It’s pissing it down, it really is, has been doing so for most of the night, and if I was minded to think about it, I might consider that if we’d had this sort of weather on and off for the last month or so, then the lockdown might have been somewhat more effective. As it often said – by me, mainly – rain is a policeman, as in nobody goes out in it unless they absolutely have to. But I’m not in the mood to write about that.
No, instead I want to tell you why I’m in mood such that I can’t remember, why I’m still in bed typing this and why I have no plans to move other than to use my en-suite toilet.
Because it is pissing down, the rear wall of my bedroom resembles one of those horror films with Vincent Price, where the walls leak blood. This has been a persistent problem over the past – I forget how many years exactly – but none of that matters. Neither do most of the solutions to fix the various leaks, so effective have they been that when I hear it rain I think it only a question of when and not if the leaks will start.
At the moment there is a solution that sort of works, given the owners are not going to spend loads investigating it, possibly having to have a new roof put on my room, when the plan to knock it down in less than a year and build an extension. They can easily cope with my discomfort and right on cue, I can hear the relentless dripping sound of a leak falling onto the wooden floor just behind my headrest.
Marge came into my room earlier and aside from opening all of the curtains, was horrified by the state of the wall, so much so that she bought her partner Joe in, so we could discuss what should be done.
Unfortunately, I just don’t care, I mean obviously I care when drips fall on my face and wake me up, obviously I care that I can’t hang any pictures on the back wall and of course I care that I don’t care, but in the scheme of things that bother me, that doesn’t matter.
It should do though. I know that. I know that most people’s yardstick for how much things bother them isn’t how bad they are is when they’re compared to waking up after a month in a coma and realise you can’t walk.
Referring to my room as ‘my room’ is a misnomer, not because the house belongs to someone else, but because I’ve never thought of it as ‘my room’. Well, not in the sense that I imagine most people think of when they imagine ‘their room’. Yes my bed is in there, yes so are my clothes, some books, some files and my most treasured possession, Bruno, my teddy bear, but I have I tried to make it comfy, to personalize it, put my stamp on it so to speak, to make it recognizably mine? No.
Possibly that’s because I don’t think of this house as home, in fact I’ve only ever thought of three houses as home, and the lyric “A house is not a home’ is true, at least in my case it is. A house is a collection of bricks, mortar, glass and other building materials cunningly arranged into a recognizable structure that looks very much like it could be a home but a home is an entirely different proposition altogether. A house only becomes a home when it embodies certain characteristics. These vary from person to person depending on what is important to them. But in my case to make a house a home one would need to fill it with laughter, happiness, peace and above all love. Good companions and the ever-present potential of cups of tea and buttered crumpets wouldn’t go amiss either. In essence to me a home is a place of sanctuary, one where you metaphorically close the front door once inside and lean back on the door safe in the knowledge that the outside world is just that, outside.
Since waking up from the coma I haven’t felt that and the house I lived in as a child I never felt that, so is essence I’ve only ever felt truly at home somewhere for, all told, less than a third of my life.
So not really a good proportion really.
This isn’t meant to depress anyone or to elicit any sympathy from them. It’s just a bold, factual – maybe too bold, too factual – statement of the facts, certainly as regards my living arrangements and certainly as I see them. Indeed anyone who knows me well would know it’d be impossible for me to think any other way and have thought this for some years. But much like me never having long hair again, never being thirty again, never having voted Conservative, believing in god or aliens, it’s like how Bruce Hornsby has it,
’That’s just the way it is and some things will never change.’