November 1997

I have heard of the phrase "flatmates from hell" but didn't realize that it was true.

In London, I had to find a roof to sleep under, as I would start college within a few weeks at Moorgate. I did actually panic. At last, I found a flat where I had to share with two gay hearing people. I didn't mind at the start. I was told they're 20 and 23.

"Cool" I thought "For sure they would be at least tolerant of me as they're gay."

How wrong I was.

On my first day moving in, the living room was full of my belongings. That is natural. I had to sort things out. Paul the older flatmate came in saying something that I can't follow. I just nodded my head, hoping he won't ask me any further.

Off he went. Sean came in, looking a bitch as usual. He went back but this time into Paul's bedroom.

Paul came back. He literally screamed at me saying that I can't leave the sitting room like that.

I asked if they can bear with it for just a night. This led into two hours of arguments. I was almost at my emotional breakpoint as I had a very long journey by sea and boat as my house is in Crossmore, Northern Ireland...not that easy for me. I was not that used to the new surroundings.

Paul and Sean won't make any efforts to be understanding.

I lost my patience, clearing the mess away. Paul and Sean just sat at the table, watching me clearing the mess. It was so intimidating. They seemed to enjoy my angry face.

I lost my temper writing down saying "There is a law that illegalise any discrimination against disabled people!" They laughed at this. Sean said "What the fuck?" somehow I can lip-read that part. Paul wrote "We don't have anything against your disability!" I screamed "Don't ye even insult me!" They went puzzled at this. "Disability? I don't have any!" I stormed off. Deafness, in our view, is a socio-culturally issue, not a disability. We believe that the society do disable us. That's how it work out for us culturalists! (the usual balls)

I poured everything to Gavin my little brother. He said "Stupid people always remain stupid. Ignore them!"

I decided to take this advice up and ignored them for a few weeks. I didn't tell Mam yet...I didn't want to spoil her three weeks in France. But she can tell by my tone...she said that it would do hurt more if I don't tell her at all. She'd rather hear anything rather than hear "I'm fine, really I am!" Darling Mam, she knows almost everything! Even down to the single detail!

Things didn't improve at all...Sean kept leaving sick messages around saying that I have to clean all the time...I decided not to reply...then one day I got a message saying "Clean the kitchen, not watch our well-sucked fag-ends..." There are more but I had to forget them to continue on or I would go insane somehow!

One day I called someone. Sean was upset as he broke up with his boyfriend (I didn't even know that he got one in the first place!) So he came in and saw me at my minicom. He went straight for my fax machine and pulled the plug out of the socket...thank god Paul got him to calm down but the phone line was a bit wazzled. Bastard. I was really nervous and SCARED. It was as if I was victimized or something.

Mam went mad when I told her the entire story. She lost so much sleep over it. I was at my wits' end. I even told my landlord the entire story but he said he can't get involved at all. Bastard. He's a walking shite.

I know I'm talking gobshite but writing this out will help somehow...I remember a close friend's advice...she said "Write a letter to that guy ye got hurt by...tell him what ye really think of him...so once ye do that, read it again and throw it away!" It surely did work. If anything happen to you, do it yourself!

Okay, Paul told me he's 32. I lost my balance over this. If I knew he was 32, I wouldn't have moved in.

He kept complaining that I use the phone a lot...yeah yeah I'd rather be busy calling everyone rather than sitting with them watching telly in utter nutter silence! He even asked me if I could move my minicom to my room! I was pissed off by this...but Mam said "Go for it...just get out of their way!"

I did. I moved my television into my bedroom as they have complained about the subtitles (captions) covering the screen (?). With everything in my room, I feel as if I do live in a bedsit...but as long as I don't see Paul and Sean, I would feel comfortable.

Sadly, it did affect my studies. My college was very anxious over the lack of my essays...they were puzzled by my excellent performance in class. (yeah yeah I'm boasting!)

Okay, my mate came over for the weekend...Paul tried to pull Gary into his bed. Another mate came down the other weekend...Paul literally begged Marcus to join him in the bed. Sick.

I found out that Paul do have a split personality -- schizophrenic. It did scare me. It's such a miracle he didn't murder me in my own bed!

I met Mairead the other day. She's from Northern Ireland. She's Deaf and lesbian. I was really down so I told her everything.

She let me move into her sitting room for a few months.

It was a turnpoint in my life! I was so glad.

We decided to move in a few weeks' time. Okay. Marcus came. Marcus was really pissed off with Paul. So they had a big row. I was really terrified of the consequences so I moved out the next day.

I haven't seen Paul and Sean since. I still come down to the Somers Road flat to collect my mails but they are usually in bed by the time I come. The kitchen is still filthy. The sitting room changed around. They won't let me change it around. I checked my bedroom. It got changed. I think the landlord found out.

I didn't pay the month's rent...but the deposit took care of this...Bob refused to give the deposit back until a new tenant was found. I know it's not fair but at least it's honest.

I'm back to my former self now...I'm so happy...I haven't got any care in the world. Mairead is a superb landlady...I do enjoy her company...she's truly a darling! I could never forget how she saved me from getting depressed, even suicidal!

Thanks Mairead! Seven Sisters where we live now is five miles away from the City of London...let's say 15 minutes away by tube but then it's more London rather than Walthamstow where I used to live in.

The sofa bed is really comfortable anyway! Telly, fax machine, minicom, video, lamp, clock and caller display unit (a small machine that display callers' numbers as they call you!) at my feet. I love it!

That's a tiny slice of my gobshite-fillen life. Hope ye did enjoy reading this, mate! If ye got similar experiences, do email me at petershane@hotmail.com!

Keep smiling and ye could never know what's at the next corner!


[About the Author]

©1997 Oasis Magazine. All Rights Reserved.