Sunday, July 3, 2011


280. Living room. After having breakfast with just the two of us, lots of laughs as usual but a little sad (at least for me) at the same time because there are just the two of us, we are now cleaning up the apartment to find things to throw away, a ritual whenever a flatmate moves out. Standing on a chair, I am methodologically sorting through the jars of spices, discovering all sorts of weird and wonderful spices that I did not know we had; Gaston is emptying out the dish washer, and it says something about our dish washer when he needs to arrange the supposedly washed items in three piles: the clean, the kind-of-clean, and the dirty. 

"Oh, I think Tintin forgot his cup," Gaston says. Between the three of us, we own an assortment of over twenty coffee cups, most of which are either provided by our landlord or accumulated by previous tenants. We have brought very few additions: Gaston's Tintin cup, my George Clooney, MIND THE GAP cups, a cup that I stole from Warwick University... "Which one?" I am curious. "This one..."

281. Early evening.
Me: I am listening to Adele a bit lately.
Audi: What does it mean about your mood when you are listening to Adele?

282. "So this is goodbye," Tintin says, having finished putting on his socks and shoes, now leaning against a wall in the hallway. He has just taken a shower at our place, which would have been a normal thing had he not moved out yesterday. "Yes, I suppose...," I say, leaning against the opposite wall, next to Gaston, as if we have arranged to stand separately in two groups: The One Who Left and The Ones Who Stay Behind. 

Over an hour ago, I turned off the reading lamp to go to bed, having given up on waiting for Tintin to come and say goodbye, like he had said he would when moving out yesterday. "Well-," I had begun some sort of farewell without really knowing how to proceed from there, but Tintin had prevented the awkwardness, "I'm coming back to return the keys tomorrow anyway..." "OK, we'll say goodbye then," I had said, relieved. 10 pm tonight, and he has not turned up. As soon as the light went out in my room, the phone rang. "Hey, oh, sorry, are you sleeping?" Tintin asked, incredulous, as if one day after he left, everything's changed. 

With Tintin's new place just down the road, five minutes later the three of us were once again in our living room. "How's the house?" Gaston asked. "It's shit!" There had been no hot water, apparently, and in an attempt to fix the situation, Tintin had managed to flood the top floor. Not much water, he assured us, just enough to fill a bucket or two, and he's a little worried about the ceiling being soaked through, and water dripping down to the floor below. Still, there must be some insurance on the house, Tintin was speculating. But, for now, the more urgent problem was to shower, because he was to leave for Strasbourg early morning. Of course he could shower at our place, we generously offered, even if later on, Tintin methodologically went through the apartment and picked up all the items that we thought he had left behind for us. ("Oooh, the battery charger!" and Gaston groaned, previously excited about inheriting the item; "So, where is the hand vacuum?" and Gaston died a little more inside.) "It still feels like home," Tintin said, reaching for a glass to get some tap water, and I thought to myself that it felt a little less like home for me.

"I'll organize a dinner and have you guys over..." Tintin offers. "Maybe not right now," Gaston replies, probably thinking of all the unpacked boxes that Tintin told us about, and of the flooded floor, "if you bring down the house..." "You could always come back here," I complete the sentence. We will just not tell the new girl about our Plan B for Tintin.

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