Tolerance

 

All pics @ Slutever

“…and so he was like What’s lolz? and in my head I was like OMG how could someone not know what lolz means? but obvs I couldn’t say that to him so instead I was like Uh DUH! Lolz is obvs just multiple lol!” Mavi takes a deep breath, taps the ash from her cigarette onto the newly polished oak flooring and looks expectantly at her dinner guests, all of whom appear vacant. “Are you guys even listening to me?”

“Not really,” says Bunny, letting out a long sigh. “Can we change the music?” Hanson’s Middle of Nowhere blares from crappy laptop speakers.

“I don’t care what music we listen to!” shouts Mavi, clawing the glass table in front of her. “I don’t even like music! You know that about me. Plus, I’m giving up trying to entertain you all because you obviously don’t give a shit what I have to say.” Defeated, she picks up a packet of artificial sweetener from the table in front of her, rips off a corner and begins to suck loudly at the packet’s powdery contents. Bunny studies her for a moment, then says evenly, “That stuff causes cancer in laboratory animals, in case you didn’t know.”

“That’s fine,” she replies with a flick of the hand, “lucky for me I don’t know any laboratory animals.” She continues to tongue the packet until there’s nothing left, then lets the soggy remnants drop from her mouth. “So… like…” She’s searching for something to say. She’s never content with silence. “The Dalai Lama is mayj, right?”

Bunny shoves his bony face full of artichoke. “Do you guys remember that time Monica Lewinski designed handbags?”

“What kind of music do lesbians listen to?” continues Mavi, oblivious. “I might become a lesbian. It would make sense—I have short hair now.”

This goes on for roughly another half hour. You know when you spend so much time with one group of people that eventually there’s nothing left to say, and you all just give up and let words spill unedited from your mouths in a constant flow of verbal nothing? We’re there.

I leave Mavi’s and walk the five minute walk back to my (semi) new squat. I open the heavy metal door to find a girl, roughly ten years old, in a pink party dress and bedazzled tiara, cartwheeling across the warehouse’s expansive cement floor. This is Alexi, my Hungarian squatmate’s younger sister. She’s been crashing with us for the past couple weeks. I’ve only ever seen her wear this outfit. I guess it’s sort of weird—squatting with a ten year old, I mean—but I just try not to think about it. This is how I’ve learnt to deal with most things.

“What up Alexi?” I ask, but she just swings her wand in front of my face and skips off into the distance. I haven’t worked out if she speaks English yet.


Behind her are my four new housemates, hypnotized by a crappy TV, flipping aimlessly between Wife Swap UK and a documentary about how British people eat shit food. They’re all at university, and do little else besides go to school and come home and study. I don’t know how they do it; they’re all painfully devoted. I really like them. Living here is a lot different to life in the previous installments of Squallyoaks. In the last squat it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to come home to find Kerri in a wedding dress on DMT, making experimental music with a gang of teenage cross-dressers. Or, alternatively, to walk in on an orgy. That happened a few times. Those days are no more. Now I come home every night to people eating a home cooked dinner (normally some weird, eastern European soup made from cabbage and bits of hot dog), listening to classical music and talking peacefully. Or, in the case of tonight, a child fairy skipping happily throughout the house, blessing people with her magic wand. It’s different, but I’m getting used to this unfamiliar calm. When you move house every few months you need to be able to embrace change. I’m learning.

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6 Responses to Tolerance

  1. brodie says:

    this sounds fucking incredible. reading about the old squats left me feeling a combination of gobsmacked and envious and itchy. i love those shows about how shit british people's lives are. the people in them are always clad in sweatpants and butting their cigarettes into their kids' eyes or whatever. makes me feel really superior, sitting in my sweatpants in my living room in australia while i eat worse food than they do.

  2. Ashton says:

    Child in a squat saddens me :(You've made the choice to live there, and 'like that'. But she hasn't.

  3. This is the most perfect description of mavi ever

  4. Marina says:

    "The house was quiet and the World was calm." Great poem by Wallace Stevens.

  5. Avitty says:

    When you write like this your life sounds too delicious to be real

  6. That scene around the table is too funny.

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