty or a crack dealer or whatever.
But where? I guess I want to be flexible. Anywhere. Not just the West Midlands, necessarily. But not Salford and NOT HERE.
Maybe I can find a HOME eventually. It’d be nice. Life-changing. Essential.