Empty House

Posted on Sunday 18th March 2007 at 00:00
I'm all alone! The housemates have both deserted the house, and now I effectively have control of everything, so why am I still sat in my room, like on any other day? Very odd. In fairness neither of them have gone away for very long. H left a week ago for a 'few days? with her parents, which has now become a week, although I'm told she'll be home fairly soon.

J left last night to spend Mothering Sunday with her family and parted with the words 'see you tomorrow', so I assume she'll be back soon, though she didn't specify when exactly. It has only just occurred to me, after 7 months living here that if I go by the name Ignorminious, our three initials are H, I and J. I promise I'm not making that up.

I don't mind having the house to myself. Obviously I like it when my Housemates are here, as they can be good fun, but I don't miss having them here when they are absent. I guess it is nice to have a bit of peace and quiet; to not have to worry about making a noise when I move around the house or play my music too loud. I enjoy not having to feel guilty if I don't wash up straight after eating, nor make sure I don't disturb anyone by turning on the bathroom light at 3 in the morning.

Student houses are strange places and not like other households. Three or more people living together who are neither related nor in a relationship. Everyone has their own sets of cooking equipment. Everyone washes their clothes separately and you never share towels in the bathroom. You?re expected to use communal resources fairly and evenly, but you never have any sort of ownership or control. This is the first year I've been able to keep my shower gel in the bathroom, instead of in my bedroom. Instead, a large chunk of my room is taken up with the cooking utensils anyone else would have in their kitchens, but for the lack of space in the shared cupboards.

The result of this is a strange dispassion for anything and everything outside of one's own room. There is no sense of pride, or desire to keep rooms clean and tidy, because they aren't yours. In a family, everything is generally owned by everyone and so everyone sees reason in keeping it nice. In a communal house, no one owns anything and so the kitchen, bathroom, hall and living room become a sort of no man's land, which everybody has to use, but no one is prepared to take responsibility for.

At least while I'm here alone I can leave my loo roll in the bathroom and make the kitchen look the way I want it to look, and feel as though all of this house is my home, even if I know it'll all change back to normal the second I hear a key turn in that infernal lock.

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