It’s been a strange, long, and mentally-exhausting week.
Beer, milk, and cheese live on the window ledge because my fridge has been taken away. Every sound made in the flat echoes because virtually all the furniture is gone. And I spent a last few late nights watching favourite episodes of Seinfeld and Arrested Development before all my DVDs, CDs, books, and other possessions got taken away and put into storage.
Off topic, slightly: a couple of weeks ago I commented on how much more manly I feel when stood in the back of a rented van. That all got shot down when the removal men came to take my stuff to their storage warehouse. They carried three boxes at a time on their back! One of them even carried a fridge freezer down the stairs on his own. It made me feel like a right nancy boy.
And I felt a bit crap when, after buying paint, turps, brushes, trays, plastic sheets, and tape, I began painting the walls to realise I was actually rubbish at painting walls. I stood there, roller in hand, looking at the patchy mess I’d made on one half of a wall contemplating how much stress it would be to do the whole flat, and swiftly picked up the phone, called a professional painter and decorator who is now coming around next week to do it all.
It’s one of the shitty things about renting in Berlin: you have to leave the flat in the state you got it in. So now I’m spending two-thirds of my deposit on returning it to its pristine, white, A Different Corner, state.
And it’s been a week of goodbyes, too. Well, it’s be two weeks of goodbyes with one more week of goodbyes to go. Now, you may be wondering why I didn’t just do one big get-drunk-and-say-goodbye party. It’s a good question, but apart from the nightmare that it’d end up being just me and Billy and too much beer in the bath, you never really talk to people at those sort of things, so I decided to do it individually. Which has been nice and horrible at the same time. It’s not really good for the heart to be continually saying goodbye to your friends.
It all seems very real now. The empty flat and the “send me a postcard”s. Just one more week and I’ll be gone. Berlin behind me.
And the saddest goodbye is yet to come; a couple of hours before I get on a plane to London next Saturday. I genuinely have no idea how hard it’s going to be to leave Billy behind. There’s several moments every day where I get a bit lumpy throat-ed, lie down next to him on his filthy cushion, and give him a big hug.
He, of course, looks at me like, “do you wanna play with the ball?”