Sunday, January 3, 2016

Fear Not of Man

You have nothing to fear from an honest man, and an honest man can fear no one.

A lot of people seem to be worried about me now that my attitude has dropped from the happy-go-lucky vagabond enjoying his life of ridiculousness, to someone who seems a bit more stressed and angered by this house situation. I want to reassure all of my friends and family and well-wishers and indifferent punters (actually there's a good idea, maybe we should be betting on this? Anyone keen to run the books? Give me a shout) – I want to reassure everyone out there that I am in no PHYSICAL danger living in this flat. I've never seen or experienced any sort of threatening behaviour from Andy, just lies and manipulation WHICH NEVER HURT ANYONE RIGHT?! Honestly though, I'm fine. He's off the coke, so he's just drinking heavily now, and the guy who was living in the room with him is gone. He owed Andy £40 and evidently didn't want to pay, so he left, and took a pouch of tobacco, a bag of MDMA, and £10 in change from my room with him. That was super annoying to discover, but still, no bruises guys!

Jesus I sound like a battered wife right now don't I... “He never actually hit me! He's just stressed! DON'T BLAME HIM WORK IS STRESSFUL AT THIS TIME OF YEAR!!”

I need to keep painting this picture though. I honestly don't know how much longer I can stand living here, so I need to keep working because I feel like there's something in this tangled mess of a situation that is important, or true, or unique. It's like Hunter S. Thompson, “we're right on the main nerve and now you want to quit?” That's right, because I am Hunter S. Tompson.

You heard.

So our property manager is this lady called Nadia. She's an idiot. She's the third person we've had doing her 'job' since I've been living in the house – basically her duties are to message the tenants and tell us we have to pay our rent, and if/when we don't, make empty threats at us in increasingly broken English and then call us to apologize. She's lovely to be fair, but fuck having to look after the vile zoo that our flat regularly becomes under Andy's influence.

One of the old housemates who moved out pots-Andy was Leroy. He was an Aussie guy from Melbourne, super sound, one time we wrote a song while drunk which included the lyric “I don't care what your family's goin' through, you're still an ugly bitch.” We had some great times. Leroy and I had a running joke/competition to see who, if any of us, could sleep with Nadia first – I always fancied my chances over his because even though he's taller than me and can rock a fine high-vis jacket, Nadia's name is my name backwards (Aidan), and if you don't think that's a sufficient measure of fated compatibility then I'm sorry but you're destined for loneliness. It was never going to happen, but we had a lot of fun clumsily flirting with her in group messages – she's probably in her mid-to-late-30s and clearly enjoyed the attention so would flirt back, or sometimes just laugh and say “You Boys!” while stood in our kitchen pretending to know something... anything Nadia... please know ANYTHING!?

Leroy moved out around the same time Rosie did, and around that time we started to go off Nadia because she began to represent an antagonistic force in the house. The kitchen sink had stopped working and overflowed almost daily, and then flat beneath us was complaining to the council about his flat being flooded whenever we did the laundry. Nadia would harass us about the issue, like it was our problem not hers. She once cut our internet for a few days because Andy stopped paying his rent – this was before he turned everything around and started working for the Agency and became her boss – and she basically just turned into a bitch as soon as anything started to go wrong. Leroy and I stopped calling her 'babe' and asking her to come out for drinks, and she stopped coming into my work in colourful dresses to collect my rent.

Cut to a few months later, the last night before Andy's arrest, when we were talking in his room. This is an example of just how manipulative he can be. This is why I am having to work hard to hate him, and this is why I want to hang around and write about him, because the audacity of his despicable behaviour seems endless. Inspiring in it's bottomless depravity

He needed me to turn against the agency with him, or else he'd have an enemy in the house, and someone who would resist his scheme to create it anew as his fortress against the world. I can't remember which passage of conversation it came from, but my memory fades in from when he fixed me with his stare while sat on his bed and told me, “Oh you know about Nadia right?”
        “What about her?”
        “She's a prostitute!” – high pitched, and he laughed dismissively and grinned his wicked grin. “You used to fancy her didn't you!” he continued, “You should message her right now and tell her, 'Alright Nadia, I've got £100 if you come round here and see me right now.'”

At the time I just thought he was making a joke, or maybe he was telling the truth and wanted me to help him humiliate her, but either way I just laughed it off and did nothing. I knew Nadia wasn't a prostitute, and even if she was, I honestly couldn't care less as long as I can keep sending my rent to her. That is honestly all I care about... I've definitely considered whether I'd be able to pay for sex before – I've never really had the opportunity arise, or the money at hand, but I don't really have a moral problem with it and so I guess if I had £100 and was feeling a little lonelier, then in another life maybe that night may have gone down differently.

But later on I realised what he was trying to do, and how it would have looked to Nadia if I'd sent her a message soliciting prostitution... I mean I'm pretty sure that's illegal, so he basically was trying to trap me. That manipulative piece of shit. That twisted genius playing with the minds of men. It's scary to know that there are people out there willing to go to those kinds of lengths to accomplish even their most petty ends.

The one thing that I believe is protecting me now and will continue to do so is my integrity. I am honest about my motivations for staying in this house, I am honest about my means of doing so, and I am honest with every player in this limping drama. No one can say that I have wronged them thus far, and as long as I can maintain that, then it is my sincere belief that I will maintain immunity. Maybe that's naïve, but I believe in that, and in myself and my resilience. People are inherently good. People are inherently good. People are inherently good. People are inherently good. People are inherently good. People are inherently...

Peace, Taco.

Click here to read the next part - The Bitter End

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