we live here too

In Bob's house.

StoryKettle » Frau Alpert » we live here too

Copyright © 2007, Michael M Wayman

We're all different here, some are big, some are female, some are small, some are male, some are in between.

That's what Bob should do, get more normal people into the house, like me. I'm normal of course! I'm a regular sort of guy, but rather tall. I eat hard boiled eggs and beer every day like everybody should do.

Yes, I'm a very upright person, was in the army, you know, or was it the navy, I've forgotten. Every day I go down to the river to get some water, none of this artificial stuff out of the tap. I collect it in my billy can, made of real aluminium, and boil two eggs, three on Sundays, in it. It's good to know that I am normal.

My name is Fold This Lever Down. The people in the house think that this is my name because it is printed on the back of the piece of cardboard I use to fan myself. I think my mother gave it to me. I like to eat corned beef out of the tin can with a teaspoon. People call me Fold or Mrs. Down.

I'm rather small; when I go out of the house I wear a lampshade on my head. I've got a collection of lampshades; soon I will have enough of them for every day of the year. I wear an old curtain unless the lampshade is big enough, like a nice one for a standard lamp from the 50s; though in the winter I always wear a thick curtain.

I used to be a concert violinist, but they wouldn't let me wear a lampshade, I mean only a small one, a big one would get in the way of the violin. In the mornings I go to lamp shops and auction houses; then I look round the streets, maybe someone has thrown out an old lampshade.

In the afternoon I choose a nice small lampshade and a pretty chintz curtain and go downstairs and play my violin. Everybody in the house comes to hear me play.

The people in this house are weird. They think that I am weird because I watch TV. I don't say anything about them, I don't want to be impolite. They are always polite to me, the Happy Birthday Boy always gives me a nice slice of cake on his birthday, and every week it's a different sort of cake. His birthday is always Fridays except when it is a public holiday, then it's Thursday.

Yes, always a nice cake, cucumber sandwiches and tea.

It's not true that I run around naked. I do eat pet food though. I've got my clothes on most of the time.

Everything in this house is nice, very nice. Everybody in this house is nice, very nice, except me. I try very hard to be miserable; I work hard at it, I can tell you. But the others won't let me. Every time they see me practising, they cheer me up somehow. I don't get it. What's wrong with being miserable?

Genteel decay is what I call it. The people in this house and the house itself are gradually decaying into nothing. They warned me about the girl in the next room, she does naughty things, perhaps she is a nymphomaniac. THIS IS NOT TRUE. She isn't a girl, she's over seventy and I've never seen her do anything the least bit naughty.

Not like the funny woman on the floor above, she runs round the house naked in the middle of the night, I saw her once. How can I get out of here?

I used to work the streets, but I got old. I'm very lucky to be here. Everyone of them is kind to me; they are so normal. No one shouts at me, or beats me or throws me into jail. They are just ordinary, they don't do funny things to my body, they don't touch me at all, pity, I would like them to stroke me sometimes.

I don't know if I'm a girl or a boy. I dress as a boy when I go out, but as a girl when I'm in the house. Nobody says anything, maybe they don't really notice.

I've been in several bedsits. You know, a single room and a shared kitchen and bathroom down the corridor. They tend to be lonely places, you sit in your room alone and wait. You are waiting for one of two things – escape or death.

I live in the attic. It's nice and cold in the winter and hot in the summer, just the way I like it. When I was young I wanted to be a bird. Up here I can watch the birds. I wanted to fly. I like to wear feathers and eat bird seed.

I'm writing a book about the odd people in this house. It's over two thousand pages long, but it's nowhere near ready yet.

Most people like to keep warm, I do. I wrap myself round the boiler in the cellar and keep myself warm, especially when several people take a shower. I have to watch all the dials for temperature and pressure and keep the pumps going. It's a full-time job. Julie brings me bread and butter sandwiches, except Fridays, then I get a piece of cake.

This house is full of dead-end loners. It's a bit sad really.