There’s No Place Like Home

Posted: November 2, 2015 in As If I Actually Ended Up Going To Uni, Back To The Edge, Chawn

rickgrimes

 

I am eight years old, living in Bartley Green, the UK’s very own Smallville. It is a Friday night, and Friday nights are wicked. We stick on Thunderbirds and eat chips from the chippy. Dad’s just pulled onto the drive and I know what comes next. He’s going to say the line. The line that signifies the end of a journey. The line that makes me feel… home.

 

The engine switches off.

 

“Home again, home again…”

 

I smile.

 

“…Jiggety-jig.”

 

It’s corny, but I’m eight, so it’s fine. I grab my small bag of chips and run onto the sofa. The TV is calling, and I love to respond. I am home, and I feel home. I smile, and eat my chips.

 

 

It is the saddest day of the last five years, because the legendary Edge House of me, Big Boots and a catwalk of fiancés has come to an end. Roger is weeks away from marriage, and I’m clearing off to university. Big Boots is gonna get his own place and turn it into the only room known to man more sanitary than an incubator. It’s sad because we’re best friends. Best friends since we were eight; and after 17 years of best-friendship, we are officially dissolving the union. It’s a divorce, and feels like a divorce, as we both fight for custody of the Xbox360. Thing is, this is July, and I don’t move into the dodgy dodgy fire-alarm-loving uni halls until September! And even then, it’ll only be for a year.

 

I look at the empty rooms and the last dead moths lying around the room.

 

And sigh.

 

And wonder when I will feel it again.

 

When I will feel home?

 

Big Boots walks in and suggests a final housemate dinner. We’re both half-packed. So go for the only option.

 

Chips.

 

Even though it’s not Friday.

 

We sit in front of the TV and stick on Flight of the Conchords.

 

I smile.

 

And feel home.

 

 

I move into Elton and Savage’s, and live in their spare room. It’s nice. And I get comfortable. I even pass my driving test! Until a few weeks get eaten and the day arrives.

 

The day I have to move on.

 

I move into dodgy, dodgy Randall Lines, the uni halls famed for being the uni’s social dustbin where the entrance criteria is a total lack of finance or future. I close the bedroom door and take in the emptiness before me, complimented by a white and blue University of Wolverhampton health and safety sign on the back of the door.

 

This.

 

This… is my home.

 

I endure freshers’ week, crippling loneliness and spontaneous free samples of apocalyptic fire alarms before the day arrives.

 

The day I have to move on.

 

My life changes again, as I move on into Clive and Sylvia’s, The wonderful Chawn couple who let me stay in their spare room when I’m on placement. They’re dream hosts, with an idyllic home, filled with many surprise business prototypes that are my most debilitating phobia. I slowly get over my phobia, as my placement ends and the day arrives.

 

The day I have to move on.

 

Back to the apocalyptic loneliness of halls.

 

 

The year slowly drags on, and I flit back and forth between Arsonist-Bully Hotel and Clive and Sylvia’s phobia-filled Paradise.

 

Again and again and again and again.

 

Until the end of my first year of uni. When I excitedly move out of Randall Lines! And suddenly realise how much I…. actually begun to like the very comfy bed. And the way the… temperature stayed really hot all year round. How I… turned that room into a nice place. A comfortable… memorable… hang on… a… home?

 

I sigh. And am contractually forced to move on.

 

Into the even lonelier Lomas Street halls. Where I do get my own toilet.

 

And have to buy my own toilet roll!!!!!!!!

 

Those rats!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I potter about there for the summer, re-watching The West Wing and rationing toilet roll, before flying to Canada and visiting 7/10 7/11s whilst living with various Canadians and a dead bat full of maggots and returning to England.

 

On a day when I have to move on.

 

Into a cheap house on Fawdry Street.

 

That is nasty.

 

Dirty.

 

A student house.

 

Where Jackson Five and I invent houseball. And Anders Limpar gets me hooked on The Walking Dead. And I start a band with Violin. And we make pancakes. And discover Buzz. And I buy a cello. And shout ‘yes please, mate!‘ a lot.

 

I hang up my Union Jack.

 

And my flag from Saskatchewan.

 

And smile. And decide that I can’t be bothered to cook. And also, it’s Friday night. Which is wicked. I pop to the chippy down the road and walk back.

 

And turn into Fawdry Street.

 

And smile.

 

As a thought jumps into my head like an old man remembering how it feels to wear denim and loving it. A thought I can’t control.

 

“Home again, home again….”

 

I smile, and reach my door. My door… for the foreseeable.

 

“…Jiggety-jig.”

 

I stick on Flight of the Conchords and smile, and eat my chips.

 

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