Tuesday, 12 May 2015

From the Previous Occupant

Although we've still got a month left in halls here at University, organising travel plans and figuring out what to do with all my worldly possessions has made me think about what it will be like to leave the room I've lived in since September. Here's a letter I've written to the next occupant.
Dear Occupant,
Wardrobe slightly unstable. Rail liable to collapse leaving clothes all over floor. If occurs, pick up clothes and slide the rail back in from the LEFT, not the right. Desk fine. Bed uncomfortable—recommend mattress protector or purchase of new spine. If room too hot as is often case—halfway between menopause and Mordor on occasional mornings—open door and window to allow cross-breeze. Fan often works. No central light but lamp blindingly powerful. V. noisy room as next to the kitchen. Possibility of broken nights on Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat. Recommend acquiring friends/partner(s) with quieter flats. Pin board functional for all your pinning needs. Storage good for clothes, food stashes and miscellaneous fancy dress items e.g. tutus, assorted hats.

Internet connection fairly reliable and may be used for tearful Skype conversations to mum and dad, or best friend from home who is only one that understands. Bed, if duvet appropriate, possible to lay on and break down after particularly tough day/week/month. Door locks against undesirable visitors who desire to know all secrets, and refuse to leave until they have found them out.

Enjoy this room. Arguments may take place in this room. High likelihood you will cry in this room, or sit still and think about decisions made in this room. You may shut windows, doors and curtains against the world and hide in this room. You may have days when you resent this room, its dingy carpet and tasteless curtains, and wish that you were, perhaps not at home, but at least somewhere else entirely. Momentary panics will take place within this room that everything is swirling into reverse and this is just like secondary school all over again. But it won’t be.

This room will cater for funny moments, you-had-to-be-there moments, sensitive moments, sad moments, ecstatic moments, and oh-my-god-never-again moments. It will cater for firsts, for lasts, for good and bad decisions, and for one-offs.

This room is ideal for leaning on the shoulder of a new best friend and talking about all the changes that are happening around you. For eventually falling into a tipsy sleep while sharing, not exactly secrets, but things you never thought about telling anyone. For scrawling notes and plans for coursework and life before bolting out the door in the vague direction of fun. For putting on lipstick in front of the mirror which will make your whole day a little brighter. For the loud. For the quiet. For a private moment with friends in the midst of a party. For talking over a film and then telling each other off for talking over it. For telling your worries to a neighbour and hearing about theirs. For endless cups of tea and glasses of wine. For getting to know people that little bit better. For half-remembered incidents when everyone barely knew everyone else. For sitting, talking, waiting, and a first kiss.

Make the most of this room. Because though I am ready to move on to a world of working ovens, washing machines, one or two peaceful nights’ sleep and moments of privacy, I know that I will miss this room. This room is where it all began.


The Previous Occupant.

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