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May 13, 2013 | by  | in Features |
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Week 5. Trimester 2: Flat 204 Summary

Kilograms of mince consumed: Five
Pranks: Five
Number of smoke alarms: Three
Rubbish bags by bin buildup: Six
Mail count for elusive ex-tenant Isa Akran: Seven; This includes one meeting of regional dentists appointment, a bill for Isa Akran Motors, three bank statements all from different banks, a notice from the Bailiff and a courier card for an oversize package.
Bad flatmates: Six

On Monday:

I wake up; alarm clocks ringing, there’s birds singing, It’s spring and… I walk into the kitchen, which is full of food. That Monday post-Sunday-shop fullness that lasts for as long as it takes for everyone to get up and abuse it. So I choose the best three bananas and put them behind a book on the bookshelf in my room. Then I cut off a third of the block of cheese and put it in the bottom of the vegetable drawer. Next I make a sandwich that has so much filling it can barely be contained by the roll I found in the freezer labeled “DO NOT EAT BUY YOUR OWN”. I hide my creation in my bag and leave for Uni before anyone else rises. The boys have already gone. They pretended they didn’t notice the dishwasher was full. I follow suit.

I get home from Uni that afternoon with Ryan after our Marketing lecture. Something has obviously happened because everyone is sitting outside Ryan’s room waiting. He walks in. It’s totally empty. Down to the posters on his wall and the pallets he was using as a bed base. This is quite good. Andy leads us to the bathroom where Ryan’s entire room is perfectly set up; adjacent to the toilet. Ryan is thrilled and studies in the bathroom all afternoon. Apparently having a toilet as a desk chair is a highly motivating factor. Unfortunately it means the rest of us have to ask him to leave ‘his room’ whenever we need to pee.

On Tuesday:

I walk into the laundry to do my washing. The machine is full. The washing in it is Alec’s. I pull it out and put it on the floor. For the fourth time. He decided to do this load several weeks ago. I walk into his room and tell him he should really think about hanging it up. He agrees. I bring it to him in my basket and put it in his way. He thanks me and hangs two pairs of undies up. He then decides he needs to change his shoes and goes back to his room. The rest of the washing remains there for three weeks.

I’m walking home at 6 pm when I get the text. “Are you planning on coming home to clean today?” I am instantly disgusted and sit down on a bench on Cuba St. I decide I could probably sit here for at least half an hour. I call my mum and complain about how I am being belittled as a human being. She thinks it’s hilarious. In a sudden fit of courage I send a reply. “Maybe if you didn’t patronise me so much I might feel more motivated too.” I regret that. Now I really can’t go home. I ring Mum again. She points out I can’t sit on a bench on Cuba St forever.

On Wednesday:

It’s Tim’s cooking night. Therefore we will be eating mince and mash. He is cooking when the flat starts to fill with smoke. Andy scrambles for the ‘fanner’: a large piece of cardboard stored by the smoke alarm for occasions such as these. This is, however, worse than usual and the smoke alarm is obviously not impressed by Andy’s efforts. Tim comes out of the kitchen looking alarmed and starts fanning it too. If it goes for more then eight minutes he will get a fire-engine call-out and a $1200 bill. It’s still going. Cody smiles at me. He goes subtly to his room and YouTube’s fire-engine noises. Connects the lounge speakers to his laptop.

After this, I don’t think the evening’s entertainment could improve much. Until our neighbours pop round and ask to borrow a door for their inspection. They started the year with ten doors. Their remaining three are not looking healthy. One is still attached but the bottom half is just missing: you can see the legs of its owner as he walks around his room. Only one of the bathrooms has a door, and the front door has a hole where the handle used to be. Apparently each Sunday they wake up and more of them have just gone missing. They have very volatile personalities, doors.

On Thursday:

Now, before I recount what happened Thursday afternoon, some flat background is needed. Flat 204 gets sent care packages by Cody’s mum. He’s a sharer at heart. It’s part of his charm. Another of our flatmates has a thing for labels. It’s not particularly charming. So, Thursday afternoon I come home and find Tim and Ryan in the kitchen discussing the apparent allocation of Cody’s care package before Cody has been home to even see it. Their outrage rolls off them like steam from a boiling pot. I slink off to my room to eat a packet of Freddos that has been allocated to my shelf and wait. There’s lots of giggling. Then silence. I creep into the kitchen. Every single item has been labeled. The pepper container says “Wednesday at 8 am”. Everything has also been reallocated. There is food in the cutlery drawer and pots in the fridge. This is going to go off man. We all sit in the lounge eating popcorn and wait.

On Friday:

I wake up and there are 11 people sitting at the breakfast table. Tim’s girlfriend is serving all of them pancakes. I don’t know anyone and they’re all smoking inside. This is not how I wanted to start my morning and it’s at this point that I realise I’m wearing my boyfriend’s T-shirt and undies. I walk into the kitchen and glare at Alec who shrugs back at me and lights up his own cigarette. I steal a few pancakes out of the stack and retreat to my room without speaking a word to anyone, to wait until it’s safe to come out again.

Friday is Andy’s cooking night, and because the quality of the meal tends to depend on how busy he is with Architecture (and he has a model due on Monday) we ban him from the kitchen under a collective vote. After losing a brief but furious paper-scissors-rock contest, I get the task of cooking. The three whole chickens. (Andy always gets nominated to cook roasts for some reason.) Great. I ring my mother and ask for advice, which goes well until I realise the three-for-$10 deal with the chickens today was not such a bargain… they are not fully plucked. So the night is going swimmingly, of course I cannot cook roast chicken; it’s far too hard, and I burn it and make baked beans instead.

On Saturday:

I come home from a BYO with my boyfriend at 1 am and go to bed. My wall shudders as the neighbours probably smash a door against it. I close my eyes and hope our loaned one makes it through the night.

At 3 am I am jolted awake by the sound of the smoke alarm going. I get up and find Andy viciously making ‘bread’ on a baking tray. Yes: mixing it on a baking tray. He is cackling. I fan the smoke alarm until it calms down and go back to bed.

At 4 am I wake up to Tim telling his girlfriend about his evening. “I’m fucking steamed. I’ve never been so steamed before. Do you even know how steamed I am?!” Then I hear retching noises. I get up. He is spitting out mouthfuls of the ‘cake’ he just tried to eat onto the kitchen floor. It’s made a puddle. This is just too good.

At 5 am I roll over and notice the unmistakable noise of a dog barking. What. The. Fuck. I prod my boyfriend awake and he confirms there does indeed appear to be a dog in the flat. I open my bedroom door. It’s coming from Tim’s room. I call my boyfriend over to listen. The dog is, in fact, his girlfriend. They sound like they are having a good time.

On Sunday:

I get up and meet Tim’s girlfriend in the kitchen making coffee. I smile and say good morning. She at least has the decency to look guilty. I get breakfast carefully, avoiding the puddle on the floor, and go to wake Ryan up for the Sunday vege market. I am about to knock on his door when I hear him lock it. Strange because I know he hasn’t got a girl in there. I knock. No response. It takes me ten minutes of knocking on his door before Andy gets up (looking surprisingly fine), and points out that he is pretending to be asleep. We hear Ryan laugh inside his room. Andy observes that we will need more chilli as he used most of a packet in his bread.

Andy agrees to go to the vege market with me instead, and we take our little purple nana trolley to put the vegies in. When it was first introduced to the flat there was a general air of disgust among the boys; not only was it a nana trolley, but it was also purple with a tartan trim. Since those first few weeks, the boys have bonded with it quite well, and now like to pull it with a sort of reckless disdain, which makes sure the general public knows that yes, there is a purple nana trolley attached to their arm, but only just, and they certainly aren’t taking care of it. And with this recklessness in mind on the way back from the vege market this very Sunday, Andy crosses the three-lane road outside our flat, in the rain, and the nana trolley skids out, depositing its entire fruit contents into the road; which explode all over as they get run over. And Ryan has the audacity to wave from his bedroom window.

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