While I was living at Des’, my other flatmate, Rami, had a kids-style birthday party, with balloons and streamers and the general paraphernalia of youthful celebration. Weeks if not months after that event, I found one of those balloons, somehow still miraculously inflated. I was so shocked by the fact this thing hadn’t lost air in the time since the party, I kept it.

When it came time to move out of Des’, the balloon was still inflated, so for some reason I brought it with me to Bath. I put it on top of the wardrobe and almost entirely out of my mind, apart from the times when I’d accidentally bring it down alongside something else. I lived in that room for over 15 months, and that balloon didn’t deflate.

Today I popped it.

I don’t want to say the balloon was symbolic, because that would be nonsense. But it is at least representative of a particular time in my life. One where I lived with people because of convenience and not desire. Today that time officially came to an end, as I handed over the keys to Flat 1, 16 Walcot Parade. It wasn’t all bad – it was cheap, and warm, and had good internet, and was close enough to work for a pleasant walk in every day – but I’m not sure you could pay me to move back in there now.

Because ignoring my distaste for some of my housemates, living with strangers just sucks. And this weekend, I’ll officially move in with Christina, and hopefully never have to compromise on the people I spend the most time in the vicinity of ever again.


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