Yesterday I left Palmers Green for good. No furniture remaining, four suitcases packed. I had fucked up my back sleeping on an inflatable mattress for two nights. It was time to leave.
Final meter readings. Postal redirection. Life admin.
Staying in an Air b’n’b in Shoreditch for the next few days.
Last night I ordered takeout from some place called Bird.
The Original Waffle Burger
Two boneless free range thighs, bacon, American cheese, house BBQ, mayo, hot sauce & Canadian maple syrup served between 2 freshly griddled waffles
Well, it sure beat BBQ Express in Palmers Green.
Leaving the suburb I’ve lived in for the last two years, I felt no emotion. Nothing. I took my final ever commute on the unreliable 08:25 to Moorgate. I thought to myself, let’s stare out of the window and take it all in (old Victorian houses, Alexandra Palace, Girl on the Train sort of crap), rather than read my Kindle or dick around with my phone. But after three minutes (around the time the train pulled away from Bowes Park station), I was balls deep into a tense game of Solitaire. I just didn’t care anymore.
Perhaps that’s how it should be. Places change. Homes are bricks and mortar. The apartment was sold for a nice profit, so I’ve just viewed the whole thing as a business transaction. I can be pretty cold when I want to be.
Besides, I was getting a little worried about myself in Palmers Green. There’s nothing to do there. Three pubs – two Irish pubs, which I’m pretty sure are both fronts for some sort of illegal activity or other and a grotty Wetherspoons. So the only option is to get wrecked at home. When you get home from work every night and the first thing you do – before you’ve taken your tie off, before you’ve flopped on the bed – is skull a shot of tequila … Well, maybe that’s not healthy behaviour.
Begs the question: why move there in the first place? Desperation, I suppose. I remember house-hunting in Dalston. After walking on the thick, matted carpet, up five flights (no elevator) and into a shithole in which one couldn’t swing a cat (or even a dead mouse), I asked the estate agent: ‘Why’s the boiler in the bedroom?’
He couldn’t give a straight answer, but swiftly told that the place was on the market for half a million quid.
So the new builds in Palmers Green seemed quite nice. Plus, there was a Dominos, a Papa John’s, and a Pizza Hut within about 30 seconds of each other. I called that The Golden Triangle. I was sold.
But there’s something threatening about Palmers Green. It’s too quiet. People seem too content. I always thought it’s the sort of place in which someone could get brutally murdered, but the residents would cover it up because they didn’t want their little suburb getting a ‘bad reputation.’
Thankfully, I left alive.
Now I have no home at all. Air b’n’b for a few nights. Stay with my folks for a week in Hampshire, after which I go to Cancun for two weeks and then emigrate to Australia.
It is a very odd time indeed. Liberating, though. Liberating.