I’m sitting in the front room of our new squat which, ironically or not, is the ex-HQ of a seriously massive drug operation.
“Are the Nigerian drug lords going to come back and kill us?” asks Dale, worriedly.
“I like it here,” smiles Dominic. “It’s like living in a crime scene.”
The new squat is a semi-detached terrace house on a lovely street in Elephant and Castle. Well… as lovely a street as you get in Elephant and Castle, anyway. When we moved in all the windows were masked with wooden boards and tin foil. The entire house was filled with plant pots and giant bags of dirt. Most of the floorboards on the ground level had been ripped up- we assume by the police. The vague scent of marijuana still lingers in the air…
“How do you pronounce this?” asks Hannah, holding up a piece of paper with her last name scribbled on it.
“You don’t know how to pronounce your own name?” asks Bunny, confused.
“I could never figure out if it was Kremek or Kremeeeek…”
Bunny makes a face I can only describe as hanging somewhere in the realm between sadness and disgust. “Dumb bitch.”
I’ve been feeling a lot happier since moving into our new squat, as our last days at Squallyoaks reached a level of grotesque I’m actually embarrassed to recount. Everyone just gave up on the place. I took to taking a few bits of a meal and then arbitrarily throwing the rest of it at the wall. A middle aged man from the neighboring council estate nearly OD’d in our living room. I caught Bunny pissing in the kitchen. The attitude toward everything was just… why not?
As such, the ten of us have collectively decided that we’re going to treat this new home as a new beginning. No more messes. No more wild parties. No more strung-out drug heads whom none of us recognize crashing on our couch for fours days at a time. It may sound like a fantasy, but there’s something about blind optimism that really turns me on.
“Does anyone besides me think it’s slightly odd that no one thought to bring any cutlery from the old house?” asks Amy, annoyed.
“I know,” answers Hannah. “I just buttered toast with my Oyster card.”
Someone: “Life sucks.”
I have a ticket back to New York in two days but I don’t want to go. I’ve become addicted to escaping reality with my subversive companions or bohemian trendoids or gay freaks or whatever is it they’re calling them these days…