On the 15th of March 2013, I moved into a new place.
Well, to be completely honest, I signed a lease, went to the place I was going to be living in, went over the condition report, then headed to work as I wasn’t allowed to have the day off.
It was a two-storey terrace with two ground floors due to being built into the side of a hill.
On the condition report, the carpet was described as being “retro”.
It was old and crappy.
There was a bedroom under the upper ground floor that we referred to as “The Dungeon”.
Part of this was due to it not getting much natural sunlight.
Part of this was that it had a smaller, rectangular room attached to it that went under the veranda at the front and didn’t have good ventilation.
There were moisture absorbers in the room but they never were replaced, so opening the door and the windows for the room (there were windows inside between this room and the bedroom component) and leaving them open for long enough would leave the bedroom, the kitchen and sometimes the living room (The Dungeon was next to the kitchen which was next to the living room) smelling quite unpleasant.
The stairway between the ground floors was dangerous to navigate. Some of the stairs were bowed and some were shorter than the others. Due to always having slept in one of the bedrooms on the upper ground floor, I used them a lot and fell down them part of the way a few times.
There were a couple of times I fell up them.
There was mould that spread on some parts of the ceiling and a small hole that formed in the skirting board next to the stairs.
Due to tree roots growing through the pipes, there were a few times when they would become blocked which would lead to the kitchen would flooding with both water from the sinks and the bathroom (which was above the kitchen).
Due the pipe being connected to next door, there was once a shit storm in their back yard.
It was actually closer to a light drizzle, but still.
There was also the water feature in the living room that decided to run itself through a light fixture in the living room. We never found the source.
Our backyard was rather small and felt restrictive in some ways.
When one of the people I moved in with decided to move out after six months, my ex and I were a bit concerned as we were worried about covering the rent (although at the same time it was a good thing as there were a few issues).
Luckily enough he had someone he knew come around and check the place.
Je moved in at that point. We didn’t get along too often.
Just before Je moved in, we had someone in the smaller bedroom for about six weeks to a month to help keep the rent down.
About few months after Je moved in, we had someone else move into the smaller bedroom to help keep the rent down again.
It was also so they had some place to stay before they moved back to Victoria in December (they were spending about a year in Sydney). It was a friend of Ewe’s that I’d met a few times, so it was an easy choice to make.
During this period, the mood of the terrace was, overall, much better.
Everyone was getting along fairly well.
Once she left, we had another person come in and the mood was still good and everyone was still getting along.
Then I was dumped and life went to shit for a bit.
The third person left, I took the small room, Je moved into the upper ground floor big bedroom and our new third person took The Dungeon.
It was the longest I had not lived with a female.
I found it to be a weird experience.
From early 2014 until now, the relationship between Je and I began to improve. We still have stupid fights from time-to-time but overall things have been getting better. The ex was in my life and went again at one point.
That was hard, but it happened.
When we received the eviction notice in January of this year, I became a bit stressed, but I was also feeling apathetic about it at the same time.
Je decided he wanted to do his own thing for good reason.
I wanted him to stick it out with me and the other guy.
Part of the reason as to why was that I felt that we formed a team to some extent.
Another part of it was that I didn’t want to pay more rent.
However, it was mostly due wanting to still live with him as, despite getting annoyed at times with him (I’m sure there are times where I annoy him), he had become a friend and someone that, overall, I enjoyed living with.
He decided to stay but the other guy decided to go his own way.
I was too tired to argue for him staying at this point, but I did try to get him to change his mind on occasion.
Whilst I was in Melbourne near the end of February, Je inspected a place he had his eye on for a few weeks.
As soon as I got back, we applied for it.
The following day, our application was approved.
We were pretty happy about it.
We began packing and cleaning as we had to sign the lease in two weeks. It was a generous amount of time.
Whilst this was happening, we also were hunting for someone to take The Dungeon and then move with us.
Although we eventually managed to get someone into the new place after we signed the lease, initially we weren’t successful.
Gradually everything was packed away, but I wasn’t finished until the night before. I was feeling exhausted most of the time so I was packing slower than I wanted.
During the week prior to moving, I began to feel a bit sad.
I was lucky enough to be able to live next door to Anna, Ewe and Si.
Part of the reason as to why I wanted the place was so I could live next door to Ewe.
As our places are being renovated, they have to move as well, but they’re going to be easy to reach.
We moved out on the 9th of this month.
With the assistance of Ewe and Si as well as two guys with a moving truck, we were able to move the whole terrace in a day.
Je stayed behind to do some of the remaining cleaning.
When it came to the second last bit of stuff to go in Si’s car (we had finished with the truck at this point), I switched with Je and began cleaning the remaining dirty spots of the terrace.
Later on Si took me to the new place one more time to drop off the remaining items before taking me to a shopping centre to get the old keys cut to give the full amount of copies to my now-former real estate agent.
Later on in the evening, I went back to the place and threw out rubbish I left sitting on the veranda into the bins of a business on the street.
As they had filled the bins of the residents who lived on the street more than a few times, I felt it only fitting.
In the afternoon of the 10th, I went back to throw out a few more things as well as collect a parcel I had Ewe grab for me. There was a plastic-wrapped copy of the Inner West Courier that had been sitting in the backyard since roughly week or so after moving in.
At this stage, it had a small plant growing out of part of where it was rolled up.
It managed to outlast many of my relationships that ended whilst living there.
On the 12th, after having breakfast at my regular café I headed back to the terrace, went to where I threw it out and took it to the new residence.
I wanted to see the plant grow.
Once I had finished cleaning, I put on a song that was melancholic and stood in the kitchen.
I had lived there for six days short of three years.
I knew I wasn’t going to miss the place, but I was the last person remaining from the original three that moved into the terrace and it was an odd feeling for me.
There were some ups and many downs whilst living there.
I had seen a lot of relationships I had go.
Some were worth the loss and some weren’t.
Some relationships became much stronger whilst living there.
I fell hard at some points in that place, but I always picked myself up.
Towards the end, whilst I was not too happy, I was much more confident in myself as I felt I was able to be “weird” and, in some ways, unrestricted again.
I felt driven to do work more on the things that I do.
I wasn’t necessarily as happy as I wanted to be, but I certainly was doing a lot better than I had in 2015.
It was funny how a string of unfortunate things managed to line up with living there as it was a place that was full of anger and sadness.
There were times of severe depression, emptiness and despair, but in the end, I came out of it okay and I am now able to continue on in a new place with Je.
I said that I wasn’t going to miss the place and that still stands.
However, I was going to miss living next door not only to a person who became someone I can call my best friend, but also three people that were, in a way, family for me.
I went into The Dungeon one last time.
A friend of mine had come over the week before and we sat in the bedroom part of it, just talking about stuff.
It wasn’t a pleasant room, but it was still one that had been part of my life in some capacity.
I walked through the place once more.
I said goodbye and then left.